All About: Gaither Gospel Hour
Bill Gaither, the founder of one of gospel’s most successful groups, the Gaither Vocal Band, and his wife, Gloria, are delighted to showcase their favorite gospel music during “Gaither Gospel Hour”.
Driven by nostalgia, Bill Gaither wanted to bring all his southern gospel heroes, the legends of the genre, together, in one studio at the same time, to lay down tracks to a song for a Gaither Vocal Band album. They all came to the Masters Touch Studio in Nashville that February day in 1991 for what would be an historic recording session: Eva Mae LeFevre sat at the piano, while Vestal Goodman and her husband, Howard, took turns at the microphone. Hovie Lister, the dynamic front man of the Statesmen Quartet was there, as was the golden voice of southern gospel, Jake Hess, himself a former Statesman. Buck Rambo was there, as were Daryl Williams and Jim Hill. The remaining members of the legendary Speer Family, the first to cut a Bill Gaither-penned song, stopped by as did James Blackwood, patriarch of the famed Blackwood Brothers and George Younce and Glen Payne from the Cathedrals. J.D. Sumner provided the low notes. Joining them were Larry and Rudy Gatlin, themselves in awe of the gospel music royalty populating the room, who provided their award-winning Gatlin Brothers harmony.
They came from several states to spend a day in fellowship and prayer, as well as in song. The song they were cutting was an old church house standard called “Where Could I Go?” Providentially, Bill Gaither had arranged to have a video camera there to capture the session for posterity. That camera was still rolling after lunch when Eva Mae sat down at the piano to play a few favorites and the others joined in for what would become the first Homecoming video, unpolished as it was.
The Homecoming Friends, often numbering in the hundreds, became television fixtures and as beloved as favorite family members.