The Blackwood Brothers Quartet, lauded as the best-known name in gospel quartet history, will perform for the Golden Belt Community Concert Association at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Great Bend Municipal Auditorium, Lakin and Stone.
This GBCCA event is available to concert association members. Full-time students will be admitted to the concert for a $5 donation at the door. Season memberships will be available at this concert.
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 with brothers Roy, Doyle and James along with Roy’s son, R.W., who was killed in a tragic airplane accident in 1954. Roy and Doyle retired from the road in the late 1940s. James continued to lead the group into the early 1980s.
After James died in 2002, his son James Jr. “Jimmy” brought the name out of retirement, and now James’ youngest son, Billy, continues the 79-year family tradition of great gospel singing. The group today consists of Billy Blackwood, Wayne Little, Butch Owens and Mike Helwig. The result is one of the best quartets in gospel music today.
Billy Blackwood singing baritone is the music arranger for the quartet and produced the latest CD for the quartet. He played drums for J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet at the age of 14. He also played for the Blackwood Brothers, Gordon Jensen and Sunrise, and Andrus/Blackwood and Company and toured with Voice, the opening act for the Elvis Presley show. He has traveled in solo ministry and has worked in youth and pastoral ministry.
Wayne Little is one of the best tenors to sing a gospel song. He formed the Crystal River Boys Quartet and later sang with former Blackwood Brothers bass singer, Ken Turner, in the New Millennium Quartet. He was a featured singer at the Pentagon for a 9/11 Memorial service with the Rev. Franklin Graham.
Mike Helwig sings lead in the quartet. He started singing gospel music at the age of 19. A native of Canada, he sang for Canadian groups the Torchmen and Unashamed. He won a Dove Award for Favorite Tenor from the Canadian division of the Gospel Music Association in 1997. Since moving to the United States, he sang with the Wilburns, the Stamps Quartet, the Dixie Echoes and Promise before joining the Blackwood Brothers.
Butch Owens is the newest member of the group, but is no stranger to gospel music. He sang bass with the Stamps Quartet for a number of years and most recently with Bob Jones and the Songfellows Quartet before joining the Blackwood Brothers. Owens never meets a stranger and has many friends across the nation and around the world.
GBCCA season memberships available at this concert include $50 for adults; $10 for full-time enrolled students; $110 for a family membership including two adults and all dependent children living in the same household; and $110 for a grandparent package for two adults and up to four minor grandchildren.
Those purchasing memberships at the concert are advised to arrive early. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. Season membership cards will be given at the time of purchase at the concert. Four shows are remaining in this season.
For more information about GBCCA and its new season, visit the association’s web site: www.goldenbeltcca.org.