Most Influential – #15 – Gaither Vocal Band

gvb1983This week continues with the artist ranked 15th among the most influential in Southern Gospel history; the Gaither Vocal Band.

If we were doing a series on the most influential individuals in Southern Gospel music, Bill Gaither would most likely be ranked #1.  Bill, along with wife Gloria became a house hold name in the Gospel Music industry in the early 1960’s as their compositions began getting recorded by the biggest artists of that era.

Today, they are heralded as the greatest songwriting duo in Gospel Music history.  After having success with the Bill Gaither Trio, Gaither decided to go back to his first love, quartet singing, and in 1981 the Gaither Vocal Band was born.

That first group was composed of Steve Green (tenor), Gary McSpadden (lead), Gaither (baritone) and Lee Young (bass).  The group would go on to employ some of the biggest voices in Southern Gospel music.

INFLUENCE METER:

  • gaithervocalband2010While the music the GVB was releasing in the 1980’s was cutting edge and fresh, it was the group’s return to more traditional Southern Gospel music in the 1990’s that had the greatest influence.  Assembling and honoring legends with the release of the first Homecoming videos in the 1990’s also had a major impact on the industry.
  • In addition to the members already listed, the GVB had the following voices spend time with the group:  Michael English, Terry Franklin, Marshall Hall, Wes Hampton, Larnelle Harris, Mark Lowry, Jon Mohr, Buddy Mullins, Jim Murray, Guy Penrod, David Phelps, Jonathan Pierce and Russ Taff.
  • The Gaither Vocal Band remain one of the biggest selling recording artists in Southern Gospel music.
  • Hit Songs:  “Alpha And Omega”, “Better Day”, “Build An Ark”, “Can’t Stop Talking About Him”, “Daystar”, “Difference Is In Me”, “Few Good Men”, “Give It Away”, “Glorious Freedom”, “God Is Good”, “Greatly Blessed Highly Favored”, “He Came Down To My Level”, “He’s Watching Me”, “I Shall Wear A Crown”, “I Will Go On”, “I’m Gonna Sing”, “Knowing You’ll Be There”, “Let Freedom Ring”, “Passin The Faith Along”, “Peace Of The Rock”, “Picture Of Grace”, “Rasslin Jacob”, “Singing With The Saints”, “Tell Me”, “There Is A Mountain”, “When Jesus Says It’s Enough” and “Yes I Know”.
  • Best Album:  Greatly Blessed (2010)

 

Here is a YouTube clip, published by GaitherVEVO, of the group performing their current hit; “Glorious Freedom”.  Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Most Influential – #15 – Gaither Vocal Band

  1. There are probably some southern gospel purists who would argue that the GVB doesn’t “count” as pure southern gospel. Bill and Gloria’s songs were more inspirational than SG. You might say that Bill and the GVB were like a crossover act from 70s inspo to southern gospel. But the Homecoming phenomenon really helped with that.

    1. I never understood that. The Gaither Vocal Band has always sang four part male harmony. It doesn’t get more Southern Gospel than that.

  2. After reading the first few sentences of the first post on there exactly who did it without even seeing the name. 🙂

    They have a few albums that I would classify as SG for sure.

    Some of the early ones weren’t really southern gospel then but they come pretty close to fitting in now perhaps at southern gospel has kind of branched out stylewise.

    A correction: The Gaither Vocal Band started out in 1980 regardless of what Bill says. 😉 I have a 1980 Gaither Trio Live Across America 2 Lp set I bought from Target in the 80s that proves me on this. The then unnamed quartet sings “First Day In Heaven.” Lee Young confirmed that date for me long before the reunion.

    I am unsure when the first album was recorded but it was released a 1981. but Lee was with them for about a year I believe.

  3. I meant to put down that part of the Gaither Vocal Band’s deal is they do so many different styles. what’s another southern gospel groups do the same

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