The Myles Family

Gospel Group, Kosciusko

The Myles Family is both a family and a gospel group based in Kosciusko. Reverend Marvin Myles, Sr., the father of the family and leader of the group, grew up singing gospel with his brothers in Friars Point. The brothers performed for many years as the group Sons of Wonder. Reverend Myles and his wife Olivia settled in Lyon, just north of Clarksdale, to pastor local churches and raise their family. In 1986 the Myles children (LaShondra, Keith, Samantha, Marvin II, and Melvin) sung together in front of an audience for the first time, substituting for another group that wasn’t able to perform. The response from the crowd was so positive that Reverend Myles and Mrs. Myles began working with them. The Reverend began teaching them to sing together and training their voices and Olivia Myles composing songs for the group.

The group performs a mixture of material, from traditional spirituals sung a cappella to contemporary songs that they compose themselves. Two additional musicians, Stephen Simmons and Ua’Relaro Smith, join Reverend Myles and his five children in their performances. They perform throughout Mississippi on a regular basis and have performed out-of-state at the 1997 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Kennedy Center (as part of the “Millennium Stage” series in 1999), and at the Notodden Music Festival in Norway. They are also long-time members of the Arts Commission’s Artist Roster. The family has released three recordings. Their most recent, MyleStone, was released in 2001 on Voyage Records. The family relocated from the Delta to the Kosciusko area in 2000.

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