Dogwood…Down The Road

Dogwood S&A&R at Koin

Dogwood 1975…Steve, Annie, Ron

A lot of our friends may not be aware that in the mid and late 1970’s we were part of a Christian music group called, Dogwood. It started as a trio consisting of the two of us and a long-time friend from West Virginia named Ron Elder.

We started as the “house band” at Koinonia Coffehouse located on Music Row in Nashville. The photo to the left shows us on stage at Koinonia. For two years we provided live music at the coffeehouse and the invitations started coming to travel to other cities and sing.

Then in 1977 when our firstborn, Nathan, came along Annie requested a “promotion” to motherhood. To replace her, Ron Elder and I enlisted the help of a five piece band from Monroe, Louisiana called, “East of The Altar.” (Annie always said with some deserved satisfaction, “It took five men to replace me!”) Here’s the band

Dwood river

Dogwood…on the road

in a photo taken while we were traveling through Wyoming in 1979. Left to right are Stan Armour (keyboards), Ken Fletcher (bass/harmonies), Ron Elder (acoustic/lead vocals), yours curly, Mike Upshaw (sound engineer), David Crockett (electric guitar), Mark Smith (drums).




Dogwood continued to travel for the next couple of years and during that time the configuration of the group was reduced in size to a trio. Ken Fletcher (second from the left) stayed with Ron and me, as well as Mike Upshaw. In late 1979, as painful as it was, I felt it was time to cease traveling so much and being away from Annie and our son. We were also expecting with our second child so it seemed the right time to make an exit from the group.

With four recordings in our history, Dogwood was considered to be one of the pioneer groups in Contemporary Christian Music. I’m most grateful to have been a part of it and though I was convinced that it was good that Annie and I begin working together as a duet, I missed the group and the music we made.

It was an exciting phone call to receive from our friend, Al Jaynes, and asked if Dogwood could be a part of the Koinonia Family Reunion. Al was in leadership at the church we attended (Belmont Church in Nashville) and was hungry to hear the music that was heard so often at Koinonia Coffehouse that was across the street from the church.

Ron agreed to participate and Annie convinced us to perform at the reunion in Dogwood’s final configuration which included Ken Fletcher. As it turned out, though we all wanted Annie to be on stage with us, the night of the event she had absolutely no voice due to a severe case of laryngitis.

Ken Fletcher, Ron and I rehearsed for the event and when our son and Nashville music producer, Nathan, heard the music he had grown up hearing he affectionately suggested that we take our rehearsal into a studio and let him record it. We agreed to do so and the recording, that we titled, “Dogwood…Down The Road,” became a souvenir disc for those who attended the reunion.

Dogwood DTRoad cover backRecently, Ken decided to create a beautiful new cover sleeve for the CD to make available to his clients in his business (Fletcher Financial Group) based in Monroe, Louisiana. On the back of the sleeve is a photo of the three of us then and now. (Time has had its affect…but aren’t we the better for it!)

Thankfully, our friend, Brian Mason, who assisted Al Jaynes with the planning of the reunion concert, made sure the event was filmed. The result was several of the songs landing on   You Tube for folks to see. One of those clips is included here.

If you would like to get a copy of the newly covered and released recording of the Dogwood…Down The Road CD it is now in our store here at this website in the music section or you can click on the front cover photo here to get there.

Dogwood DTRoad cover

Thanks so much for reading about this part of our musical history and as Dogwood always sang to those who we were privileged to stand before, we encourage you to…

keep on walking!


  1. Hello wow! I was really glad to find this, in 1972 my wife and I moved from California to northern Indiana and we saw Dogwood at a concert there I can’t remember exactly where it was but it was in Indiana and we really really enjoyed it. I had your album for many years after but unfortunately it was lost in one of our moves. We are back home in California now and I was very blessed to hear the song the News… I’ve had it in my memory all these years and I’ve always remembered that song and it was great to hear it again after all these years…I am a guitarist and played for years and toured with a Christian band for several. Never forgot that song! Bless you!

    • Steve and Annie says

      Huge thanks for your remembering Dogwood. It was a great era
      for Christian music. We are grateful to have been a part of it.
      The News remains one of our most favorite songs to do. Can’t go
      wrong when the lyrics are from the Word.
      Blessings to you and keep on walkin’!
      Steve Chapman

    • Brian Kern says

      It was at the Living Spring coffeehouse in South Bend Indiana. I was part of the group of brothers that sponsored the concerts there so I remember booking them and getting to know them.

  2. Hey Steve and Annie
    I have enjoyed your music all these years. I still own all your albums Dogwood and Steve and Annie Chapman albums and songs like Daddy please find a reason and second honeymoon Great stuff.
    I’ve been a street musician in the San Francisco Bay Area for 40 years and have used a lot of your songs in my street ministry. So Thank You and God Bless You Tim Moon

  3. Loyal Barber says

    Had to look you guys up. My kids recently purchased for me a new turntable. Back in the day I was a Vinyl nerd. So I pulled out all of my old Vinyl which includes four Dogwood albums. My wife and I loved Dogwood back in the day and especially one song that has stuck with us most mornings since then. “Snuggles” is our excuse to stay in bed five more minutes and love on each other. Well, today I opened my copy of “Out in the Open” and found that it is in the best possible condition. I am talking mint in every sense of the word. I am listening to it now with tears in my eyes as I capture it from the LP into my computer. That one song, Snuggles, has helped us through our 34 1/2 years of marriage.

    • Steve and Annie says

      Loyal…Much thanks for your kind words about “Snuggles.” Thanks, too, for your appreciation of Dogwood. It is a blessing to hear that the music made such a positive impact on your marriage. Bless you for letting us know!
      Keep on walking’!
      S&A Chapman

  4. I always had to climb up on the window sill at the Koinonia coffee house. It was the only place left to sit. Those days as a young college student helped me to find God in a way that has sustained me through every turn in the road, including being widowed three times. I know that banjo will be in the heavenly orchestra. So wonderful to find you online.

    • Steve and Annie says

      We’re so grateful for your kind words. What a blessing to know the music was helpful during such trying times. Blessings on your journey…
      keep on walkin’!

  5. Robert W. Landry says

    I saw you all in Memphis in 1976. I had collected all your recordings, that I knew of, on vinyl and then cassette. They held me up while I was in Korea and during some very rough days since. Alas, I have lost all those recordings and I miss them greatly. Your music and presence has had a profound effect on me. Is there a place where I can purchase them again?

    • Don Renollet says

      A lot of the tunes are on amazon, youtube too. i love them too. saw them in Indianapolis many times. in the 70s, its a part of me now 🙂

  6. I am still digging up and listening to Dogwood these many years later. I actually visited the Koinonia book shop in Nashville when I went for prayer from some friends there, which is where I picked up one of your albums. Forgive me, my memory is bad; it’s the one with the Dogwood tree on it. I love all your music.

  7. Don Renollet says

    I was a young teen when Dogwood came thru central Indiana, Indianapolis, Greenfield, etc a number of times. Precious memories. some of the best times of my life discovering the gospel, and new music – thank you for sharing

  8. Saw you and Ron with your group in the seventies at North Fort Worth Baptist Church. What a great concert. I have several of your albums and have always enjoyed your music. I found it to be inspirational and really good music. Would love to hear how to obtain any of your music on MP3 if possible.

  9. John Morgan says

    What a great memory. I have great memories of going to Koinonia and having tea with my parents. At that time (1976) we were members of Millersville Assembly of God and Dogwood performed for us. I vividly remember my mother purchasing a cassette from you which was a big deal as we were somewhat poor at the time. What beautiful music the group made.

  10. Rickey Robinson says

    We found the Lord in 1976 in a little Pentecostal church in Oklahoma
    They were pretty much country gospel which we love ,but one of my prayers
    Was for more modern music and Dogwood, Dallas Holm ect were some of the answers to that prayer

  11. I first heard Dogwood when I was a young believer living in Colorado and studying for the ministry. A friend from Wyoming shared the songs, and they resonated with my spirit. I still listen to them today, almost 40 years later. They continue to bless.

  12. I’m a teenage old soul who loves 60’s & 70’s music, so when I discovered Dogwood, I immediately fell in love!! I love this music with all my heart!! I can’t get enough & I really wish it was on Spotify so I could listen to it even more!! Thank you so much for this music it truly inspires me… especially Love Note!!! Such beautiful, beautiful music!! Thank you so much for spreading God’s love through music!!!

    • Steve and Annie says

      Thanks so much for your kind words about Dogwood. The 60s and 70s was indeed a memorable era of music and we were grateful to have been a part of it. We still sing some of the songs in our live events. We can do so because the messages are timeless. Thanks again for connecting and…keep on walkin’!!!

  13. Roland Batchelder says

    Steve, When I was a Yearling cadet at West Point, you and your family performed at Thayer Hall as guests of the Military Affairs Club – of which I was a member. I will never forget that night. I was going to arrive late for your performance, and as I raced through the frosty winter evening (not easy to do in Dress Grey uniform with short overcoat and scarf!) toward the auditorium, I prayed that I would get to hear you sing, “The Tools for the Trade.” I said, “Lord, please let them sing it, and let me arrive in time!” Don’t you know, the moment I hustled through the doors into the hall, you introduced that very song, and began to sing. I thank the Lord for that blessing and memory. All that to say, your music has been a blessing to me for a long time, and I was wondering how I would purchase the sheet music (for guitar) and lyrics for “Keep on Walking”. I could not find it in the store. Thanks for everything!

  14. Thank you so much for the blessings through your music ministry. Dogwood was by far my first favorite music as a young Christian in the mid 70s. I still have the old records and keep a turntable going to be able to play them still. After getting married in 84 I found the only duplicate in our joint collection of Christian music was your first album. One from her collection and one from mine. A match made in Heaven. Glad to get an update on you. Praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus.

  15. Shawn Goshow says

    You guys came to little church in Alden, New York I believe in the late 70s but I’m not sure. I was young but remember that night. My parents bought a few of your albums and I listened to them often. That would have been some of the earliest Christian music I listened to.

  16. I’m listening to a recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, recorded live at The St. Bernard Civic Auditorium, Louisiana, May 26, 1972. The introductions at the end of the concert notes the rock band was Dogwood. Are you the same Dogwood?

    • Steve and Annie says

      Thanks for asking but the answer is no, that was not us. There was a metal band at that time with the same name.

      • I’m listening to a recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, recorded live at The St. Bernard Civic Auditorium, Louisiana, May 26, 1972. The introductions at the end of the concert notes the rock band was Dogwood. Are you the same Dogwood?

        Thanks for the quick response!

        • Steve and Annie says

          No…not the same Dogwood. We were a trio using acoustic guitars (Peter, Paul and Mary-ish) Thanks for asking. S&A

  17. Jean Ruwe says

    I just watched the dedication of the historic market for Koinonia and Belmont on Amy Grant’s Facebook page. I became a Christian in 1978 and spent as much time as I could there over the two years I lived in Nashville. I was a student at VU. What great memories I have of those days. I was at a marriage conference in Omaha years later and you two were sharing and singing. I am so glad to have found this page and your music again. God bless.

  18. Carl Turner says

    Thanks so much for sharing this information! I had all the Dogwood “cassettes” that were out at the time. I played them constantly in my ’73 Plymouth Duster as I took a carload of airman to church and back on Sundays. This was in the mid to late 70s! I think I may have seen you in Sacramento, but that was so long ago, I don’t remember! I still listen on my iPod! Oh, and I still have those cassettes! 🙂

  19. Still love to hear from you, Steve. This is Bill Brown long time head at BA. I think I ran into you 20 years ago in a motorcycle shop after you and Annie had shared at Brentwood Academy some 20 years earlier. Have loved your ministry and have shared some of your latter youtubes at Bible Studies. Been retired 20 years and my wife, Beth is now at home with the Lord. Am still walking around down here and would enjoy hearing from year if this web site relates.

  20. Ken Jackson says

    I think we saw you in Southeastern PA in 1977 or ’78. Did you do a song about going to the meeting house and finding yourself knocking on the devil’s open door? I have attributed it to you for years but cannot find it on your website.

    • Steve and Annie says

      Wow. You’re going way back into the 1900’s! The group we were in was called “Dogwood” and we did do a song with the imagery noted. It’s called “It’s The Truth.” I’ll send an mp3 of it to your email address. Thanks for remembering and blessings to you.

  21. Clara Hazelwood says

    Steve and Annie, I love your Dogwood songs, especially Keep on Walkin’ and One Lane Road Ahead. Those truths have sustained me along the road sometimes. I’m so glad to find your website.

    • Steve and Annie says

      Clara…what a blessing to see your name. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen your smiling face. Thanks for your comment about the Dogwood songs. God bless you and…keep on walkin’. S&A

  22. Randy Tims says

    Hi Steve and Annie!

    You visited my parent’s (Charles and Priscilla Tims)home in 1981 or so in Memphis. We were already turned on to Dogwood many years before that. I have After the Flood Before the Fire on Spotify, and listen often. Watergrave is favorite! Y’all had an effect on my life- in a good way!

    Keep walking!

    Randy Tims

  23. In the late ’70s, a friend at college loaned me a cassette by group named “Love Note.” Two of the songs on the album “Love Letters” were about a letter from Jesus to His bride-to-be about being patient until He comes for her, and a thank you letter from the bride-to-be back to Jesus, The third song was “Backseat Driver.” Was that your group, or are you familiar enough with it that you will guide me to where I can purchase a copy ~ or at least get the lyrics? I will order your present CD when I am able. Thank you if you can lead me to the “Love Letters” album, cassette or CD. Thank you also for your group’s lovely music for God. God bless you all and your families.

  24. Becky Smith says

    Thank you folks for coming to Trinity Church in San Antonio, TX back in the 70’s. Your songs touched my heart and helped me grow. I especially love Water Grave and Remember Whose Child You Are. I hope your albums are available on CD on Amazon so I can build back my collection.

  25. Linda Hall says

    We just got our turntable hooked up after many years. I pulled out my old Dogwood and Steve and Annie Chapman albums. Such memories. I lived in Nashville and went to The Koinonia Coffeehouse. Some of my fondest memories as an 18-19year old. Christian music helped me stay grounded. Yours was some of my favorites.

  26. Kerrie-Sue Stahl says

    What a blast from the past! I remember seeing you a couple of times in SD in the 70s but my brother gets bragging rights as he was on a plane with our dad headed to Orlando on their way to the Gideon Internation Convention and he got to talk to you. If I’m not mistaken I think you also sang at that same convention.
    BTW, did you and Annie sing a song called “A Miracle and Nothing Less”?

    Be Blessed,

    • Steve and Annie says

      Kerrie-Sue…. We did indeed do a concert for the Gideons. That was quite a while ago, as I put it, back in the 1900’s! And yes, we did a song called “A Miracle and Nothing Less.” Thanks for asking. God bless you and thanks for connecting. SC

  27. David Pattee says

    “Out in the Open” has been one of my favorite albums since it came out. This morning I was reading The Singer by Calvin Miller and when I got to chapter 11 entitled “The Singer” it blew me away with the words used in your song by the same title (which is my favorite song on the album). I would love to hear about how that came about.

    • Steve and Annie says

      David…thanks for connecting and your kind comment about the “Out in the Open” CD. The Singer was written because I read the book and thought Chapter 11 deserved a musical rendition. It was hard to keep the song short enough to qualify for a space on our recording, but we managed to do it and I’m glad we did. Thanks again for your encouraging words. Blessings to you. SC

  28. Jackie Robinett says

    I was introduced to Dogwood (accompanied by East of the Altar) at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, in probably ’77 or ’78. As I heard the story, Abilene Christian College wouldn’t let the group perform on its campus because they used musical instruments, so HSU became the backup venue. That was the most crowded I ever saw Behrens Chapel because it contained not only HSU students but a BUNCH of ACC students! I was touched by the song The Treasure, and I also remember Steve’s little dancing puppet on Go Ahead and Dance. I bought one Dogwood album and one East of the Altar album afterward. I enjoyed the concert so much that I attended a second concert that evening at the Abilene Civic Center downtown. I still enjoy memories of flipping through stacks of records looking for another album by Dogwood or various other Christian artists (granted, the stacks of Jesus music records weren’t very big in those days), and over the years Love Note became and remains my all-time favorite song of any genre.

    • Steve and Annie says

      Jackie…many thanks for your kind words about Dogwood. We do remember vividly the “uproar” that our Abilene concert caused at HSU and ACC. In fact, just recently Annie and I were going through some memorabilia and found a campus paper clipping with a photo on it of two guys wearing T shirts that said, “I have Dogwood tickets.” We were grateful for all the “trouble” we caused since it generated such a crowd. We were never able to duplicate that reaction :)). As for the little wooden dancing man, it is in a shadow box on my office wall, reserved for our grandkids. Thanks for your kind words about “Love Note”. It was one of our favorite songs to do and when Ron Elder, Annie and I do any kind of reunion with the group we always sing it. Ken Fletcher, of East of the Altar, is a close friend today. We’re working on a book together at this time that will include a CD by our daughter, Heidi (Chapman) Beall. Again, we appreciate your report. Blessings to you and…keep on walkin’! SC

  29. Gary Eldridge says

    Steve, I was one of the recent college grads who sat on the floor at Koinonia right in front of the stage every weekend (was it Saturday nights or Friday nights? Can’t remember) and was truly blessed by your music (Dogwood w/East of the Alter). Those are great memories. It was also a real treat for me when you folks showed up one day at Henry and Hazel Slaughter’s studio where I was with a small crew making a series of gospel music TV shows in their studio. I’m now retired from 40 plus years of television production and enjoy singing in a small folk band at my church in Idaho. I’m going to introduce several of your songs as soon as I can get our group to learn them. I would love to see the entire Koinonia reunion video. Perhaps you can direct me to how I could see that. Are there any music sheets I could download of some of your songs? Just loved Jesus is Coming Soon, I’m Gonna Leave My Troubles and Keep on Walking. Also looking forward to getting your latest CD as all of my old cassettes of Dogwood have been lost. God’s blessing to you and Annie.

  30. A friend quoted some of your lyrics today on Facebook and my old brain took forever to come up with Dogwood, but a little Googling here y’all are! I heard you at a coffee shop in Champaign Urbana (Illinois) in the 70’s. I’m guessing 1977 because in my memory Annie was very pregnant. I was 14, and it was long ago, so who knows? In any case, Dogwood meant a lot to me at that point in my life and conjures up a lot of good memories when I hear it now. So, I thought I’d just say thanks. Grace and peace.

  31. Bruce Williams says

    I played bass with Wink Kelso and Brother Love in San Antonio during the early 80’s and we had the honor of performing on the same concert with Dogwood. The tune that still rings in my ear said something about “journey music” and a “Mrs Reid?” It was a great time to be a Christian musician.

  32. Tina Gifford says

    I was a teenager when our youth group drove 1 1/12 hours down to Koinonia to hear Dogwood. This was our introduction to contemporary Christian music and I still listen to my Dogwood albums that I have kept all through the years. It was a special time and place for so so many!

  33. So much is coming back to me after reading this article. You talked about Dogwood ceasing travel in late 1979. I am betting that the concert you did at LeTourneau College (now LeTourneau University), in Longview, TX was one of the final events. My fiancé, now wife, and I were part of the Student Activities Committee and we took the three of you out to dinner following the show. I remember you talking about getting off of the road over dinner. So much has happened in what is now almost 42 years. God has blessed. Thanks for your continuing ministry.

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