Instruments: Piano
Date of Birth: 1907
Place of Birth: Gadsden, Alabama

Dwight Moody Brock's sister, Lena, married G.T. "Dad" Speer. Dwight was a spectacular piano player. He would, in fact, emerge as one of the great innovators of gospel piano accompaniment, recording extensively for Victor and merging jazzlike rhythms with the new up-tempo quartet songs. "As far as I know, I was the first rhythm piano player on gospel songs," he recalled. "I learned a lot of my piano from my father, and took lessons from Anita Crider. I finished high school in Athens, and learned all I knew about the piano at that time. I practiced about eight hours a day." In 1927 he joined the new Stamps Quartet and traveled with them to Atlanta to make their first recordings; one of the cuts was one of the first recordings of "Give the World a Smile Each Day," a best-seller which became a southern gospel standard - and the piano parts for which had young pianists all over the South sitting up to take notice.

In the Spirit: Alabama's Sacred Music Traditions
Seven-shape-note Gospel Music in Northern Alabama:
The Case of the Athens Music Company
by Charles Wolfe

Dwight Moody Brock of Gadsden, Alabama, is credited with a first in gospel quartet history. Brock was hired by Frank Stamps to be pianist for the All-Star Quartet, and according to Brock, this was the first time a fifth man was hired to play for a quartet, usually one man played and sang also. Brock accompanied Frank Stamps and the All-Stars when they became the first gospel quartet to be recorded by a major record label, RCA Victor. They recorded the song "Give the World a Smile," a song that grew to be symbolic of the quartet phenomena. The importance of a talented accompanist such as Brock should not be underestimated, for gospel music is arranged primarily for the piano rather than the singer.

From "It Just Comes On Down"
T.B. Mosley and Sand Mountain's Gospel Music Part II
by Jenny Lynn Smith

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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