In Honor: LaBreeska Hemphill (1940 – 2015)

LaBreeskaLast night (Saturday December 12, 2015), family and friends came together in Nashville TN to celebrate the life and home going of LaBreeska Hemphill.  The Singing News magazine reported that LaBreeska Hemphill passed from this earth on Wednesday December 9, 2015.

LaBreeska was born in to the Happy Goodman Family as her mother Gussie Mae was sister to Howard, Sam and Rusty.  She sang with the group as a young girl.  The Hemphill legacy began when she married Joel Hemphill.  They would go on to have three children (Joey, Candy and Trent) who all traveled with their parents during the group’s career.

Joel and LaBreeska began singing as a duo as Joel began getting recognized for his writing.  As a result, the duo would land a record deal with Canaan Records.  The couples first two duo (only) recordings were released in 1967 (The Country Gospel Style Of Joel & LaBreeska) and 1968 (In Gospel Country) respectively.

The Hemphill’s most noted song came in 1980; “He’s Still Workin’ On Me”.  The song spent eight months at #1 and went on to win song of the year in 1981.  LaBreeska’s rich alto and friendly personality endeared her to many fans.

LaBreeska’s most noted song, “An Unfinished Task”, was first recorded in 1970 (Old Brush Arbor Days).  The group would re-record the song on a 1990, The Hits, recording.  It just so happens both versions of the song were radio singles for the Hemphills.

The song is a fitting tribute to a women who led a full and rich life traveling the country with her family singing the praises of Jesus.  …And when my life on earth is past, there is just one thing dear Lord I ask, don’t let me leave behind an unfinished task…

*All Videos Credited To (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

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