GOGR Music History –
The Speer Family
The Speer Family had become a household name among gospel music fans. They had performed on the biggest stages in gospel music and they were one of the most loved groups in gospel music. However, there are few things as certain as change, and time was making a change in the Speer Family.
Ginger Smith left the family to wed Wally Laxon who was singing first tenor with the Tennesseans Quartet. The family wasn’t very happy to have to replace their bubbly female vocalist, but they found a new treasure in Mississippi when Ann Sanders joined the Speer Family. Ann had a great career with the Speers and went on to found her own group, the Downings, after leaving the Speers.
Dad Speer was never one to complain, but as the years rolled by, he was beginning to feel the effects of many years on the road. For several years, Dad had realized that age was creeping up on him, and he slowly shifted his responsibilities to his boys. Brock had already taken over the emcee duties, and he also began to handle the quartet bookings. After an extremely busy weekend of singing, Dad admitted to his sons that he wasn’t feeling well. By the time they got him to the hospital, they realized that Dad had experienced a massive heart attack which he’d conveniently ignored for several days.
Seeing the physical trouble that her dear husband was experiencing, Mom Speer told Brock that she wouldn’t be on the bus that weekend and asked Faye to join the group for the upcoming dates. Ever the trouper, Faye arranged to have the children cared for and climbed aboard the Speer Family bus.