Tiffany, Tonya, and Tara—known professionally as The Haynes Sisters—have been singing and performing on their instruments together since they were children. Their tight three-part vocal harmonies, inspired by such 1940s and 1950s icons as The Andrews Sisters (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”), The McGuire Sisters (“Sincerely”), and The Lennon Sisters—lend a nostalgic timelessness to their first-ever holiday EP, simply titled Christmas. The project will be available on all streaming and downloading platforms on Friday, December 10, 2021.
Recorded in their current home state of Texas, Christmas includes arrangements that will appeal to a wide range of music fans: Gospel, country, pop, and American Songbook standards. Included are the holiday favorites “Winter Wonderland”; a version of “Silver And Gold” from the Rankin/Bass studios, that produced “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated special from 1964, written by Johnny Marks, appearing here with additional lyrics by Tiffany; the traditional hymn “Silent Night”; “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the classic also written by Johnny Marks; the beautiful and rare Christmas praise song “Gift Of Love”; and “Now It Means More,” an original written by Tiffany.
The Haynes Sisters’ new project is not only a celebration of the season, but it represents a reunion for the Texas siblings. The trio’s last recording was their single, “What Child Is This,” released in 2016. In 2012, they released a full album, From The Heart, which is a collection of original tunes. Their beautifully intricate harmonies can also be enjoyed on the release Grace Leads Us Home, featuring a collection of a capella hymns.
Originally born in Arcadia, Florida, and raised in the Port St. Lucie area, The Haynes Sisters were daughters of a Southern Baptist Music and Youth Pastor and his wife. As the family story goes, after Ed and Sandy Haynes were married, they had specific prayers for their family. “Both of them were preacher’s kids, so they grew up in the church, they’re prayer warriors from the get-go and they pray,” explains Tiffany, the redheaded eldest. “They prayed before we were born, and said, ‘Father, we would love to have a singing trio. And if they played stringed instruments, that would be great, too.’”
The couple’s prayers were answered. Tiffany first sang solo in church at age 4. Not long after, Mom and Dad encouraged and taught their three daughters to sing together while on long road trips to and from their grandparents’ houses in Mississippi. Tiffany says, “Instead of fussing, we were singing.” Though their parents never pressured them, the sisters naturally gravitated to their instruments: Tiffany plays violin, Tonya plays cello, and Tara plays violin and viola. Soon enough, The Haynes Sisters were singing and/or performing on strings at church services and regional events; they even performed as part of a nostalgia cover band named The Showstoppers. Once the family moved to Texas, the teenaged sisters found ways to spread the gospel and perform their unique brand of vocal harmonies at corporate gatherings and sporting events.
“Of course, we knew the Southern gospel sound, but we were interested in the three- sister kind of sounds and the harmonies,” says Tiffany. “And that’s how we became known for singing this kind of music in the Dallas area. We would go around singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,’ and ‘Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree,’ all these throwback songs, and of course in the eighties and the early nineties, those were the songs the adults of that time had grown up on.”
After attending a performing arts high school in Dallas, each of the three sisters graduated from the University of North Texas-Denton: Tiffany with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance; Tonya with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film, and Tara with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. The sisters each married and pursued separate musical careers and became mothers. Making music with each other remained a part of their lives throughout, and they were able to come together from time to time to sing. Today, Tiffany is the mother of a special needs child; Tonya is a stage three breast cancer survivor, and Tara endured the heartbreak of several miscarriages and is a busy orchestra teacher. They each continue to lead worship, play cello, viola, violin, and worship and praise in their local churches.
With their unshakable faith, and a desire to continue to bring joy to others through their music, these lovely ladies threw themselves into the recording of this special Christmas set. “We’ve had hurdle after hurdle that we’ve had to overcome to do what we know we’re called to do, which is to be The Haynes sisters and not just sing for the
world, but ultimately do what God’s gifted us to do for His honor and glory. And so, I think now in our forties, we’re resolved to make this happen.”
It was through a high school friend of Tara’s that the ladies were able to connect with Michael-Anthony Taylor, Chairman and CEO of DARE Records. As soon as he heard The Haynes Sisters’ gorgeous vocals, he offered to produce them himself. The resulting Christmas EP is not only a gift to The Haynes Sisters, but to all who listen.
“This is something we can be thankful for and proud of,” says Tiffany. “So, we’re thankful that Michael came along for such a time as this because evidently, our God knew the world needed it right now.”
For more information about The Haynes Sisters, go to www.haynessisters.com.