The McKamey Sisters were organized in 1954, consisting of Peg McKamey, Dora McKamey, and Carol McKamey. Dora gathered her younger sisters together in her home and insisted that they help her sing the following Sunday. First singing in their home church, they were soon invited to different churches and revivals to sing. In 1957, Ruben Bean joined the group playing guitar. Two years later, he and Peg married. Later, Ruben would move to bass vocals. They recorded their first long-play record, The Family Prayer, in 1968 at Tri-State Recording Studio in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Dora and Carol decided to retire from the group in 1971, so it was only natural that Connie and Sheryl, Peg and Ruben’s daughters, would join the group. In 1983, Sheryl left to fulfill her obligations as a pastor’s wife, and it was then that Carol returned.
In 1987, Roger Fortner was hired to play guitar for the group. He later married Peg and Ruben's daughter Connie. Carol left for a few months and Bonnie White sang her part, but Carol returned in 1989. In 1999, Connie and Roger's son, Elijah, began to appear regularly on stage with the group quoting scripture and singing from time to time. Eli began playing rhythm guitar on stage with the McKameys in 2006. The group remained unchanged until March of 2009 when Carol retired from the road and Sheryl returned.
The group hosts an annual event known as “Hometown Sing” in Clinton, Tennessee every June. 2008 marked the 25th year of the Hometown Sing.
The McKameys are known all over the country for their spirit filled singing and their country charm. Peg McKamey Bean is famous for becoming filled with the spirit and kicking off her shoes during hit songs such as “I’ve Won”, “God on the Mountain”, and “Do You Know How It Feels?” When "Between 12 And 23" went to number one on the Singing News monthly airplay chart in November 2009, the McKameys took sole possession of the record for the most number one songs in the history of the chart. They increased their overall record to 16 number one songs in June 2010 with "I Keep Praying."
(Kristopher Hise contributed to this article.)
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