Appalachia Music

I Never Shall Forget The Day

I Never Shall Forget The Day

The Speer Family played a significant role in the early days of Southern Gospel Music. G.T. Speer headed up the family band, with wife Lena, sister Pearl, and brother-n-law Logan Claborn rounding out the rest of the group. As time went on the make up of the band changed along the way, with G.T. and Lena’s son Ben Speer making a lasting impact on the band as well as Southern Gospel Music in general.

G.T. was born near Fayetteville, Georgia. He worked as a teacher at the Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Dallas and taught at the Vaughan School of Music in Tennessee. In 1971 G.T. was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame. The following quote comes from the GA Hall of Fame Website:

“The rich heritage of The Speer Family began in 1921 when G.T. “Dad” Speer, a Georgia farm boy turned music teacher, formed the first Speer Quartet, comprised of Dad, his wife Lena (who also played the piano), and his sister and brother in law, Pearl and Logan Claborn. The group gained notoriety, not only for its distinct sound, but for its integration of female voices in a field that was dominated at the time by male-only quartets…As Dad and Mom Speer’s children – Brock, Rosa Nell, Mary, Tom and Ben – were born, they were taught music and soon began stepping into the group following the Claborns’ departure in 1925…After Dad Speer’s death, the group needed tenor singers and there have been many, such as Sherrill Nielsen, Charles Yates and Harold Lane…At different intervals in its history, Brock’s three children Suzan, Marc and Brian and two of Ben’s, Stephen and Darin, have also played roles is the gorup…Currently recording for the Homeland label, The Speers have a recorded legacy that includes more than 70 albums released on a variety of labels, including RCA, Columbia and Benson. Their honors have been numerous, including Grammy nominations and Dove Awards, throughout a career that is 75 years old and still going…Four Speers are already in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame – Dad Speer was inducted in the Hall of Fame’s first year, Mom Speer in its second, Brock in its fifth year and Ben in 1995. The Gospel Music Association bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on the group, making them the only group to ever receive that award. The Nashville Entertainment Association honored them with its Heritage Award.”

The Speers have many original songs under their belt with perhaps the most famous being Heaven’s Jubilee. For the last few weeks the Blind Pig Gang has been doing another one of their original songs-I Never Shall Forget The Day.

In this video-Pap, and Paul with Tipper thumping along on the bass and Chatter chopping along on the mandolin off camera.

Hope you enjoyed the song and the history!

Tipper

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie Nixon
    September 6, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I today still listen to the Speer family, cathedrals, the HAPPY Goodman family, mosie lister, hovie lister, my favorite Jake Hess and so many more and thanks to Bill and Gloria gaither you can still see all these great gospel singers in their videos since all of the old gospel legends have passed on. I know my grandpa who led singing at church is having a great time in heaven with all those people he admired. What a singing time he is having now.

    Deb

  • Reply
    TimMc
    June 2, 2014 at 6:37 am

    The Speer Family, The Goodman Family, The Stamp Quartet, The Cathedrals, I could go on and on, all were a part of our family on Sunday Morning before Church.. Dad would turn the T.V on and watch and listen while we got ready for Church. I cannot remember the name of the Show, but I it was on every Sunday Morning.. Good Job on the song …

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    That was supposed to be bass not base…been watching too many little league ballgames this week..
    I am sure there are many mis-spells in my comments…Oh well folks, just look over them, I’m old and tired and I never claimed to win a spellin’ bee..
    Thanks Tipper…

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Tipper,
    I loved the Speer family singers…Many early, very early, Sunday mornings we watched the Gospel Music Hour with the honerable J. Basel Mull…He always featured some of the best gospel music groups at that time. Later on after his death, his wife and daughter took on the show. Again, always featuring some of the best of the best and videos of the old-timers…
    I always loved the Chuck-Wagon Gang…after my Grandmother I suppose and Aunts…seems like they were not quite the same after some of them passed, but still sang their hearts out…
    I loved Paul and Pap’s singing this morning. Beautiful harmony, how does Pap do it. I can always tell when he is happy about a song and it showed on this morning’s video..Paul has a wonderful voice as well and I could listen to them all day long.
    I also did hear the base and mandolin as well…Great job, Gang.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Last day for a while to plant. So we got some seeds in late this evening after a good soaking…Soaking in a bowl of water, no rain again here and we sure need it bad. The bugs are loving my cabbage and kale…I sure hate to dust…but guess we might have to…

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    June 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The Speers and The Blind Pig Gang prove again and again you can’t beat family harmony. For fans of Blue Grass Gospel can see another example of this by Beyond the Blue group out of Elkin with two sisters and a first cousin handling the vocals. These three are my “Beloved Bride’s” second cousins.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    June 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    One of my all-time favorite songs. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Very nice rendition of this song Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    June 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Great job on that song. Good way to start this Sunday morning.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    June 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Wonderful!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    June 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Like Patricia , I saw them many times in my youth. Love Pap’s high harmony!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 1, 2014 at 8:21 am

    That’s a lovely song, tipper, and well done. Who knew there was so much history behind songs!

  • Reply
    dolores
    June 1, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Great Sunday morning thoughts. As I head off to church, I will remember this piece of history. You do such a wonderful job keeping people informed.

  • Reply
    Patricia Page
    June 1, 2014 at 8:04 am

    The Speer Family came to our church in Landis NC many times as I was growing up. I never shall forget the blessings they bestowed upon our church with their music!

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