Original Blackwood Gospel Quartet Group Members
Mark Blackwood's Blackwood Gospel Quartet Members
Blackwood Gospel Quartet (1948-1949)
Before WW2, the Blackwood Brothers Quartet had operated from KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa. After the war they returned and performed daily on the big radio station. They also appeared in concerts in the region.
The "KMA Program Guide" from June, 1948 announced, "Something new has been added to the Blackwood Brothers Quartet group. Enough new members have been added to create two quartets to serve the KMA area. Until now, the boys have been unable to supply half the demand for their programs."
Doyle and Roy Blackwood became members of the new group which they called the "Blackwood Gospel Quartet." James and R.W. Blackwood remained with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. Other members of the new Blackwood Gospel Quartet were Johnny Dickson, Warren Holmes, and Billy Gewin.
They were sometimes billed as "Doyle Blackwood and the Blackwood Gospel Quartet." There were several joint appearances featuring both Blackwood groups individually and singing together. In November of 1948, Ken Apple replaced Billy Gerwin as the groupís pianist.
The few newspaper ads for concerts by the Blackwood Gospel Quartet for 1949 were in the early part of the year. Beginning in April of 1949, the KMA Guide no longer mentioned the Blackwood Gospel Quartet. The Guide's feature articles on Doyle and Roy Blackwood in the summer of 1949 left out any reference to the Gospel Quartet. So, it appears that the original Blackwood Gospel Quartet lasted for around one year.
The Blackwood Gospel Quartet made at least three 78 RPM recordings on the Blackwood Brothers Records label as well as recording together with the Blackwood Brothers as the "Blackwood Brothers Male Chorus."
These same catalog numbers (with the same songs) were used on some labels with "Blackwood Brothers Quartet" as the group or simply "Gospel Song" in lieu of a group name. It is unclear whether these were simply modified labels or whether the songs were actually different recordings.
1948 (Blackwood Bros Records?/1145): I Love To Be Alone With Jesus; Blessed Jesus Loves You Too.
1948 (Blackwood Bros Records?/1146): Take My Hand Precious Lord; Give Me The Old Fashioned Way.
1948 (Blackwood Bros Records?/1147): Sing, Be Happy; What A Savior.
The Blackwood Gospel Quartet was started by Mark Blackwood in 1997. Many popular singers came and went over the next thirteen years. Some would stay for a short while and leave, then return for another short stint a few months later.
This history of the Blackwood Gospel Quartet can be marked by three mergers. In 2003, the group merged with New Millenium, a group that included former Blackwood Brothers bass singer Ken Turner and tenor Wayne Little (who sang lead with that group but moved to tenor upon the merger). A year later, Jimmy Blackwood announced the return of the Blackwood Brothers. Mark, Wayne Little and Randy Byrd from the Blackwood Gospel Quartet became members of the new Blackwood Brothers along with Jimmy Blackwood and Brad White. Mark soon left, however, and launched a new version of his Blackwood Gospel Quartet. In 2010, Mark's Blackwood Gospel Quartet was merged with Ron Blackwood's Blackwood Quartet. At this point, the group name was shortened to the name Ron had been using, eliminating the word "Gospel."
A year later, the Blackwood Quartet would go through yet another merger, adding Terry Toney from the Toney Brothers at the same time the Toney Brothers name was retired.
2002 Blackwood Gospel Quartet (Voice Box Records): Everyday Will Be Sunday; Ole Ship Zion; Higher Power; Leaning On The Rock; Fill My Cup; Leavin' On Out; Turning The Soil; Learning To Lean; The Old Country Church.