SUISUN CITY — Sam Turner grew up singing gospel music. He stays true to the genre five decades later.
The Suisun City resident will sing Saturday night at Corinthians Church of God in Vallejo. The show, which is open to the public, is part of a family reunion Turner expects will draw 200 to 300 relatives from around the country.
He expects to sing a couple of songs. Other family members will perform after him.
Turner, a retired wastewater treatment employee, plays guitar and bass guitar. He’s self-taught on both instruments.
His first formal music group was The Voices of Angels. The other band members were two of his brothers and two friends from church.
The group stayed together until he was about 17 or 18 and life sent the members in different directions. The four get together occasionally, most recently to perform at Booker Turner’s birthday party a few years ago. Booker Turner is Sam Turner’s father and senior pastor at Corinthians Church of God.
Earlier this year, Turner released his latest CD, “Give Him Praise,” which features eight tracks recorded at his Suisun City home. He retired in April and is now focused on sharing his musical gifts.
“I’m determined I’m not going to sell it out of the back of my car,” he said.
Turner signed with Tate Music Group to help master and market the recording.
Turner never walked away from music, playing with several gospel groups as he worked. If the band needed to travel, he took vacation time.
He also wrote songs, amassing about 100 original tunes.
“They come from my heart,” he said of what he pens. “They are inspired by God.”
For the past eight years, Turner has also been playing with a Sacramento-based gospel group, The Spiritual Keys.
He and his wife Sheila are the parents of two adult sons. The youngest, Brian Turner, will play with his father Saturday.
Turner said he grew up on gospel music.
“At the time we couldn’t listen to any other music in the house,” he said.
His love for the songs of praise was solidified at his first gospel music festival where he saw the bands he was listening to on the radio.
“It was inspirational to me,” he said. “I knew then I wanted to play guitar and sing gospel.”
“Give Him Praise” is Turner’s second CD. He released “Family & Friends” in 2006 as a 12-song CD that featured many guests. Finding singers and musicians wasn’t difficult. Turner is the oldest of nine children.
He credits his father for giving him his singing talent. His mother gets her due for the writing skills she offered in poetry and song. Both appeared on his first recording.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.