The rich heritage of The Speer Family began in 1921 when G.T. “Dad” Sper, 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. When the Speer daughters left to marry and raise their own families, Brock’s wife Faye joined the group, and other fine female singers, such as Ann Sanders Dwoning, Sue Chenault Dodge and Jeanne Johnson have made their own mark upon the group’s history. 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 the Hall of Fame’s first year, Mom Speer in its second, Brock in its fifth year and Ben in 1995. Last year, The Gospel Music Association bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on the group, making them the only group to ever receive that award. This year, The Nashville Entertainment Association honored them with its Heritage Award.
The Speer Family was vital to the creation and popularity of Southern Gospel music.
- G.T. “Dad” Speer
- Lena “Mom” Speer
- Brock Speer
- Ben Speer
1921; following the marriage of Tom Speer and Lena Brock
- RCA Victor
A morning show on WLAC-TV beginning in 1954
The Speer Family singing “Heaven’s Jubilee”