A Gospel Music Life (Paperback)
What do Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Larry Gatlin, Barbara Mandrell, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, and The Everly Brothers have in common? They were all influenced in their formative years by gospel music legends, The Blackwood Brothers Quartet Billy Blackwood, the son of multi-Grammy Award winning, James Blackwood, Sr., tells the inside story of this gospel music dynasty, their formation and chart-topping career, their triumphs and tragedies. A Gospel Music Life takes us behind the scenes of one of the most influential families in American music history and reveals the personal struggles and subsequent reemergence of Billy Blackwood, the current leader of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. "I have always looked at the Blackwood Brothers as the "Class" of gospel music. They have always been leaders and icons in the gospel music industry. I am so pleased that Billy is carrying on the tradition of the Blackwood Brothers."Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys"James Blackwood, R. W. Blackwood, Bill Shaw, Bill Lyles, and Jackie Marshall were at the center of my early musical development. James was one of the very best in our field and his son, Billy, is now carrying on the tradition. I love Billy's heart and urgency in making sure the next generation understands the history and perseverance of this grand group. For all gospel quartet music lovers, this is a must read."Bill Gaither, Gospel music artist, songwriter and historian"Billy Blackwood is not only a gifted musician who sings the gospel but he lives it. His must-read life heritage and story in gospel music is candidly transparent yet masterfully seasoned with God's amazing grace. Billy's redemptive journey is a real life-changer, from emptiness, brokenness and repentance, to faith, transformation and restoration."Buddy SmithSenior Vice President, American Family Association, Tupelo, Mississippi BILLY BLACKWOOD has spent the majority of his life in music. Billy's dad, James, was an original member of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. The Blackwood Brothers began in Mississippi in the 1930's and have taken gospel music around the world. They were an early influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, the Statler Brothers, the Everly Brothers, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and many others. Billy began traveling with the Blackwood Brothers as a teenager, making the career switch to secular music in the mid-seventies as part of Voice, an opening act with the Elvis Presley show. Billy also played drums with J. D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet in his early years, as well as with contemporary Christian musical artists Andrus, Blackwood & Co. Billy is currently the leader/manager of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, singing approximately 120 concerts a year in the U.S., Canada and abroad. Billy is married to his beautiful wife, Cherry, and has five children, four stepchildren, four grandkids and one on the way.