Remembering The Weatherfords

By Vonda Armstrong

If you know much about the history of Southern Gospel Music, you are familiar with the name, Weatherford.

The Weatherford’s were formed by husband and wife Earl Weatherford and Lily Weatherford, who began singing together in the mid-1940s in Long Beach, California, after their marriage in 1944. Earl had founded the group prior to this as an all-male troupe, and Lily began filling in on the tenor parts in 1948, eventually becoming the group’s most visible member. They moved several times over the next few decades, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, Akron, Ohio, Fontana and Sacramento, California (as part of the staff of Calvary Temple), and Paoli, Oklahoma.

The group sang on California radio stations (KFOX- KBGR-KBIG ) in the 1940s, and was offered a full-time spot on radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1949. In the 1950s, they recorded for RCA Victor. In 1959, The quartet’s In The Garden album for RCA was produced by Chet Atkins, and also featured guitar work by Atkins. It was recorded in Nashville at RCAs Studio B.[citation needed] They also worked in collaboration with evangelist Rex Humbard between 1953 and 1963. The group’s other key members at this time were Glen Payne, Armond Morales, and Henry Slaughter.

The Weatherfords departed Akron, Ohio, for California in 1963, and the groups The Cathedrals and The Imperials were formed from members of the Weatherfords at this time as well. (Wikipedia)

Other notable members included Dallas Holm, whose time with the group was short due to his draft requirements during the Vietnam War; Jim Hammel, who went on to be a long-time member of the Kingmens Quartet; David Engles, who now owns and operates a radio network out of Tulsa, Oklahoma (KNYD); and Dave Roland (Dave & Sugar).

The Weatherfords were featured on Greystone Productions: The History Of Southern Gospel Music, that was featured on many PBS stations in the mid 1990s, as well as several of the early editions of the Gaither Homecoming Videos.

Earl Weatherford died in 1992. In 1999, Lily published an autobiography, With All My Heart. She performed with the Weatherfords and retired in June 2013. Earl and Lily Weatherford were inducted into the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame in 2000.

Son, Steve Weatherford stated in his Bio on his website, “My lifetime of music has led me to some wonderful places and I’ve met some great people as these photos show. I look forward to the times ahead continuing to bring quality Gospel music where ever I’m invited. 

Steve and George Younce “back in the day”

As many of you know from several recent posts by SGN Scoops and others, Steve is battling Covid- Pneumonia and is in the hospital in ICU.

So today. We wanted to celebrate The Weatherford’s in honor of Steve and to remind him that he has many friends all over the world  that love his family and are praying for him.