“The Voice of the Bears” and one of the most well-known voices in gospel music will team up Monday. Lauren Talley, lead vocalist for award-winning Christian music trio The Talleys, will join Rick Cameron in doing play-by-play commentary for the Mercer men’s basketball game. Talley will also sing the national anthem before the game.
Talley has been performing with her parents, Roger and Debra, in The Talleys since 1996. The group has had 11 No. 1 songs on Singing News and Absolutely Gospel music charts. Lauren Talley also has recorded seven solo albums, including two that she released simultaneously in 2019. She tours both with The Talleys and as a solo artist.
On April 29, Talley replied to a tweet in which evangelist, author and Bible teacher Beth Moore asked “What are five things you’d do if you could still do what you do but had the margin to pursue other stuff just for fun?” Talley included sports broadcasting in her list of five. Six months later, her wish is coming true.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Talley, who lives in Morristown, Tennessee. “People always ask, ‘If you weren’t doing music, what would you do for a living?’ I’ve always thought that would be a fun career. I get a little taste of that Monday night.”
Rob Saxon, Mercer’s assistant director of digital communications and friend of Talley, knows Talley is a big sports fan and connected her with Cameron. Before long, she was tapped to sing the national anthem, and Cameron asked if she’d like to join him in the broadcast booth as the special guest color analyst. She doesn’t have any prior connection to Mercer, but she’s ready to be an honorary Bear.
“Rob has told me all about the school, and he’s already hooked me up with some Mercer swag. I will be repping Mercer that night,” she said. “I am a die-hard University of Tennessee Volunteers fan. Since we’re not playing Mercer that night, I see no conflict of interest there.”
Talley has been doing her homework and watching film of the Mercer team to prepare for this guest role. She wants to make sure she’s familiar with Mercer and its players before she steps into the booth.
“I do emcee work and announcing for concert events on occasion, but this is my first time to do something sports-related,” she said. “I hope everyone will tune into the broadcast to hear a newbie have a go at it alongside a veteran (sports announcer).”
After a weekend of solo concerts, Talley will drive from the Piedmont area of North Carolina to Macon on Monday. She has been to Macon before to perform concerts, but she hopes to be able to spend some time touring the Mercer campus and getting to know the University, its history and its people before the game.
Listen to Monday’s Mercer broadcast on The Creek 100.9 FM. Follow Talley on Facebook at @laurentalleymusic and on Instagram at @lauren_talley on Monday as she posts about her experience, and listen to her music on her YouTube channel.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Talley.