The most influential series is already off to a great start. If you didn’t get a chance to check out last week’s feature with the Mid South Boys, be sure to do so. It created a bit of buzz. The most influential continues this week with the artist I ranked 39th among the most influential artists in the history of Southern Gospel music; Teddy Huffam and the Gems. Teddy Huffam and the Gems got their start in the Southern Gospel music arena after winning a talent competition at the Hoppers Brothers & Connie annual Watermelon Park singing in 1973.
Up until this point, for the most part, the Southern Gospel music industry was made up of all white artists. Teddy Huffam and the Gems changed that and made a way for black artists to find a home in Southern Gospel music.
- Teddy Huffam and the Gems was the first artist to find success with the Eldridge Fox penned classic, “Gone”. This became a signature song for the group.
- Huffam’s success paved the way for artists that came after: Don DeGrate and Strong Tower, Gospel Enforcers, Larnelle Harris, Charles Johnson and the Revivers, Quinton Mills, Lynda Randle and Scotts.
- Hit Songs: “Gone”, “Heavenly News”, “I’m Rich”, “John The Revelator”, “Living In The Light Of God”, “Oh What A Sunrise” and “Wait’ll You See My Brand New Home”.
- Best Album: Souled Out Live (1977)
Here is a YouTube clip I found of the group from 1982 singing the classic “What A Lovely Name”. Even though the quality is not the best, it was too good not to share. Enjoy!