About Gaither Vocal Band
One of the premier religious harmony groups, the Gaither Vocal Band was formed by contemporary gospel legend Bill Gaither in the early '90s with Mark Lowry, Jonathan Pierce, and Guy Penrod.
As a songwriter and performer with his wife, Gloria Gaither, and as a member of outfits such as the Cathedrals and the Homecoming Friends, Bill Gaither had won several Dove and Grammy awards before forming the Gaither Vocal Band.
Born in 1936 in Alexandria, Indiana, about 75 miles north-west of Indianapolis , Gaither grew up in a family of gospel music fans. After Bill's marriage to Gloria Sickal in 1962, the couple started to write gospel songs together. In a few years they realized that their musical pursuit had become a full-time career.
"We began singing just to communicate our songs and we made our first albums in the hope that 'real' singers would pick them up. Never did we dream we would end up being artists over the long haul and we have never really taken that very seriously, even to this day."
Through 2000 the Gaithers could claim an estimated 600 songwriting credits and had produced over 60 albums. They received the Dove Award for Gospel Songwriter of the Year in 1970, 1972, and from 1973-1977, along with a Dove Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Bill Gaither also won Dove Awards for his performances with the Cathedrals and the Homecoming Friends.
The Gaither Vocal Band was extremely productive over the next decade, releasing an average of more than one album per year; in 1994 alone, the group released I Bowed on My Knees, King Is Coming, and Little Is Much When God Is in It. Based on the group's profile and the Gaithers' continuing promotion of the genre, Southern gospel music encountered renewed popularity. In 1997 Gaither coauthored a book with Jerry Jenkins on the phenomenon, Homecoming: The Story of Southern Gospel Music, which brought a new generation of fans to the bluegrass-oriented sounds of southern gospel.
The Gaither Vocal Band picked up three Grammy nominations in the 1990s and added a second Grammy Award to its collection in 1999 for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album for Kennedy Center Homecoming. At the Dove Awards the band was a perennial favorite, winning the award for Best Southern Gospel Record in 1994 for "Satisfied", in 1995 for "I Bowed on My Knees," and in 1999 for "I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Cavalry." In addition, in 1999 it earned Best Southern Gospel Album kudos for Still the Greatest Story Ever Told, the following year returning to pick up another award for Best Southern Gospel Album for its release God Is Good.
Lowry left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Russ Taff. Everything Good appeared that same year, followed by A Cappella in 2003 and Give It Away in 2006.
When asked to describe the band's current sound Bill Gaither’s thoughts were "The sound is broadly based," he says. "It does have a country rhythm feel, a southern gospel rhythm feel and an inspirational flavor. It's pretty hard to pigeonhole us. I prefer to describe ours as an ' Americana ' sound." He thinks there is something distinct about the current group. "There is a camaraderie of spirits and of sound that is very, very exciting!"