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Monday 1st December 1997

Rev Donald Vails passes away

RECORDING artist and National Minister of Music for the Gospel Workshop of America, the Rev Donald Vails, died September 10th, aged 49 after a long illness. Vails recorded numerous albums for Savoy Records. CR

Reader Comments

Posted by Henry McClendon, Jr. in Detroit, MI @ 04:07 on May 18 2014

I was honored to be one of the 300 members of the Operation Love Children's Choir that met in a building on the corner of State Fair and Helen in Detroit, MI. Ed Smith managed our group and Donald Vails was our musician and director. I was always amazed at what he could do with a Hammon organ, his vocal range, and his gift for teaching music. I appreciated him, and was honored to have known him. I look forward to seeing and hearing him again in glory!



Posted by Donna J. Byrd in Detroit/Lincoln Park, MI @ 22:55 on Jan 22 2014

I first heard Donald when he was playing at New Grace in Highland Park, MI. Shortly thereafter, I started attending New Light Baptist Church and it was something about the music that sounded so familiar, only to meet Donald, the late David Ball both through my late best friend, Cornell E. Talley, Jr. did I find out that Donald had been at New Grace prior to coming to New Light where the Choraleers were founded in the basement of New Light. Those were the days! Donald, Cornell, David, James Allen, and many more became my new family after moving here from Cincinnati, Oho in 1969. My relationship with Donald was just a continuation in Gospel Music which started with my mother, the late Mildred B. Marshall- Byrd who played the piano & organ at the First Baptist Church of Hazelwood for 65 uninterrupted years until God called her home in 2002. Along with the late-great Charles Fold, Harold Smith, and many more, my life has been blessed with some of God's greatest musicians/maestoes; I miss all of you dearly. See you in the Rapture. Donald, I can still hear your "stomp!"



Posted by TalentedHands in Atlanta @ 17:02 on Nov 15 2013

I am sad to announce that Donald Vails mother Sadie Vails George passed this morning



Posted by Abraham J. Thomas in Miami @ 04:54 on Oct 22 2013

As a radio announcer for Gospel Music 1490, I fell in love with Home Over The Mountain. I still believe that it one of the most spirit filled instrumentations I have ever had the the joy of litening to. I played it over and over and over. And, to this very day U-Tube it. To God be the Glory for the Great things he has done through the music ministry of Donald Vails.



Posted by Darrell L. Taylo Sr in Sun City, AZ @ 20:31 on Jan 30 2013

I knew Donald as a child. He and my mother, Rev. Thelma Taylor, who at the time was the Minister of Music at New Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Highland PK, MI, started the youth movement in our church with a handful of kids that quickly grew into what is now called a"mass" choir. And Donald's musical genius touched so many including me and I was only maybe 8 or 9, but I can still hear his voice today singing such songs as " GOD Will " and Peace Be Still. I will carry these these songs with me the rest of my life. Mom passed a coupla yrs after Donald did and I know that HEAVEN has been, and still is rejoicing.



Posted by Juan B. Hendrix in Atlanta, Georgia @ 23:40 on Nov 8 2012

Donald Vails was my cousin, and a great inspiration and model of a psalmist and truly one of Gods Chosen! Heavily missed but never forgotten!




Posted by Dr. Cleve A Trosclai in Houston, TX @ 15:43 on Jul 15 2012

As a lil boy I was amazed at his skills on the piano his way of make the instrument actually move you into a hymn is not something we see much of today. I picked up many of his methods and teaching, gone to soon. R.I.P my brother.



Posted by Byron Cage in Washington DC @ 16:41 on May 15 2012

The Late Great Donald Vails was a great mentor, friend and brother. He taught me everything I know about directing and the choir. Simply the Best Choir Master of all times. Thanks for everything Donald.

Byron Cage


Reply by Ethel Josey in United States @ 16:58 on Jul 4 2013

So true

[report abuse]


Posted by the father of hymns in Detroit,michigan @ 18:20 on Apr 23 2012

remembering Donald vails during black history month February 2012 one of Detroit's best rest in his arms donald



Posted by dr. marvin bonner in detroit,michigan @ 04:47 on Oct 8 2011

because of donald vails i am now known as the father of hymns thank you donald my witness is in heaven and my record will be there rest in his arms donald



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