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Page last modified on July 27, 2014, at 10:47 PM EST

L.LeFevres


Earliest known photo of the original LeFevre Trio - (l-r) Alphus, Maude and Urias

Group Members

Incomplete

Urias LeFevre (1921-????)
Alphus LeFevre (1921-????, 1934-1976)
Maude LeFevre (1921-????)
Peggy LeFevre (????-????)
Eva Mae LeFevre (1934-1977)
Jim Waits (????-????)
Jimmy Kirby (????-????)
Connor Hall (????-????)
Hovie Lister (????-????)
Troy Lumpkin (????-????)
Bill Huie (????-????)
Bob Robinson (????-????)
Rex Nelon (1957-1977)
Jimmy Jones (1957-????)
Pierce LeFevre (????-????)
Meurice LeFevre (????-????)
Andrea LeFevre (????-????)
Mylon LeFevre (????-????)
Janet Paschal (????-1977)
Kelly Nelon (????-1977)
Rodney Swain (????-1977))

The LeFevres (1921-????, 1934-1977)

History

Group Origins
The original LeFevre Trio consisted of two brothers and their sister: Urias, Alphus, and Maude LeFevre. They were from Smithville, Tennessee. The group first sang country music, but soon switched exclusively to gospel music. They sang for several years before getting their first paying job in 1921, launching their professional career. That first job was at the Grand Ole Opry. According to legend, they were paid 2 live chickens and 50 pounds of chicken feed.

When Maude married in the mid-1920s, their sister Peggy took her place briefly. The brothers continued to perform in various configurations.

In 1934, Urias married Eva Mae Whittington, a daughter of a Church of God minister named H. L. Whittington. They promptly re-formed the LeFevre Trio along with Alphus LeFevre. Eva Mae’s father helped the group get their start by scheduling them to sing at revival meetings where he was preaching.

The LeFevres secured sponsorships from NuGrape and Orange Crush. Through these sponsorships, they recorded and shipped transcription discs across the United States. They were sometimes billed as the Suncrest Trio.

Substitutions
The three original members remained together for the next 40 years, except during World War II when Eva Mae was left to manage the group while her husband and brother-in-law were overseas. During this time, a variety of vocalists filled in, including Jim Waits, Jimmy Kirby, and Connor Hall. Alphus sang with the Stamps Quartet for a short time after returning from the war, but he ultimately came back to join Eva Mae and Urias.

Then it was Eva Mae’s turn to be off the road for a bit. After the war, Eva Mae and Urias had five children. In Eva Mae’s absence while raising her children, the group also had a variety of individuals filling in. Some of these included Hovie Lister, Jim Waits, and Troy Lumpkin. With the changes in the musical styles of the day, the LeFevres added a full band to give the music a broader appeal.

In the 1950s, the LeFevres moved to Philadelphia, PA to assist evangelist Thea Jones with his ministry. Eva Mae again became a full time mother for a short time as Urias and Alphus continued to perform. Bill Huie and Bob Robinson sang with them during this time period. In 1957, the group returned to their original base in Atlanta. Rex Nelon joined the group to sing bass and play guitar that year. With Jimmy Jones in the group, he and Nelon performed dual bass vocals on songs like “Hide Me, Rock Of Ages.”

LeFevre Children Join The Group
By 1959, the LeFevre children were old enough to start joining the group. Pierce was the first to join as a singer and trumpet player. Instrumental numbers began to be a prominent feature in the LeFevres’ music. At various times, they incorporated a wide variety of instruments including accordion, trumpet, fiddle, trombone, and sax. Meurice, Andrea, and Mylon performed with the group as well.

In the mid-1960s, Pierce LeFevre handled the editorial duties of the group’s newsletter Sing. Often noted for his creative prose, Pierce used his position as editor to criticize promoters like Wally Fowler and the failed Southern Gospel movie Sing A Song For Heaven’s Sake. He also used the newsletter to endorse Barry Goldwater’s campaign for the presidency.

Television Successes
For a number of years, the core members of the LeFevres included Eva Mae, Urias, Alphus, Pierce, Jimmy Jones, and Rex Nelon. Recordings were promoted through their in house record label, Sing. During the 1960s they formed the Gospel Singing Caravan television show along with the Johnson Sisters, the Prophets, and the Blue Ridge Quartet.

After the Caravan left the air, Jerry Goff produced a television program called The LeFevre Family Show. Goff was married to Andrea LeFevre at the time and often performed on the program as well.

By 1971, Pierce had left the group. Alphus and Urias retired a few years later and management duties were transferred to Rex Nelon. Ultimately, Eva Mae was the only LeFevre still traveling with the group. In 1977, the LeFevres consisted of Eva Mae, Rex Nelon, Janet Paschal, Kelly Nelon, and Rodney Swain. When Eva Mae retired that year, the LeFevre name was retired with her and the group became known as the Rex Nelon Singers. Alphus LeFevre put together a group billed as Uncle Alf And The LeFevres that included future Nelons member Karen Peck in 1980 and 1981, but it never gained the popularity enjoyed by the former group.

Eva Mae continued to appear at various reunion functions such as the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion and the Gaither Homecoming video series until her death in 2009.

Awards

SGMA Hall Of Fame (1997)
GMA Hall Of Fame (1998)

Discography

hi-res
hi-res
1958 Songs Of Happiness (Bibletone Records/3480)/(1961 Sing Records/LP3202)/(1965 Canaan Records/CA-4603/CAS-9603): I've Been With Jesus; Take A Look; He; I Can Call Jesus Any Time; Land Of Eternal Spring; Goodbye World; Lord Carry Me Home; Every Day; The Old Gospel Ship; Farther Along; I Met The Master; When God Dips His Love.

1961 Sing And Be Happy (Sing Records/LP3203): There's A Light Guiding Me; Workshop Of The Lord; I Know Who Holds Tomorrow; Let Me Tell You About Jesus; Thank God I'm In His Care; He Knows Just How Much You Can Bear; Heaven Bound Train; Oh My Heart Is Still Rejoicing; Hide Me Rock Of Ages; Peace In The Valley; Oh When I Meet You; Job's God Is True.

1962 Featuring Pierce LeFevre (Sing Records/LP3204): Do You Know My Jesus; God Is Good; Lonesome Road; Winging My Way Back Home; Whispering Hope; Keep On The Firing Line; One By One; Goodbye World Goodbye; Not My Will; Led Out Of Bondage; I'll Tell It Wherever I Go; Amen.

hi-res
1962 Travel With The LeFevres (Sing Records/LP3205): Lord I've Tried To Be True; Room At The Cross; Except For Christ My Lord; I Can Tell You The Time; Beyond The Sunset; Heavenly Parade; You Can't Fool The Lord; Built By The Hand Of The Lord; On That Judgement Day; If I Can Help Somebody; How Great Thou Art; Because I Know.

hi-res
1962 LeFevres In Stereo (Sing Records/LP3206): I Like To Feel Like I Feel; Oh Blessed Rock; Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone; There'll Be No Shadows; To Me It's So Wonderful; Pass Me Not; When I Stand With God; Keep Walking; In The Garden; When The Saints Go Marching In; The Old Rugged Cross; Hallelujah I'm Going Home.

hi-res
1963 Rainbow Of Love (Sing Records/LP3207): All Aboard; Wings Of A Dove; You'll Find A Friend; Guardian Angel; Rainbow Of Love; Precious Memories; I'm His, He's Mine; Jesus Use Me; Joy Bells; Where Will I Shelter My Sheep; Amazing Grace; Just A Little Talk With Jesus.

hi-res
1963 He's Wonderful (Sing Records/LP3208): Sweeter As The Days Go By; Life's Railway To Heaven; He's My All In All; Wonderful; Delivered From The Hands Of Pharoah; The Prettiest Flowers; I Need Jesus; Love Like The Love Of God; No Tears In Heaven; In My Father's House Are Many Mansions; I'll Meet You In The Morning; Hold To God's Unchanging Hand.

hi-res
1963 Sing (Sing Records/LP3209): I Love To Call His Name; Let Us Go Back; I Want To Walk; Scatter Sunshine; When I Got Saved; Mama Sang A Song; Is Your Name Written There; I Want To Know More; On The Battlefield; Never Grow Old; Sweet By And By; When The Home Gates Swing Open.

hi-res
1964 Without Him (Sing Records/LP3210): Honey In The Rock; Valley Of My Dreams; Sinner Come Home; I'll Have More Time; I Claim Jesus; Take My Hand; Without Him; What Love; When Jesus Comes; Just A Closer Walk; Just As I Am.

hi-res
1964 Lord It's Me Again (Sing Records/LP3211): I Love Him So; It Was Love; Jesus Is Everything To Me; Jesus Is The Only One For Me; I've Had A Feeling; Shout Brother Shout; My Truest Friend; Lord It's Me Again; Shake The Master's Hand; Sweet Peace Within; Prayer Is The Key; He Will Surely See You Thru.

1965 Sing The Gospel (Sing Records/LP3212): Revival Days; Jesus Is Waiting For You; A Million Reasons; I Know He Cares; He'll Deliver Me; He Has The Answer; Jesus Is First With Me; He'll Comfort Me; Heaven's My Goal; Child Come In; Jesus Will Be My Guide; Haven Of Rest.

hi-res
1965 You Need The Lord (Sing Records/LP3216): You Need The Lord; One Step Nearer Home; In His Hand; To See My Jesus; It Don't Mean A Thing; What Heaven Means To Me; Peace In My Heart; In My Heavenly Home; He Saved My Soul; Lord I'm Coming Home; Unclouded Day.

hi-res
1966 A Visit With (Sing Records/LP3217): Who Am I; Jesus; I'm Gonna Fly; Closer Home; When I Get Alone With Him; Give Up; Without Him; I Feel Like Traveling On; Sing; Meeting In The Air; Lift Me Jesus; The Way You Live.

hi-res
1967 A Man Who Is Wise (Sing Records/LP3219): Happy Tracks; Must I Go And Empty Handed; A Man Who Is Wise; My Soul Belongs To Jesus; Daniel Prayed; The One Who Knows The Way; So High; I'll Never Turn Back; In My Heart; One By One; Whispering Hope; Amen.

1968 The Best Of The LeFevres (Sing Records/LP3220): Honey In The Rock; Jesus Use Me; The Prettiest Flowers; There's A Light Guiding Me; There'll Be No Shadows; To Me It's So Wonderful; Sweeter As The Days Go By; Peace In The Valley; Where Will I Shelter My Sheep; Keep Walking; Until Then; All Aboard. (Compilation.)

hi-res
1969 The Best Is Yet To Come (Canaan Records/CAS-9661): I'm Longing For Home; He Really Got Ahold Of My Heart; There's A Light Guiding Me; Come Unto Me; I'm Not Worthy; Just A Prayer Away; The Best Is Yet To Come; Heaven Someday I Will Gain; Are You Living For Jesus; The Homecoming Week; My Father's Face; You Were On His Mind.

hi-res
1969 Play Gospel Music! (Canaan Records/CAS-9662): I Would Not Be Denied; How Great Thou Art; Look Down That Lonesome Road; Keep On The Firing Line; I Walk With Jesus; Beyond The Sunset; He Washed My Eyes With Tears; Just Over In The Glory Land; There'll Be No Shadows; Just A Little While; The Old Rugged Cross; Heaven Bound Train.

hi-res
1970 LeFevres Present Pierce And Mylon (Canaan Records/CAS-9673): That's Just His Way; Pity The Man; How Big Is God; Jesus Is Coming Soon; A Mighty Fortress; Take Jesus With You; He's The Only One; I Want To Live For Him; Nothing You Can Offer Me; Happiness; Without Him; Now I Have Everything.

hi-res
1970 Moving Up (Canaan Records/CAS-9684): I'm One Of His Own; Beyond; I'm A Goin; Broken Pieces; Count Me Worthy; The God I Have; Satan Has No Claim On Me; He'll Understand; The Beauty Of A Child; I'm Ashamed If I Forget Calvary; Going Over Yonder; Lord I've Tried To Be True.

1971 Fifty Golden Years (Canaan Records/CAS-9694): Shake The Master's Hand; While Endless Ages Roll; Jesus Walked All The Way; You've Got To Live Your Religion Everyday; The Life Boat; I Know; I'm Going Up; Build My Mansion; When I've Gone The Last Mile; You Can Have A Song In Your Heart

hi-res
1972 The New Sounds Of The LeFevres (Canaan Records/CAS-9721): Wonderful Day; City Of Gold; In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul; That's Why; I Will Serve Thee; That Day Is Almost Here; I've Come Too Far; I Won't Have To Worry; Tear Stains; I Can Feel The Touch Of His Hand.

hi-res
1972 Now And Always (Canaan Records/CAS-9723): He Pilots My Ship; At The Judgment Day; Don't Ever Let Go; The Unseen Hand; Poor Rich Man; Gonna Keep On Holding On; Plenty Of Time; He Just Loves Me More And More; All Of This Is Mine; Somebody Loves Me; Because He Lives.

1973 Happiness Is Gospel (Canaan Records/CAS-9742): Brush Arbor Days; It's Worth It All; Why Me Lord; King Jesus; Plain Old Country Folks; His Love Is So Boundless To Me; That's The Man I'm Looking For; I'll Soon Be Gone; Sweet Hallelujahs; He'll Hold My Hand; When Jesus Shall Reign; It's A Good Life Living For The Lord.

hi-res
1974 Stepping On The Clouds (Canaan Records/CAS-9757): Stepping On The Clouds; Over The Next Hill; I Find Victory; Ready To Leave; There's No Tomorrow; If You're Happy, Notify Your Face; I'll Go; Lord Take The Hand; Touring That City; When The Gates Swing Open; Let The Redeemed; Set Down. (Eva Mae LeFevre, Uncle Alf LeFevre, Urias LeFevre, Rex Nelon, Rex Foster, Theresa McNeil, Ron Hutchins, Bobby Moore)

hi-res
1975 Experience (Canaan Records/CAS-9777): He's Ready To Come I'm Ready To Go; Jesus Would Love Me The Same; Talking Bout People; Nearing The Shore; When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold; Bringing It Home; Jesus Is Mine; Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me; Jesus Is Coming; The Pain He Bore; The Laying On Of Hands; Today's Gonna Be A Brighter Day.

1975 The LeFevres (Power Pak Records): I Like To Feel Like I Feel; There'll Be No Shadows; When I Stand With God; Oh Blessed Rock; In The Garden; When The Saints Go Marching In; To Me It's So Wonderful; Keep Walking; Hallelujah, I'm Going Home; Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone; Pass Me Not; The Old Rugged Cross.

hi-res
1976 Gospel Music U.S.A. (Canaan Records/CAS-9790): Here They Come; Tour The Golden City; We'll Talk It Over; I Am Your Child America; When I Cross To The Other Side Of Jordan; Your Heart's Door; The Seeker; Lead Me To Jordan; Prescription For Salvation; Hardened Heart; Take Me To Jesus; Thank You, Jesus.

1977 Singing 'Til He Comes (Canaan Records/CAS-9805): Till He Comes; Everything Looks Brighter; One Way Flight; Ocean Of Praise; Don't Be Left Behind; Will He Tarry Any Longer; Jesus You're My Kind Of Friend; Victory Shall Be Mine; I'll Stop Long Enough; Stop-Look-Listen. (Eva Mae LeFevre, Rex Nelon, Kelly Nelon, Janet Paschal, Rodney Swain).

1980 Whispering Hope (Skylite Records/SLP-6230): Whispering Hope; One By One; Must I Go And Empty Handed; The One Who Knows The Way; My Soul Belongs To Jesus; Amen Chorus; A Man Who Is Wise; So High; In My Heart; I'll Never Turn Back (Compiles performances from earlier masters from the Sing Records label).

1985 The Old Rugged Cross (Golden Circle Records/57528): Pass Me Not; Oh Blessed Rock; In The Garden; When The Saints Go Marching In; To Me It’s So Wonderful; Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone; The Old Rugged Cross; I Like To Feel Like I Feel; There’ll Be No Shadows; When I Stand With God.
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