NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Brock Speer, patriarch of
Speer Family and former president, chairman of the board and
permanent board member of the Gospel Music Association, died
Monday. He was 78.
Speer started singing with his parents and siblings in 1925 and stayed
with them until an interruption caused by World War II.
The Speer Family moved to Nashville in 1946. Over the course of their
career, the family recorded for a number of labels including Bullet,
Columbia, RCA, Benson, HeartWarming and Homeland.
Country singer Chet Atkins used Speer and his brother, Ben, as backing
vocalists on recording sessions during the '50s.
Speer was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in
1975. The Speer Family was inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame in
1998, the first year groups were allowed to join, and they are the only
group to receive the GMA's Lifetime Achievement Award.