Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
Lead Me to the Alter
by The Florida Boys, feat. songwriter/vocalist Les Beasley
CATCH-UP: Les Beasley (1928 to 2018) was an American 'southern gospel' singer, with 'The Florida Boys', and TV producer. Lester Beasley Junior was born in Crockett, Texas, USA, on August 16th 1928. His father was a minister, and he first started singing at an early age in the churches stewarded by his dad. These church locations occupied many places other than Crockett, and included Ripley Tennessee, Mount Vernon Texas, Mobeetie Texas, Benton Arkansas, Burdette Arkansas, Jena Louisiana, Kentwood Louisiana and West Helena Arkansas. Following all these moves, he finally graduated from Louisiana State University and started a music career singing with a group called the 'McManus Trio'. In 1953, he joined 'The Gospel Melody Quartet' (eventually renamed 'The Florida Boys'), which also included future 'Southern Gospel' music legends Glen Allred and Darryl Stewart. He was bass guitarist and lead singer from 1953 to 1999, but stepped aside from vocals at that point to focus on managing the group (he did however remain their bass guitarist). In the 1960s and 1970s, he also co-produced the popular syndicated TV programme "The Gospel Singing Jubilee", which introduced 'southern gospel' to other areas of the country. He was president of the Gospel Music Association in 1970 and 1971, thereupon becoming a lifetime member and permanent board member. He also co-designed the "Dove Award" statuette, and was a co-owner of the Beasley and Barker Publishing Company. He served on the board of the National Quartet Convention for many years, and was also an accomplished songwriter (such as "Lead Me To The Alter", featured here). He was inducted into the "Gospel Music Hall of Fame" in 1989 and the "Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame" in 1997. He retired from 'The Florida Boys' in 2007 at the same time as Allred and Stewart - their last performance was at the National Quartet Convention of that year. The group itself did continue however under the franchised auspices of Southern Gospel Music promoter Charlie Waller. Married to his wife Frances for almost 50 years, they had 6 children together, and he remained active in 'gospel' music circles until his death. Les Beasley died in Pensacola, Florida, on November 17th 2018, aged 90, being survived by his wife and his 6 children.
Posting three a day at the moment due to backlog. Sources:
Posted: 12th January 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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