Bill & Gloria Gaither & Their Homecoming Friends - Bill Gaither Remembers Old Friends
STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20035-DVD262 LABEL: Gaither Music Group SHDVD4615 FORMAT: DVD Music video ITEMS: 1 RRP: £7.99
Reviewed by Chris Tozer
In the 1990s Southern gospel music underwent a tremendous revival in popularity thanks to videos produced by the Gaither family. These Homecoming shows have clearly been reunion gatherings for many of the gospel quartets who toured the States in the early postwar years. Now, decades later, the historic nature of the shows has truly become apparent now that many of these harmonising pioneers have passed away. In this DVD Bill Gaither recollects the music and ministry of seven of those who have died in recent years. He ably narrates his way through live performances from across the years as well as interview footage with each of the artists. Five of the men are among the postwar pioneers who brought Southern gospel music to the masses through the medium of television. They include J D Sumner, the gentle giant who found his way into the Guinness Book of Records by singing the lowest recorded note - a C below low C. Sumner performed with the Blackwood Brothers back in 1954 and later sang gospel with Elvis Presley. James, the youngest of the actual Blackwood Brothers, sang with the quartet as early as 1934 so there's plenty of historic footage of his career. Also featured is Glen Payne, lead singer with another rival outfit the Cathedral Quartet. The other two Southern gospel veterans were both pianists. Wally Varner accompanied the Blackwoods whilst Hovie Lister played for their rivals, the Statesmen. The television footage of Hovie in the '50s is really quite a revelation. I had always thought of Southern gospel as deeply earnest stuff but Hovie's lively performance bore a marked though respectful resemblance to the shows of early rock and rollers like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. The sadder stories are of the pair who died relatively young - Bill Gaither's brother Danny and Anthony Burger - a highly talented pianist with the Gaither Vocal Band who died during a performance on a cruise liner. All these seven Homecoming friends are touchingly recalled through stories, interviews and above all through their music.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
Join Bill Gaither as he remembers some of gospel music's most inspiring personalities: his heroes. These keepsake videos go behind the scenes to tell the stories of gospel pioneers and trendsetters.
Through rare interviews, conversations and vintage television clips from the 40s, 50s and 60s, Bill Gaither invites you to discover the unique individuals who have shaped the music we love. These remarkable videos are sure to entertain, inform and inspire!
They feature the best songs and performances from these popular Homecoming Friends including Glen Payne, James Blackwood, J.D. Sumner, Hovie Lister, Wally Varner, Danny Gaither and Anthony Burger.