Gaither Vocal Band

  (Redirected from The Gaither Vocal Band)

The Gaither Vocal Band is an American southern gospel vocal group, named after its founder and leader Bill Gaither. On March 1, 2017, it was announced that the Gaither Vocal Band lineup consisted of Reggie Smith, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, Todd Suttles, and Bill Gaither. Although the group started out recording contemporary Christian music in the 1980s, it became known for southern gospel after the popularity of the Gaither Homecoming videos.[1]

Gaither Vocal Band
Gaither Vocal Band in 2014
Gaither Vocal Band in 2014
Background information
Also known asNew Gaither Vocal Band (1981–1984)
GenresChristian, southern gospel, contemporary Christian
Years active1981–present
LabelsSpring Hill Music Group
Associated actsLarnelle Harris, Russ Taff, Steve Green, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Mark Lowry, David Phelps
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersBill Gaither
Reggie Smith
Wes Hampton
Adam Crabb
Todd Suttles

The lineup of the band changes often, with artists leaving to work on solo careers, and new and old ones coming to replace them. Besides Bill Gaither, singers with the longest tenure in the band include Guy Penrod (1995–2008), Mark Lowry (1988–2002, 2009–13), Michael English (1985–94, 2009–13), David Phelps (1997–2005, 2009–17) and Wes Hampton (2005–present).

The band has released 29 albums (not including compilations), at least 19 of which have charted. The band has also released 10 DVDs, which feature many other Christian artists as well. The Gaither Vocal Band has been honored with two Grammys and 17 Dove Awards.

HistoryEdit

BeginningsEdit

The Gaither Vocal Band is named after gospel legend and leader Bill Gaither.[2] It was the successor-group of the Bill Gaither Trio. By the 1980s, Bill Gaither, along with wife Gloria Gaither, were both very successful songwriters.[3] For example, their song, "He Touched Me" was covered by Elvis Presley, after which he even named his album He Touched Me. Presley won a Grammy for the album.[4] Bill Gaither felt that his trio had reached its peak in the mid-1980s, but his desire to make another gospel hit kept the trio going.[2]

The original Vocal Band (called the New Gaither Vocal Band) was formed spontaneously, backstage of a Gaither Trio concert. It consisted of Bill Gaither and Gary McSpadden of the trio, along with two of the trio's backup singers, Steve Green and Lee Young. The quartet sang "Your First Day in Heaven" on stage that night.[5] Their debut album, the self-titled The New Gaither Vocal Band, debuted in 1981.

According to the liner notes of the CD compilation The Best of the GVB, the term "vocal band" was used instead of "quartet" because it did not limit Gaither in terms of sound or number of group members. According to Steve Green on the Gaither Vocal Band Reunion video, he came up with the name and convinced Gaither to use it because he, at the time, did not want to be associated with "quartet music".[citation needed]

Lee Young left the group in 1982, and Jon Mohr was hired as the new bass singer. They then recorded the album Passin' The Faith Along. Later, tenor Steve Green left and Larnelle Harris was hired. This group cut the New Point Of View album before Mohr left.

Widespread popularityEdit

Michael English was hired as the new lead singer, so McSpadden was moved down to baritone, and Gaither dropped to the lowest part. At this point the group dropped the "new" part of their name. Although the previous album (New Point of View) had been more contemporary than its predecessors, the album with this version of the group (One X 1) took it even further. After this album, Larnelle left and was replaced by Lemuel Miller. The group did not record an album with Lemuel before he too left. He was replaced by Imperials alumnus, Jim Murray. This line up cut one album (Wings) before Gary McSpadden left to start his solo career. Mark Lowry was convinced to replace him. Along with a great voice, Lowry added comedy to the mix. Their Gospel roots project Homecoming in 1991 caused most Southern Gospel fans to welcome the Vocal Band with open arms. Jim Murray left and was replaced by Terry Franklin. The album Southern Classics was released in 1993 with the hit "I Bowed On My Knees". (This song was co-writers by Jeremy Ward)

Later Michael English left. He was replaced by Buddy Mullins. Mullins was only a temporary fill-in, but he was included on the album Testify. Terry Franklin soon left and was replaced by yet another Imperials alumnus, Jonathan Pierce (formerly known as Jonathan Hildreth, his first and last name—then changed to his first and middle name). Strengthened by the popularity of the Homecoming video series, the Vocal Band added Guy Penrod at lead. After Pierce's departure, Gaither hired David Phelps at tenor. After Lowry's departure, Imperials alumnus Russ Taff sang baritone for a couple of years. Marshall Hall was his replacement. Wes Hampton succeeded Phelps in 2005.

The group has had three number one songs on the Singing News chart. "Yes, I Know" held the top position from July to October 1997, as did "I Will Go On" in November 2006. "Greatly Blessed" was their third number one single. The group has routinely performed classic Southern Gospel songs including many written by Bill and Gloria Gaither like "He Touched Me", "I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary", and "Sinner Saved By Grace."

ReunionEdit

In July 2008, the vocal band recorded a reunion DVD at the Gaither Studios — The Gaither Vocal Band Reunion, Volumes 1 and 2. Except for Jonathan Pierce, Terry Franklin, and Lemuel Miller, the former and present members appeared and performed. The two CDs debuted in the top two positions on Billboard's Contemporary Christian Album chart, marking the Gaither Vocal Band's first No. 1 on the Christian Album chart. The DVDs of the same title debuted in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions on the Music Video charts as well. It also garnered a Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country, Bluegrass Gospel Album.[6]

The quintetEdit

 
Gaither Vocal Band, 2009

In January 2009, Marshall Hall and Guy Penrod left. Gaither brought back some former members: Michael English as lead vocal, Mark Lowry as baritone and David Phelps as tenor. The first album by this five-member version was Reunited, released in September 2009. It was also the first album of the vocal band ever to feature only songs written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. A live album called Better Day was released in January 2010. In August 2010, they released the long-awaited album called Greatly Blessed, followed by I Am A Promise, a children's album, released in August 2011. Their most recent album was Pure & Simple, released in September 2012.

In October 2013, it was announced that Mark Lowry and Michael English would be leaving the group to devote more time to their solo careers.[7] English's departure was immediate whereas Lowry stayed on until they could find another baritone to replace him. Their last album as members, Hymns, was released in March 2014[8][9] and was nominated for a Grammy Award the following December.[10] After their departure, several guests filled-in until two new members could be found. In January 2014, it was announced that Adam Crabb (of The Crabb Family) would join the group as the fourth member and lead singer.[11] Todd Suttles joined the group as the baritone singer one month later.[12]

Following their formation, the new quintet would go on to release a limited edition album, The New Edition, which could only be purchased at concert performances. In October 2014, the group released their first album together, entitled Sometimes it Takes a Mountain.[13] Five months later, that album was followed by a two-DVD live performance release and the release of their second album (a live performance album), Happy Rhythm.[14] Upon release, the DVDs debuted at the top of Billboard's Music Video chart (Sometimes it Takes a Mountain at #1 and Happy Rhythm at #2).[15] In August 2016, the group's album Better Together was released.

In March 2017, it was announced that David Phelps would be leaving the group on April 1, and Reggie Smith would join the group as tenor.

In October 2017, this line-up released their first studio album, entitled We Have This Moment.

In October 2018, there was another Gaither Vocal Band Reunion. It was a two-day concert, recorded live. Except for Steve Green, all of the past and present members who were at the first reunion performed.[16]

Members (past and present)Edit

Line-upsEdit

1980–1982
(As "The New Gaither Vocal Band")
1982–1983 1983–1985
  • Steve Green – Tenor
  • Gary McSpadden – Lead
  • Bill Gaither – Baritone
  • Jon Mohr – Bass
  • Larnelle Harris – Tenor
  • Gary McSpadden – Lead
  • Bill Gaither – Baritone
  • Jon Mohr – Bass
1985–1987
(Now simply "The Gaither Vocal Band")
1987 1987–1988
  • Larnelle Harris – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Gary McSpadden – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Lemuel Miller – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Gary McSpadden – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Jim Murray – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Gary McSpadden – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
1988–1992 1992–1994 1994
  • Jim Murray – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Terry Franklin – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Terry Franklin – Tenor
  • Buddy Mullins – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
1994–1995 1995–1997 1997–2001
  • Jonathan Pierce – Tenor
  • Buddy Mullins – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Jonathan Pierce – Tenor
  • Guy Penrod – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • David Phelps – Tenor
  • Guy Penrod – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
2001–2004 2004–2005 2005–2009
  • David Phelps – Tenor
  • Guy Penrod – Lead
  • Russ Taff – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • David Phelps – Tenor
  • Guy Penrod – Lead
  • Marshall Hall – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Wes Hampton – Tenor
  • Guy Penrod – Lead
  • Marshall Hall – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
2009–2014 2014–2017 2017–present
  • David Phelps – Tenor
  • Wes Hampton – Tenor
  • Michael English – Lead
  • Mark Lowry – Baritone
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • David Phelps – Tenor
  • Wes Hampton – Tenor
  • Adam Crabb – Lead
  • Todd Suttles – Baritone, Bass
  • Bill Gaither – Bass
  • Reggie Smith – Tenor
  • Wes Hampton – Tenor
  • Adam Crabb – Lead, Baritone
  • Todd Suttles – Baritone, Bass
  • Bill Gaither – Bass

TimelineEdit

Singers are listed in the following order: (1) tenor, (2) lead, (3) baritone, (4) bass.

DiscographyEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Category Nominated work Result
1991 Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album Homecoming Won
1994 Southern Classics Nominated
1998 Back Home in Indiana Nominated
2003 Everything Good Nominated
2004 A Cappella Nominated
2007 Give It Away Nominated
2009 Lovin' Life Won
2015 Best Roots Gospel Album Hymns Nominated

GMA Dove AwardsEdit

Year Category Nominated work Result
1992 Southern Gospel Album Homecoming Won
1994 Southern Classics Won
Southern Gospel Song "Satisfied" Won
1995 "I Bowed on My Knees" Won
1999 Southern Gospel Album Still The Greatest Story Ever Told Won
1999 Southern Gospel Performance "I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary" Won
2000 Southern Gospel Album God Is Good Won
2001 Southern Gospel Song "God Is Good All The Time" Won
Southern Gospel Album I Do Believe Won
2002 Southern Gospel Song "He's Watching Me" Won
2003 "More Than Ever" Nominated
Country Album Everything Good Nominated
2007 Southern Gospel Song "Give It Away" Won
Southern Gospel Album Give It Away Won
2009 Lovin' Life Won
Christmas Album Christmas Gaither Vocal Band Style Nominated
2010 Southern Gospel Album Reunited Won
Greatly Blessed Won
Song of the Year "Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored" Nominated
2011 Southern Gospel Song "Better Day" Won
2013 Southern Gospel Performance "Glorious Freedom" Nominated
Bluegrass Song "Come to Jesus" Nominated
Southern Gospel Album Pure and Simple Won
2015 Southern Gospel Artist of the Year Gaither Vocal Band Won
2017 Won
2018 Won

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gaither Vocal Band". Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "August 28, 2009 ~ Gaither Gospel Singers | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly". PBS. August 28, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Bill Gaither – Biography, Albums, Streaming Links – AllMusic".
  4. ^ Bush, John. "He Touched Me – Elvis Presley : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  5. ^ "Gaither Vocal Band". United Singers International. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Gaither Vocal Band Receives Early Valentines". The Judy Nelon Group. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  7. ^ Music, Gaither. "Announcing... Gaither Vocal Band Personnel Changes".
  8. ^ Music, Gaither. "Gaither Vocal Band: Hymns Preorder".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Music, Gaither. "Grammy Nomination for GVB".
  11. ^ "The Gaither Vocal Band Welcomes Adam Crabb!". Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Music, Gaither. "A New Era Begins For The Gaither Vocal Band".
  13. ^ Music, Gaither. "New Gaither Vocal Band CD Releasing this October!".
  14. ^ Music, Gaither. "2 New Gaither Vocal Band Releases!".
  15. ^ Music, Gaither. "New DVDs Top Billboard at #1 & #2!".
  16. ^ "Bill Gaither Announces Gaither Vocal Band Reunion - Live Concert Event!". Premier Productions. April 10, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.

External linksEdit