In 1936, William and Helen Hemsley (Brian Geraghty, Amanda Crew) welcome identical twin boys into the world. But their joy is quickly tempered by a sobering realization; how could they give these children any kind of a life beyond the desperate poverty that haunted many families in the midst of the Great Depression? When evangelist Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) reveals that he and his wife Louise (Ashley Judd) cannot have children, William feels the Lord's prompting to give them one of the infant boys. Both brothers are born with passion, drive and awesome musical talent, but take very separate, yet converging paths. Drexel Hemsley (Blake Rayne) rises like a comet and changes the music world forever. His adopted brother, Ryan Wade (also played by Blake Rayne) struggles to find the purpose for his life. All the way into manhood he wrestles with pleasing Reverend Wade, his loving but controlling father, who is convinced his son Ryan is called into the ministry. Ryan is encouraged by his .