Evangelist Roy Blackwood, age 34, oldest brother in the Blackwood Family, formed the Blackwood Brothers Quartet in 1934 in Choctaw County, Mississippi. Roy Blackwood, Doyle Blackwood (26), their youngest brother James (16), along with Roy’s oldest son R.W. Blackwood (13), comprised the original quartet. R.W. Blackwood, baritone singer from 1934 to 1954, and Bill Lyles, bass singer, were killed in an airplane crash on June 30, 1954 in Clanton, Alabama. Following the plane crash, the Blackwoods returned, with Cecil Blackwood singing baritone and J.D. Sumner singing bass. While J.D. was with the group they were the first quartet to travel in a customized bus. he Blackwood Brothers organized the National Quartet Convention in 1956. They also helped charter the Gospel Music Association, were founders of the Skylite Record Company, owned the Stamps Music Company and other music companies.
The Blackwoods recorded with RCA for 21 years, won eight Grammy awards and sung on Barbara Mandrell’s Grammy Award-winning gospel album. They were two-time winners on the Arthur Godfrey television program and have appeared on TV with Johnny Cash and Tennessee Ernie Ford. They also co-hosted the syndicated TV program “Singing Time in Dixie.”..Through the years the group’s personnel included piano greats Jack Marshall, Wally Varner and Tommy Fairchild, Jimmy Blackwood followed his father’s footsteps in singing lead for quartet for 16 years. The bass singing of “Big” John Hall, London Parris and Ken Turner and the tenor voice of pat Hoffmaster have also played important parts in the Blackwood Brothers’ long history.
Roy, Doyle, James, and R.W. Blackwood
They organized the National Quartet Convention in 1956
The Blackwood Brothers singing “How Great Thou Art”
The Blackwood Brothers singing “Old Country Church”