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Darlene Graves and Michael Graves

[William J. ]

(b Alexandria, IN, March 28, 1936). American gospel songwriter, performer, producer, and publisher. He grew up on a small farm in Indiana and graduated from Anderson College with a major in English and a minor in music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and met his future wife and song-producing partner, Gloria Sickal, while both were teaching high school. Gaither started singing gospel music as a child and in 1956 formed the Bill Gaither Trio with his brother Danny and his sister Mary Ann. He started his own publishing company in 1959. He continued to perform and compose while a teacher at Alexandria High School and in 1961 formed the Gaither Music Company to publish his works. After their marriage in 1962, Gaither and his wife wrote their first major song, “He touched me,” which was a significant hit by 1963. He re-formed the Bill Gaither Trio with Gloria and Danny, and in ...

Article

Carrie Allen Tipton

(b Henry, TN, Sept 18, 1938). American gospel music television and radio host, singer, choir director, and media executive. He began singing publicly in the Methodist church as a child, although his first exposure to gospel music came in sanctified churches. His involvement with gospel music deepened in Nashville when he served as keyboard player, singer, and director for church and civic choirs while studying at Tennessee State University. In 1978 Jones recorded the first of many albums with his small ensemble, the New Life Singers, whose aesthetic leaned more toward contemporary Christian music than black gospel. Around this time he began hosting children’s and gospel music shows on Nashville television stations. In 1980 Black Entertainment Television began broadcasting one of these programs, Bobby Jones Gospel. The popular program has featured performances by Jones’s ensembles, established gospel stars, and up-and-coming gospel artists. Firmly within the gospel entrepreneurial tradition, Jones’s other enterprises include music festivals, workshops, radio shows, the gospel opera ...

Article

Horace Clarence Boyer

revised by Roxanne R. Reed

(b Chicago, IL, Aug 29, 1929; d Chicago, IL, Oct 8, 2010). American gospel singer. She began singing at the West Point Baptist Church in Chicago as a little girl, and by the time she was 17 had become part of an ensemble led by Robert Anderson. Walker was sought after to record as a soloist and, reportedly resistant to sing solo, recruited fellow members of Anderson’s group to record with her. After making a decided split from Anderson in 1952, the Original Caravans were formed. Earliest members included Ora Lee Hopkins, Elyse Yancey, and Nellie Grace Daniels. The group was known for close harmonies and earthy singing. Walker’s own voice was a husky contralto sound with a characteristic crack of three or four descending tones while moving through a melodic line. Walker originally sang lead and remained the anchor of the group. She was lead soloist for “Lord, keep me day by day” (composed by Eddie Walker, ...