Saturday, April 8, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - April 8

Here are some news items from this week in gospel music -

  • Gospel music legend and Hall of Fame member Ben Speer passed away yesterday morning at age 86. His funeral will be held on Tuesday. Thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time. Read below a few tributes to Ben Speer from fellow artists - 

"I'll never forget the first night I sang with the Booth Brothers. We were in Nashville and I was really just filling in (I thought) but when Ben Speer heard our set, he grabbed Michael Booth walking off stage and said "You found your man!" That night after the concert, in a conversation with Ben and Jake Hess, they both said to me "You fit with these boys and your future is bright." He would often say "If I ever put together The Ben Speer Quartet" I'm calling you!" I will always appreciate how he welcomed me into this music industry with kindness and encouragement. He and I served on the NQC board together and I had the privilege of driving him to a few meetings. I cherish the great advice and wonderful stories he would tell. He was a friend to Gospel music and a friend to us all. Ben Speer will be missed." - Jim Brady

I love the Speer Family! Grateful they paved the way for all us singers! Loved Ben! He was a precious soul! I have no words to explain the bitter/sweet feelings of the passing of my friend Ben Speer! I'll Meet You in the Morning! - Libbi Stuffle

Not much can be added to what everyone has posted about Ben Speer and his transition to heaven this morning .I'll just say the Gospel music world has lost a legend . For me I've lost a friend and mentor. He made me a viable piano player in my time on the road with the Speers.I will never forget those times! You were loved , you will be missed And never forgotten! Prayers for his family at this time - Sue Dodge

In my early days of singing, I had 6 men that took an interest in helping mold whatever it is i've become vocally. Jim Hamill, Glen Payne, George Younce, Neil Enloe, Steve Hurst, and Ben Speer. Today I wake up to the news that Mr. Ben is now realistically "seeing the picture" that he so craftfully and artistically painted with music and words. Rest in peace Mr. Ben. - Mark Trammell

Ben Speer was a pioneer. He fought the good fight, and won. Gospel music owes him an amazing debt of gratitude. I was privileged to sit with him at several NQC events, and glean some incredible words of wisdom. He even tried to teach me shape notes. That didn't go very well. I will not pretend that we were as close as he was to so many in the industry, but his family's influence on me goes back to my childhood. He will be dearly missed, until we meet again. - Pat Barker

  • Prayers also go out to Jeff and Dusty Treece (Sunday Drive) in the loss of their father, Frank Treece. He died suddenly of a brain aneurysm on April 3. 
  • The National Quartet Convention announced the addition of Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band to NQC 2017. The Gaither Vocal Band will be there on Thursday and Thursday afternoon will feature a Gaither Homecoming sing-along. 
Anything I've missed?

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