San Antonio Express-News -January 29, 2004
While the Blackwood name is revered in Southern gospel circles, the original family
band, The Blackwood Brothers Quartet, formed in 1934 in Choctaw County, Miss., was
a group whose impact has been felt far and wide.
For example, a young Elvis Presley reportedly auditioned for the group in the early '50s
and didn't get the gig. The Blackwoods had an influential radio show in the '40s,
landed a recording contract via Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, became the first
gospel group to sell a million records, survived the loss of two members in a 1954
airplane crash, pioneered bus travel for touring groups and racked up practically
every award in secular and spiritual music.
The last original Blackwood brother, Cecil, who joined the group after the fatal plane
crash, died in 2002. Now Cecil's son, Mark Blackwood, is at the helm of the Blackwood
As a quartet, the Blackwood group concentrates on the type of hand-clapping, traditional
gospel music that made the original family group a hit. The quartet also is staffed
with talented folks who have released albums on their own. The Blackwoods have been
nominated for a Grammy award for the CD "Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions,"
which features the quartet working with Engelbert Humperdink, the Jordanaires and the
Light Crust Doughboys.
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