When I clicked onto FRANK TALK online this week, I was
thrilled to see a familiar face, not only the publisher and his
wife and some of the weekly featured writers, but I'm speaking
of Bill Gaither. A column was devoted to a coming FT tour
where the fortunate travelers would be stopping by to see the
special place recognizing the Gaithers' contribution to the
I often tell people that one of my most favorite singing
groups, in Gospel music, are the Gaithers. Bill and Gloria
Gaither have given more to the hearts of people with their
wonderful songs over the last 45 years than any other group I
can think of. We often bought the popular children’s albums
that Gloria wrote and they sang, teaching children in a unique
way with delightful songs, blending biblical truths.
Bill Gaither was born in Alexandria, Indiana, and formed
his first group with his brother Danny and sister Mary Ann
while still in college in 1956. After graduating from Anderson
College in 1959, he became an English teacher. In 1962 he
married Gloria, and after trying to juggle a full-time teaching
position and a music career, he gave up teaching and concentrated
fully on the Christian music industry. His breakthrough
song, “He Touched Me,” came in 1964 and is still one
his most popular today.
Gloria Gaither often writes the lyrics while Bill writes the
music, although composing is usually a collaborative project
between the two. Together, they have composed to date over
700 songs. Other popular songs include “The Longer I Serve
Him,” “The King Is Coming,” “We’ll Just Praise the Lord” and,
my favorite, “Because He Lives.” “Something Beautiful” and
“There’s Just Something About That Name” are among the
vast number of popular Christian songs that are often found in
Bill started his “Homecoming" tours in 1991 and brought
together giants of the Southern gospel and CMM Industry. His
tour has been to such places as The Kennedy Center and
Carnegie Hall. They are often featured on the Gospel network,
many from years past, and his current tours. The
"Homecoming" tours have sold more than 1.1 million tickets
across the world. In 2004, Pollstar lists the tour as selling
more tickets than Elton John, Fleetwood Mac or Rod Stewart.
Over the years, many of the popular Christian singers we hear
today got their start singing with the Gaithers.
Bill and Gloria Gaither have been married for over 47
years and share a love for music that has been rewarded
many times over with sterling awards from various venues.
Gloria has written over 40 books, is a well-known speaker for
many groups, and created scripts for over 100 videos. They
have three grown children and seven grandchildren, and continue
to travel and lead a very active life of purpose for the Lord.
Years ago when our children were young, we had the opportunity
to hear the Gaithers perform in the Atlanta area.
We enjoyed their music and their children’s songs and the
way they shared that love. Today Steve and I often catch one
of their special Homecoming classics on television, and are
reminded of the many people they brought together, whose
one thing in common was that they loved the Lord and sang
his praises. Bill is a topnotch performer and, with their talented
singers, evokes a fun-loving spirit along with the favorite
melodies that are so well known during his numerous performances.
I wish we were visiting in Michigan this spring because the
annual FT day trip, on tax day, April 15, sounds like something
we would very much enjoy. I’ve never been to The
Gaither Resource Center to see where they record their famous
songs. The lunch sounds interesting, although I’d
probably pass on Bill’s tomato basil soup; yet, I would really
enjoy a mouthwatering bite of Gloria’s famous raspberry cake!
~ Diane Dean White ~
Copyright © 2010
Diane is a freelance writer, author of two books, columnist and contributes
to a wide range of publications. She and her husband of 37 years live on
the Carolina Coast. They are the parents of three grown children and three
grandgals. You may visit Diane's website for more stories at: www.DianeDeanWhite.com
[ By: Diane Dean White Copyright © 2009 ( Thelamb212@aol.com ) -- submitted by: Diane Dean White ]
All Rights Reserved.