The McKameys is a professional Southern Gospel group based in Clinton, Tennessee, that records on the Horizon Records label.

The McKameys presently consists of Ruben and Peg Bean, Sheryl Farris, Connie Fortner, Roger Fortner, and Eli Fortner.

Group history

The group first organized in 1954 as a trio of sisters: Dora, Peg and Carol McKamey. Because their father was a Christian minister, the girls grew up singing in church. One day Dora announced to her astonished sisters that they were going to sing with her in church the next Sunday as a trio. "She gathered us up in her kitchen, started singing and we each found our parts," Peg explained. "We just thought we were gonna sing that one time, in her home church, but different people heard us and invited us to sing at their church or at revivals. Then out of town evangelists heard us at the revivals and invited us to come to their church and we started traveling to Florida and Indiana and Ohio, and that's how it all started."

There have been several changes in the group's makeup over the years. In 1957, Ruben Bean started playing guitar for the trio, and he and Peg married two years later. While their daughters, Connie and Sheryl, were growing up they traveled with their mom, dad and aunts when the group was on the road. After Dora and Carol retired from the trio in 1971, Connie and Sheryl stepped in to take over their parts.

In the mid-1980s, Sheryl retired from the group. At that time, Carol returned to the group, now made up of Peg, Connie, Ruben and Carol with Roger Fortner playing guitar.

Performances and honors

On average, the McKameys play approximately 150 bookings annually throughout the United States and Canada. With sixteen #1 singles, the group was honored by Horizon Records in 1999 for having the most number one hits in the history of Southern Gospel Music. Peg has been named Favorite Female Vocalist by the Singing News at its annual fan awards. From 1981 through 1999 they released an album a year filled with music with a message that their fans are eager to hear. Some of the music is written by daughter Sheryl and the remainder comes from songs sent to them in the mail or handed to them on tapes at concerts. The McKameys also hold the record for having the most #1 songs on Singing News magazine's charts.