“TOUCHED” Receives 2014 Life Time Achievement Award
Bahamian Gospel Legends “TOUCHED” received the 2014 Rev.Arthur “Preacher” Rolle Life Time Achievement Awards during the recently held Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards on Saturday July 26th 2014 at the Diplomat Center in Nassau, Bahamas. The group received the award for their years of invaluable contribution towards the development and advancement of Bahamian and Caribbean Gospel Music.
In the mid 1970’s, a group of musicians met through local promoter Van Ferguson’s Inter High School Talent Competition. Initially they did not all know each other, but through the course of competing, admired the gifts that each brought to the table and merged into a group called Sweet Exorcist. After spending a considerable amount of time in the studio the group eventually released a single called “Will you come out to play”. That song spoke of the direction that most members were heading in 1980 and this eventually led to three (3) members of the group, Leroy “Tinkle” Hanna, Michael “Sarge” Hanna, and Dannie Wilson (Too serious for a nick name) finding a new purpose in Jesus. Subsequently all three (3) men left the group Sweet Exorcist and moved immediately in the direction of Evangelism through music and formed a new group calling themselves “Touched Productions”.
Early in the process of building Touched Productions, the trio was joined by a gifted composer and keyboardist, Mr. Timothy Treco. The initial four members began writing and recording music, which led to a number of sessions at the world famous Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, owned at that time by former Island Records CEO Chris Blackwell. The result was the production and release of their debut album “New Song”, an eclectic mix of funk, smooth jazz, rock, pop, reggae, and blues. The albums melodies and lyrical content, though often haunting, along with rich layered background vocal harmonies, expressed the joy and release found in a new relationship with Jesus Christ. The album was masterfully crafted to make a strong musical statement and an engaging message of God’s grace. The group was determined not to be defined by the stereo typical gospel music of its day but presented purely on excellent musicianship.
The initial members of the group were songwriter, arranger, keyboards and group leader, Leroy ‘Tinkle’ Hanna, songwriter, technical producer, lead vocalist and drummer Michael ‘Sarge’ Hanna, songwriter and keyboardist Timothy Treco and guitarist Dannie Wilson. Shortly after formation the group acknowledged the need for additional members to carry out the functions for which they were formed; Evangelism through music, so just after recording the album, Ola Treco and Jasmin Rodgers (Major) were added as vocalists. A little later, Stephanie Hanna (Lunn) was added as an additional vocalist then Dave Hanna and Bernard ‘Snucky’ Miller were added on Saxophone and Bass.
The Bahamas responded to the “New Sound” of the group who would later become known simply as “TOUCHED” and they swept the town participating in every major musical event both Christian and secular. The album opened doors for the group’s true mission, evangelism through music. Many persons might recall the sold out concerts particularly at the Polaris Hall in the old Holiday Inn on Paradise Island. The group was also featured in the very first Youth Alive outreach launched by Bahamas Faith Ministries, which featured top performing groups from the U.S.A and the Caribbean. The group became well known throughout the Bahamas in partnership with well known Evangelist, Rex Major, “pointing the way to the good life” through the Direction ’81 and ’85 campaigns.
TOUCHED also partnered with its lead singer Michael ‘Sarge’ Hanna in the production of two landmark national songs, “Cocaine Will Wreck Your Brain” for the ground braking TV documentary Base Street, and “Reach Out Your Hands” (Co-written with Dr. Myles Munroe) for the Hands Across The Bahamas campaign in response to the scourge of drugs and crime in our nation during the mid 1980’s.
Incidental to its main mission, TOUCHED impacted both Bahamian Christian and secular music by moving the musical bar to a higher notch and serving as mentors to a new generation of musicians.
The group would not have achieved its great success outside the support of its original administrative and creative team led by Greg Treco who now lives in Denver, Colorado. Greg was very ably assisted by Melody Hanna and Wendell Williams, the visual artists of the group, or for the genius of Mr. Kendal Stubbs who engineered and co-produced New Song, and for the support and encouragement of Elder Charles Wallace and its home Church, Grace Community Church, Nassau, Bahamas.