Larnelle Harris

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Larnelle Harris
Larnelle Performing
Larnelle Performing
Background information
Birth nameLarnelle Steward Harris
Born (1947-07-06) July 6, 1947 (age 76)
Danville, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresGospel, contemporary Christian
Instrument(s)Vocals, saxophone, drums
Years active1969–present

Larnelle Steward Harris (born July 6, 1947) is an American gospel singer and songwriter. During his 40-plus years of ministry, Harris has recorded 18 albums, won five Grammy Awards[1] and 11 Dove Awards, and has had several number one songs on the inspirational music charts.

Early life[edit]

A native of Danville, Kentucky,[2] Harris started playing the drums at the age of nine. His first formal vocal training came when he attended college at Western Kentucky University, from which he graduated in 1969. Harris then became a part of the popular gospel touring group The Spurrlows (beginning as drummer). He received notability for his solo work and as member of the Gaither Vocal Band from 1984 through 1987.


Perhaps Harris' best-known songs are his duets with Sandi Patty, "More than Wonderful" (1983) and "I've Just Seen Jesus" (1985). Others of his well received and popular songs are his self-penned "I Miss My Time With You" (1986) and "In It After All", written by Constant Change, a.k.a. Dawn Thomas,[3] on his album I Can Begin Again (1989), on Benson Records. The song was a No. 1 radio hit.[citation needed]

Harris' song, "Mighty Spirit" was featured in a 1993 television campaign for the Points of Light Foundation, headed by President George H. W. Bush. He performed the song for Bush and his wife Barbara at the White House.[4] His recording of "All Along the Way", co-written by Greg Nelson and Dan Schafer, reached the No. 1 spot on the CCM Inspirational chart, and stayed for five weeks.[5] His 1995 album, Unbelievable Love, received the 1996 Dove Award as Inspirational Album of The Year.[6]

Harris has received an honorary doctorate of music from Campbellsville University in central Kentucky.[citation needed] He was inducted into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1993.[7]

Television work[edit]

Harris has appeared live on television series such as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The 700 Club, several Billy Graham crusades, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. He has appeared on numerous Gaither Homecoming shows, and his own Christmas special. In his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Harris has made many appearances on the WHAS Crusade for Children, a long-running local telethon benefitting children's charities.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Harris met his wife Cynthia (Mitzi) while both were students at Western Kentucky University. They have two children Lonnie (Larnelle Jr.) and Teresa. They have lived in Louisville for more than three decades. Despite his schedule, Harris serves as a deacon in his home church, and previously served as its treasurer. Harris is well known within the gospel music industry for his reluctance to schedule performances that take him away from his family for any length of time.[8]


With First Gear[edit]

  • 1972: First Gear featuring Larnelle Harris (Myrrh 6505)
  • 1974: Caution!Steep Hill Use First Gear (Myrrh 6515)


  • 1975: Tell It To Jesus
  • 1977: Larnelle...More
  • 1978: Free
  • 1980: Give Me More Love in My Heart
  • 1982: Touch Me Lord
  • 1985: I've Just Seen Jesus
  • 1986: From a Servant's Heart
  • 1987: The Father Hath Provided
  • 1988: Larnelle...Christmas
  • 1989: I Can Begin Again
  • 1990: Larnelle Live...Psalms Hymns & Spiritual Songs (with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir)
  • 1992: I Choose Joy
  • 1994: Beyond All the Limits
  • 1995: Unbelievable Love (Dove Award, Inspirational Album of The Year)[6]
  • 1998: First Love
  • 2001: A Story to Tell
  • 2003: Pass the Love
  • 2005: I Want to Be a Star
  • 2017: Disturb Us, Lord


  • 1991: The Best of 10 Years, Vol. 1&2
  • 1986: The Best of Larnelle

Appearances on other albums[edit]

  • 1991: Live with Friends The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir; "I Can Be Glad"
  • 1992: Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration
  • 1993: The New Young Messiah; "Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted", "Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs"
  • 1994: Promise Keepers: A Life That Shows; "In a Way That Matters"
  • 1994: Stories & Songs of Christmas; "Silent Night"
  • 1994: Saviour: The Story of God's Passion for His People (with Steve Green, Twila Paris, Wayne Watson, Wintley Phipps)
  • 1995: Christmas Carols of the Young Messiah; "Amen"
  • 1995: Master Pieces – Classic Songs Made New; "Just A Little Talk With Jesus"
  • 1995: Hymns & Voices; "It Is Well with My Soul", "The Lord's Prayer"
  • 1996: Emmanuel: A Musical Celebration of the Life of Christ; "Rejoice Emmanuel"
  • 1997: God With Us: A Celebration of Christmas Carols & Classics; "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
  • 1998: Ralph Carmichael and Friends Live; "Here and Now I Believe"
  • 2000: Vestal & Friends, Vol. 2 Vestal Goodman; "The Lamb Has Brought Us Home"


  • 1991: Larnelle Live: My Time With You (VHS)
  • 1992: I Choose Joy (VHS)
  • 1994: Sparrow TV Dinners (VHS) various artists; "Teach Me to Love", duet with Steve Green
  • 2002: More Than the Music ...Live (VHS) various artists; "The Lord's Prayer"
  • 2005: Timeless: Concert of Faith & Inspiration (various artists)
  • 2013: Live in Nashville

Gaither Homecoming performances[edit]

  • 1993: A Christmas Homecoming "Amen"
  • 1996: Homecoming Texas Style "Amen"
  • 1998: Down By The Tabernacle "I Go To The Rock"
  • 1999: Kennedy Center Homecoming "America, the Beautiful", "I've Just Seen Jesus" duet with Sandi Patty
  • 2002: God Bless America "Jesus Saves"
  • 2002: Let Freedom Ring "More Than Wonderful" with Sandi Patty
  • 2003: Going Home "Friends in High Places"
  • 2004: Dottie Rambo with Homecoming Friends "I Go to the Rock"
  • 2004: We Will Stand "Dream On"
  • 2005: Israel Homecoming "Amen"
  • 2005: Jerusalem Homecoming "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked"
  • 2009: Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Volume 1 "Your First Day in Heaven", "Can't Stop Talking About Him", "A Few Good Men"
  • 2009: Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Volume 2 "Dream On", "Build An Ark", "The Love of God"
  • 2011: Alaskan Homecoming "How Great Thou Art", "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • 2011: Majesty "I've Just Seen Jesus" with Ladye Love Smith
  • 2011: Tent Revival Homecoming "I Don't Want to Get Adjusted"
  • 2011: The Old Rugged Cross "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"

Awards and honors[edit]

Grammy Awards[1][edit]

  • 1983: Best Gospel Performance by Duo or Group for "More Than Wonderful" with Sandi Patty
  • 1985: Best Gospel Performance by Duo or Group for "I've Just Seen Jesus" with Sandi Patty
  • 1985: Best Solo Gospel Performance for "How Excellent Is Thy Name"
  • 1987: Best Gospel Performance, Male for The Father Hath Provided
  • 1988: Best Gospel Performance, Male for Larnelle...Christmas

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

  • 1981: Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year for Give Me More Love in My Heart
  • 1983: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 1983: Inspirational Album of the Year for Touch Me Lord
  • 1986: Inspirational Album of the Year for I've Just Seen Jesus
  • 1986: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 1988: Songwriter of the Year
  • 1988: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 1992: Inspirational Album of the Year for Larnelle Live...Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs
  • 1993: Inspirational Album of the Year for Generation 2 Generation
  • 1996: Inspirational Album of the Year for Unbelievable Love

Inducted into the Gospel Music Association Foundation Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007

Other honors[edit]

  • Silver Bell Award for Distinguished Public Service presented by Ad Council
  • Cashbox Magazine Award for Contemporary Gospel Single of the Year for "I Can Begin Again"
  • Stellar Award, Best Solo Performance by Male Contemporary for "The Father Hath Provided"
  • Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Black Artist
  • The Christian Music Hall of Fame (inducted in 2007)[9]
  • Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni – Inducted 1993[10]


  1. ^ a b "Awards Nominations & Winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. April 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "SR 98: Resolution proclaiming Larnelle Harris Day" (DOC). Kentucky Senate. 1998. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  3. ^ "Dawn Thomas aka Constant Change Biography".
  4. ^ a b "Larnelle Harris Biography". Christian Publicity Services. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008.
  5. ^ ""All Along the Way" No. 1 Page". Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Rick Moore, Nashville Songwriter Series: Robert White Johnson. American Songwriter, January 3, 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  7. ^ "THE PATH Christian Radio: CDR Radio Network". CDR Radio Network. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "Created to Shine: Today's Christian". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009.
  9. ^ "Inductees Archive". February 14, 2017.
  10. ^ "HODA – Past Inductees".

External links[edit]