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speer family

The Speer Family

1997 Alabama Music Hall of Fame Life Work Award for Performing Achievement

The Double Springs native, Speer Family, began their rich heritage in 1921 when G.T. "Dad" Speer formed the first Speer Quartet. They were different from the beginning, breaking the barrier in Gospel Music by adding female voices in a field totally dominated by all male quartets. As Dad and Mom Speer's children were born, they were taught the rudiments of music as soon as they could talk. Soon they began joining their parents as permanent members of the group, making it truly The Singing Speer Family. That singing tradition has now carried over to a third generation of Speer family members.

The group has recorded over 70 albums in their career. Five of those have led to Grammy Award nominations. They have received eight Dove Awards for Best Mixed Group of the Year, Doves twice for Best Album and four consecutive years for Best Female vocalist. Music critics have praised their sound, others have imitated their sound. There is not a Gospel group performing today who has not been influenced by the music of The Speer Family. 1996 marked the 75th Anniversary of this first family of Gospel Music. The Speer Family is the recipient of the 1997 Alabama Music Hall of Fame Life Work Award for Performing Achievement.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame | THE SPEER FAMILY

 

The Speer Family, a Southern Gospel family group, was founded in 1921 by George Thomas ("Dad") Speer (1891-1966), his wife Lena ("Mom") Speer, and his sister and brother-in-law Pearl and Logan Claborn.

 

Within two years, the group had become so successful that George Thomas "Dad" Speer decided to make the group full-time. In the late 1920s, the group established a working relationship with the James David Vaughan Music Company, selling songbooks.

However, the group's success proved to be insufficient to support two families' budgets. In 1925, Logan and Pearl Claborn left the group; Logan returned to his job as a carpenter.

 

To fill the void, "Dad" Speer enlisted 5-year-old Brock and 3-year-old Rosa Nell to sing with him and his wife. The group's concerts featured several duet songs by "Dad" and "Mom" Speer, and several songs with Brock singing alto and Rosa Nell singing lead.

In 1934, "Dad" Speer accepted a full-time job with the Vaughan Music Company. This position afforded greater financial security for the family. Also in the 1930s, two more siblings, Mary Tom Speer and Ben Speer, joined the group.

In 1941, James Vaughan died, and the Speer family left his company. They joined the Stamps-Baxter company, a Vaughan competitor, and also became a regular performer on the WSFA radio station.

 

"Dad" Speer died in 1966 and "Mom" in 1967. The group, led by brothers Brock and Ben, underwent various configurations over the next several decades. Ben retired from the group in 1993 although he did appear on occasion with the group until Brock officially retired the Speer Family at the 1998 National Quartet Convention. Ben Speer continues to be involved in Southern Gospel music as the Music Director of the Gaither Homecoming Series, and as owner of Ben Speer's Stamps-Baxter School of Music[1], a Southern Gospel singing school.

Brock died in 1999.

Mary Tom and Rosa Nell continue to make appearances in Gaither Homecoming videos.

The group was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 1998, following individual inductions for "Dad" Speer (1971); "Mom" Speer (1972); Brock Speer (1975); and Ben Speer (1995).

 

References

1^ Ben Speer's Stamps-Baxter School of Music

Source: Speer Family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

More info: Encyclopedia of Alabama: The Speer Family

GOGR Music History - The Speer Family

The Speer Family: Information from Answers.com

 

 

Southern Gospel Heritage Series: The Speer Family, The Speer FamilySouthern Gospel Heritage Series, The Speer Family

Listen: The Speer Family - Download The Speer Family Music on iTunes