Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Those Voices

Category:  Obituary

They were everywhere.  Jim Reeves' "Four Walls," Patsy Cline's "Crazy," Homer & Jethro's "The Battle of Kookamonga"....and oh, yes, that Presley fella.  The Jordanaires were the premiere vocal group for two generations.  

Gordon Stoker, the tenor singer in the Jordanaires, died today (3/27) at his home in Brentwood, Tennessee.  He had been ill for some time.

Gordon Stoker first joined the singing group not as a singer but as a piano player, but his voice soon brought him to the microphone.  In addition to all the backing vocals they did (the list is almost literally endless) they also recorded a number of albums, mostly gospel, on their own.  It was their work with Elvis Presley, however, that earned them worldwide fame.

In 2001 the Jordanaires were part of the largest class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees to date.  A number of the acts who were also inducted that year recorded with the quartet.  Another 2001 inductee, Charlie Louvin, credited Stoker with showing Ira Louvin where the "true tenor" parts were while working on their legendary Christmas album Christmas With the Louvin Brothers.

The great Gordon Stoker was 88.

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