The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Remembering The Weatherfords

Written by scoopsnews on October 11, 2020 – 3:53 pm -

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.


Tags: ,
Posted in announcements | Comments Off on Remembering The Weatherfords

Dean Adkins’ Gospel Music History: From Church to Touring

Written by Staff on September 9, 2015 – 11:35 am -

Cathedral Quartet standing Bobby Clark, Danny Koker, George Younce. Seated Glen Payne

Cathedral Quartet standing Bobby Clark, Danny Koker, George Younce. Seated Glen Payne

Some of the better-known quartets spent a number of years as the resident church group. Besides providing songs for the congregation, members of the groups also served as part of the church staff. Although there were a number of groups that started as church quartets, the Weatherfords, Cathedrals, Landmarks, Monitors and Toneys were among those who moved on to become well-known names on the Gospel circuit.

Toney Brothers back Bob and Kyer Toney, middle Alden and Jim Toney, front Bryan Jones

Toney Brothers back Bob and Kyer Toney, middle Alden and Jim Toney, front Bryan Jones

In the early 1950’s, the Weatherford Quartet were the resident group for WOWO radio in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. They also sang in churches and became acquainted with Rex Humbard who was preaching at Calvary Temple, in an old theater in Akron, Ohio. In 1953, WOWO decided to not use live music and as a result the Weatherfords had no radio contract. The Weatherfords joined Rex Humbard as the resident group for the Cathedral of Tomorrow, a new state-of-the-art facility.

Monitors Quartet back Standing: Ned Williman, Bill Nelson. Seated Warren Holmes, Horace Floyd and Don Ritter

Monitors Quartet back Standing: Ned Williman, Bill Nelson. Seated Warren Holmes, Horace Floyd and Don Ritter

One of the Weatherfords better-known alignments during this time consisted of Armond Morales, Earl Weatherford, Glen Payne, Bobby Clark and Danny Koker. The group also did some touring but Rex Humbard wanted a group that was active in the church. In 1963, three members of the Weatherfords: Danny Koker, Glen Payne and Bobby Clark, decided to stay and became the Cathedral Trio.
The Cathedral Trio performed at the Cathedral of Tomorrow and traveled with Rex Humbard. In 1964, they added George Younce and became a quartet. They continued as part of the Cathedral of Tomorrow staff until 1969. Although they were no longer a part of the Cathedral of Tomorrow, they kept the name Cathedral Quartet and maintained their home in Stow, Ohio. From this beginning, they ultimately became one of the best-known Southern Gospel groups.
The Landmark Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio was (and is) a church that utilizes many of the touring Southern Gospel groups. The pastor, Rev. John Rawlings, loved quartet music and so did his son, Carroll. The Landmark Quartet was formed as the church’s home group. Although members changed through the years, one of the better-known lineups consisted of Buddy Liles, Don Norman, Mack Evans, Lorne Matthews and Carroll Rawlings. This group also did some touring and recorded some quality albums.
​The Monitors Quartet was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1957 by Horace Floyd, former member of the Swanee River Boys. He added Bill Nelson as lead, Ned Williman as baritone, Warren Holmes on bass and Din Ritter as pianist. The Monitors were affiliated with the Cadle Tabernacle, a large Christian church in Indianapolis, which seated over 10,000 people. The church also broadcast on WLW radio in Cincinnati and was heard in a multi-state area. The Monitors performed on radio seven days per week. The Monitors continued for several years before disbanding. The group was reformed as a part-time group around 1980 and consisted of Lem Kinslow, Bill Nelson, Hal Morrison, Ray Burdett (former Statesmen bass) and Jeff Stice.

imageAlden Toney sang tenor with the Blackwood Brothers from 1949 through 1951 and then took a job in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan. Alden’s brothers, Bob and Kyer were discharged from the Army in 1954. In 1955, brother Jim joined the others to form the Toney Brothers Quartet. Like other quartets that came after them, they became affiliated with a church, Gilead Baptist Church in suburban Allen Park. They began appearing on CKLW-TV in Windsor, Ontario, Canada as well. This group appeared on the first National Quartet Convention in 1957. When Alden retired in the early 1960s, he was replaced by Ron Booth Sr., father of Michael and Ronnie of the Booth Brothers.
The foundation of being associated with a church was manifested in the ministry and presentation in each of the aforementioned groups.

by Dean Adkins

First published by SGN Scoops in February 2015

For more great Gospel music columns and artist features, read the latest SGN Scoops digital magazine, located in the SGN Scoops mainpage.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in announcements, artists, Christian interest, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Dean Adkins’ Gospel Music History: From Church to Touring