Born in Cochran, Georgia, Mosie Lister became interested in writing at an early age, influenced by his parents who sang in the church choir. They attempted to teach Mosie to sing but discovered that he was tone deaf. He began to study the violin in the eighth grade and this aided his ability to distinguish pitches, and by the age of 17 he was studying harmony and composition, his tone deafness having disappeared. After a tour with the Navy in World War II, in which he studied engineering under the V-12 program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lister entered Middle Georgia College where he majored in English, studied harmony, counterpoint and arranging for piano and organ. His first serious writing was done for gospel groups that sang in Atlanta in the late 1940′s. Professional gospel groups that performed early Lister songs were the Statesmen, the Blackwoods, the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Jordanaires and the LeFevres. In 1948 the Statesmen employed Mosie as an arranger, and in this capacity he introduced a number of new sounds to gospel quartet singing, including the harmony which is used extensively today. Mosie Lister’s most-used songs include the following titles: “How Long Has It Been?” “Then I Met The Master,” “Where No One Stands Alone”, “‘Til the Storm Passes By”, “The King And I”, “I’ve Been Changed”, “I’m Feeling Fine.” They have been recorded by such soloists as George Beverly Shea, Jimmy Davis, Elvis Presley, Porter Waggoner, Webb Pierce, Connie Smith, as well as practically all the gospel quartets.
From 1953 until late 1969, the songs of Mosie Lister were published under the banner of Mosie Lister Publications, in Tampa, Florida, where he has lived since 1956. A devoted Christian in his personal life as well as in his occupation, Mosie is an ordained deacon at the Riverside Baptist Church of Tampa, where he also finds time to teach a college age Sunday school class and direct the church choir. Their twin daughters, Brenda and Barbara, now both married, Mosie and Wylene, with their toy schnauzer, are now the sole occupants of the home in the Carrollwood section of Tampa. In October 1969, Mosie Lister Publications merged with the Lillenas Publishing Company of Kansas City, MO., one of the oldest and largest publishers of music in the evangelical field. This has proved to be a very gratifying association and has freed Mosie from the responsibilities of publishing and distribution, allowing him more time for creative work.
Mosie Lister Publications, later merged with Lillenas Publishing Company of Kansas City
Primary Roles in Gospel Music
Songwriter and arranger
- “Where no one stands alone”
- “Till the Storm Passes By”
- “Then I Met the Master”
The Crist Family singing Mosie Lister’s “Where No One Stands Alone”