#232 – “Press On” The Story of Selah

Meet Todd Smith and Allan Hall. They make up two thirds of the award winning Gospel Group “Selah”. Todd was a missionary kid who grew up in Africa, and Allan was an East Tennessee child from a small town. They met at Belmont University in Nashville, and wound up performing background vocals for fellow student Brad Paisley. Fortunately their musical journey just started there, and has since exploded into a worldwide career, releasing multiple album projects, and winning numerous Dove Awards, along with having several #1 hit songs on the radio.

While performing at a Sunday morning church service with Todd’s sister Nicole (who already had a Pop recording contract), they were discovered by record label owner Mike Curb, who signed them to a multi-record contract. Having already recorded their first album with money provided by Todd’s mother, the label deal cemented the project with a larger production budget, along with distribution, marketing, and promotions. Their hit record “Be Still My Soul” finally had legs, and was reaching a much larger audience than any of them ever anticipated.

Little did they know that on September 11th 2001, things would change for them in a way that no one could have anticipated. While on a radio tour promoting their second release “Press On”, the United States was violently attacked, and thousands lost their lives on that day. Selah was literally 20 minutes from the Pentagon when the building was hit at a local radio station promoting their single “Press On”. Radio stations began playing the title cut off of their album, and “Press On” became their first number one hit single at radio, helping provide comfort to those who listened to the song.

Now, 25 years later, Selah is releasing two albums consecutively, One titled “Greatest Hymns Volume three, along with their second Christmas project “At This Table”.

Todd and Allan discuss their career, including their time in the studio with the legendary Dolly Parton, what it was like to walk away from a lucrative record deal after all the success they had, and start their record label in the process.

Music from this podcast includes:

“Stand By Me”
From the album “Greatest Hymns Vol. 3

“Put Your Hand In the Hand”
From the album “Greatest Hymns Vol. 3

The Business Side of Music ™
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Editing and Post at Midnight Express Studio located in Olian, NY
Production Sound Design: Keith Stark
Voice Over and Promo: Lisa Fuson
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