James Blackwood Dies at 82

Southern gospel music giant James Blackwood, the last living founding member of The Blackwood Brothers Quartet, died Sunday (Feb. 3) in a Memphis hospital of complications of a stroke, The Associated Press reports. He was 82. Formed in 1934, the Blackwood Brothers are one of the most recorded quartets in Southern gospel history. They earned eight Grammy awards from 1966-1982, some for backup singing for country stars such as Barbara Mandrell and Porter Wagoner. The Blackwoods helped form the National Quartet Convention in 1956 and the Gospel Music Association in 1964. Elvis Presley cited the vocal group as a major inspiration. James Blackwood, known as “Mr. Gospel Singer of America,” was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1974 individually, then in 1998 as part of The Blackwood Brothers Quartet. 02/04/02