Most Influential – #32 – Hemphills

HemphillsThe most influential series continues this week with the artist I rank #32 among Southern Gospel’s most influential artists; the Hemphills.

Joel and LaBreeska Hemphill started recording as a duo, releasing their first album in 1967.  After two duo recordings, the Hemphills would release their first album as a group in 1969.  The group spent their early years with Canaan Records and then moved to the Heart Warming label.  All of the group’s recordings were released on one of these two labels.

The Hemphills most listeners are familiar with happened in 1977 after the departure of Tim McKeithen.  This is when the vocal line up of Joey (baritone), Candy (soprano), LaBreeska (alto) and Joel (lead) would tour until they decided to come off the road in 1990.


  • hemphills1981Joel Hemphill’s songwriting is what brought the Hemphills to the forefront of Southern Gospel music.  In the early years, his music was becoming known through the recording of those songs by the Happy Goodmans.
  • The Hemphills country gospel style endeared them to many fans and left its influence.  Artists that showed the Hemphills influence on their own music include the Browders, Comptons, Diplomats, Hoskins Family, Kenny Parker Trio, McKeithens, Paynes, Sons Family, Spencers and the Telestials.
  • Joel Hemphill was inducted in to the Southern Gospel music hall of fame in 2007.  LaBreeska’s induction is sure to be around the corner.
  • Well Known Songs:  “An Unfinished Task”, “Carry On Church”, “Consider The Lilies”, “Every Need Supplied”, “Good Things”, “He’s Still Working On Me”, “I Came On Business For The King”, “I Can Smile”, “I Claim The Blood”, “It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built The Ark”, “I’ll Soon Be Gone”, “I’m In This Church”, “I’m Not Perfect Just Forgiven”, “It’ll Be Worth Every Mile Of The Trip”, “Jesus Built This Church On Love”, “Let’s Have A Revival”, “Master Of The Wind”, “Not In A Million Years”, “On The Way Up”, “Only Real Peace”, “Paid In Full”, “The Party’s Over”, “Pity The Man”, “Ready To Leave”, “Sing The Glory Down”, “Sweetest Words He Ever Said”, “Walking In God’s Sunshine”, “Well Of Grace” and “When The Clouds Roll Back”.
  • Best Album:  Good Things (1981)

Here is a YouTube clip I found of the Hemphills from 1989 performing “The Party’s Over”.  Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Most Influential – #32 – Hemphills

  1. Good Things was the first album (yes, album) I ever bought. I was seriously 9 or 10 years old and was in love with Candy. I’m pretty sure I loved candy too!

  2. This group & especially the (live) band was a huge influence on me, thx for sharing one of my favorites, The Hemphill’s!

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