When the Downing started in 1969, it was Ann that was known to most Gospel music enthusiasts for the time she spent with the Speer Family. Ann, along with husband Paul put together a group that consisted of Paul (bass), Ann (alto), Sue Chenault (Dodge) (soprano), Greg Gordon (lead/tenor) and Dickie Matthews (piano).
The Downings would spend their entire recording career with Benson on either the Heart Warming or Impact labels.
- The Downings is only one of two artists that made the most influential and our most underrated series. The Downings contributions to Southern Gospel music is often overlooked or not fully realized by many Southern Gospel historians.
- I have stated before that the music the Downings were singing in the early part of their career is some of the finest mixed quartet music a listener will ever find in Southern Gospel. The Downings progressive style and arrangements could be heard in groups that came after. They include: Collingsworth Family, Crist Family, Dills, Hopes Call, Lesters, LordSong, Martins, Talleys and Taylors.
- Hit Songs: “A Wonderful Feeling”, “Because He Loves Me”, “Broken Vessel”, “Come On Let’s Praise Him”, “End Was The Beginning”, “Gettin Ready Today”, “God’s Wonderful People”, “Greater Is He That Is In Me”, “Happiness”, “He Rescued Me”, “I Didn’t See Yet I Believe”, “I Feel So Good About It”, “I’ve Got Confidence”, “It’s My Desire”, “Jesus Is Coming Soon”, “Oh I Need Him”, “Oh I Want To See Him”, “On The Sunny Banks”, “Operator” and “Sheltered In The Arms Of God”.
- Best Album: This Is How It Is…Live (1971)
Here is a YouTube clip, published by adkinsda, of the Downings on the Gospel Singing Jubilee television program performing “Exactly What I Need”. Enjoy!