Category Archives: Southeastern US

Speer – Spear Descendants In America – 2011

This link is for my most recent uploaded database, hosted by


It is as COMPLETE as I have at present. If you find errors, have additional information or family photos you would to share with me — email me. As my schedule allows I will add photos I have found that relate to this “branch” and related families.

Thank you for visiting.

— Cathy Ann Abernathy

Gospel Music of Elvis Presley

Sure enough!! Elvis recorded his first session with RCA on January 10, 1956, with Scotty, Bill, and, D. J. . That day, “I Got A Woman”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and, “Money Honey” were recorded. On January 11, 1956, Gordon Stoker was called by Chet Atkins to do a session with a “new-probably-wouldn’t-be-around-long kid, named Elvis Presley”—oily hair, pink shirt, black trousers. RCA had, also, just signed “The Speer Family“. Chet asked Gordon to sing with Ben and Brock Speer so he could use them. On that day, “I’m Counting On You” and “I Was The One” made history by being the first recording session that Elvis, did with vocal background. By April 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel” was “No. 1”. After having done several more recording sessions in New York with Scotty, Bill and D. J., Elvis flew to Nashville on April 14, 1956, to record “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”. Gordon was called, again, to sing a vocal trio with Ben and Brock. After the session, Elvis took Gordon aside and told him (not knowing, at the time, why all the Jordanaires were not there) that he wanted “the” Jordanaires on all his future recording sessions. This time, Stoker saw to it that it was known – and – true to his word – Elvis used the Jordanaires on nearly every one of his recording sessions for the next 14 years.

via Gospel Music of Elvis Presley.

Gospel Music of Elvis Presley

Jack Brock Speer is the oldest child of Tom and Lena Speer. He has been a member of the Singing Speer Family ever since he was old enough to stand up. Since the death of Dad and Mom Speer, he and his brother, Ben, have been the leaders of the family singing group. A most congenial and concerned man, Brock has served gospel music in many capacities including Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gospel Music Association. As a record producer for Skylite, he directed most of the major groups in their recordings. He is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He has graduated from Trevecca College and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is married to the former Faye Ihrig and they have three children, Susan, Marc, and Bryan.

via Gospel Music of Elvis Presley.

Ben Speer

BEN SPEER – Contact Information

PO Box 40201,

Nashville, TN 37204


615-228-4040 (fax)


via Ben Speer.

CMP Articles

One year, I decided that I really wanted to bring in The Speer Family, so I called The Harper Agency and we discussed a date and time and the financial arrangements. I must admit, that the figure we settled on was considerably more than we had ever agreed to before, but I just knew that we simply had have The Speers that year for our Homecoming. I also knew that God would make a way for us to be able to meet our obligation. (…MORE)

via CMP Articles.

Marc Speer Forms New Speer Revival; Signs With Avid Group, News & Scoop –

Marc Speer Forms New Speer Revival; Signs With Avid Group

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Nashville, TN – The Speer Family will begin its third generation of performing southern gospel music with Marc Speer’s announcement of the formation of New Speer Revival. Marc Speer, Rick Moore, Kimber Manning and former Speer Family group member Karen Apple will perform many of the traditional Speer songs in a style reminiscent of the early Speer Family. Marc, son of Faye and the late Brock Speer, comments, “I still have people comment about how much they loved the Speer Family, their songs, and their style of singing. We’ll be bringing back some of the fan favorites but also reintroducing songs that will be new to today’s generation of Southern Gospel fans.” Their debut project and radio single are scheduled for release in the early spring, 2002.

New Speer Revival has signed a management agreement with The Avid Group. For more information you may contact The Avid Group at 615-331-0900.

via Marc Speer Forms New Speer Revival; Signs With Avid Group, News & Scoop –

Artist page for The Speer Family – Wal-mart


The Speer Family came on the southern gospel music scene at a time when the genre seemed overrun with quartets and other groups. The Speer Family has released over 70 albums, five of which gained them Grammy nominations. They are the recipients of several Dove Awards, eight for Best Mixed Group of the Year, two for Best Album, and four consecutively for Best Female Vocalist.

G.T. Speer, the family patriarch, grew up in rural Fayetteville, Georgia. His first memory of gospel music was a tune sung to him by his mother. Early on, he began writing and singing, displaying his spiritual love and devotion through music. In 1920, G.T. married the former Lena Brock. Her father was one of the south’s leading gospel teachers and musicians. Since music had always been a huge part of their lives, the couple formed a gospel singing group. The first of the Speer Family quartets, conceived in 1921, consisted of Speer, Lena, his sister, and his sister’s husband. The inclusion of women was a huge departure from tradition as previous gospel groups had consisted of males only.

In 1925, G.T.’s sister and her husband left the group. Their replacements were two of G.T.’s and Lena’s four children, Rosa Nell and Mary Tom. Mary sang, and Rosa Nell sang and played piano. In time, brother Brock became the bass, and brother Ben, lead singer. As a family, the Speers recorded more than a dozen Gospel albums, including the classic, Time Has Made A Change, and what became their theme song, “Won’t We Be So Happy?”

via Artist page for The Speer Family – Wal-mart.

YouTube – Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day

Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day

via YouTube – Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day.

The Speer Family: Information from


An important reference point in the appreciation of traditional Southern gospel quartet singing, the Speer Family emerged when there were countless Southern gospel quartets, but continued to perform into the 1990s. Although the Speer lineup had changed over the years, their music in the ’90s was still true to the music they were making when the group was formed by patriarch G.T. in 1921.

G.T. Speer was born in a rural community near Fayetteville, Georgia, and worked as a teacher at the Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Dallas. He also taught at the Vaughan School of Music, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The first incarnation of the Speers was formed in 1921 with his wife Lena, his sister, and her husband. Until then, virtually every gospel group was made up of only males. G.T. persisted with his original lineup and, much to the surprise of gospel purists, became popular. He also strayed from the norm by having the Speers sing only gospel music, and soon other groups followed suit.

In 1925, his sister and brother-in-law left, so G.T. and Lena added their children Rosa Nell and Mary Tom to the lineup. They eventually left to raise their own children, but returned to become permanent members a few years later. Over the years, the Speer Family often contained other musicians, most notably Harold Lane, who spent two decades with them.

Through the 1950s and ’60s, the Speers were frequent guests on radio station WLAC Nashville. In 1966, G.T. suddenly died and became the first person inducted into the Deceased Category of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; his wife Lena died the following year and became its second inductee in 1972. During their long career, the group has won numerous awards and honors, but one of the highest came in 1981 on the group’s 60th anniversary: the Speers were entered into the Congressional Record and received a plaque that contained their first commercial record. To celebrate these events, the Benson Company distributed a commemorative anniversary album and packaged a multimedia presentation chronicling the distinguished family’s history. In 1993, they released a new album, A Beautiful Day. ~ Sandra Brennan & Bil Carpenter, All Music Guide

via The Speer Family: Information from

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Original members of the famous Speer Family delight the students at Ben Speer’s Stamps/Baxter School of Music, Nashville, August, 1994.

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