Les Beasley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Les Beasley
Les Beasley.JPG
Beasley with David L. Cook
Background information
Born (1928-08-16) August 16, 1928 (age 88)
Crockett, Texas, U.S.
Genres Southern gospel, Christian
Occupation(s) Singer, Guitarist, Manager
Instruments Vocals, Bass Guitar
Years active 1953–present
Associated acts Florida Boys

Les Beasley (born August 16, 1928 in Crockett, Texas[1]) is a retired American Southern Gospel musician. From 1953-2007 he was the lead singer, bass guitarist, and manager for the Florida Boys. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of Gospel Music TV.[2]

Early life[edit]

Beasley was born to Lester Beasley and Edna Stewart Beasley. His father was a minister, and his mother a homemaker.[3] Beasley started singing at an early age in his father's churches. Growing up, Beasley lived in many places, including Crockett TX, Ripley TN, Mt Vernon TX (where he started to school), Mobeetie TX, Benton AR, Burdette AR, Jena LA, Kentwood LA, and West Helena, AR.[4] Beasley attended college and graduated from Louisiana State University.[5]

Career[edit]

Beasley started his career singing with a trio called the McManus trio and then in 1953 joined The Gospel Melody Quartet, which eventually was renamed The Florida Boys Quartet. Joined by future Southern Gospel music legends and hall of famers Glen Allred and Darryl Stewart, Beasley was the lead singer and bass guitarist from 1953-1999. After developing severe vocal problems, Beasley stepped aside as lead vocalist in 1999 but stayed on as manager of the group and as well as bass guitarist.[6] An innovator in the Southern Gospel world, he introduced a newer sound by adding guitars in addition to vocals as he and Glen Allred both sang and played bass and electric guitar, respectively. In the 1960s and 70s, Beasley co-produced the popular syndicated television program The Gospel Singing Jubilee, which introduced Southern Gospel Music to other areas of the country.[7] He also served as President of the Gospel Music Association in 1970 and 1971, and co-designed the Dove Award statue.[8] Beasley is the owner of Beasley And Barker Publishing Company and also serves as a lifetime member and permanent board member of the Gospel Music Association.[9] He has also served on the board of the National Quartet Convention for many years. He is also an accomplished songwriter with such songs as Lead Me To The Altar to his credit. Beasley was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1997. Beasley retired from the Florida Boys in 2007 along with Allred and Stewart, their last performance as a group was at the 2007 National Quartet Convention. Beasley is no longer performing, but is leasing the name of the group to Southern Gospel Music promoter Charlie Waller with entirely new members to keep the name alive and the group on the road.[10][11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Beasley stays active in the Gospel music scene. He has been married to his wife Frances for almost 50 years and has 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. He resides in Florida.[13]

Achievements[edit]

  • Produced The Gospel Singing Jubilee, the nationally syndicated program that ran for years[14]
  • President of the Gospel Music Association for two years[15][16]
  • Lifetime member of the Board Of Directors of the Gospel Music Association[17]
  • He, Bill Gaither and Herman Harper, as a committee, suggested to the GMA board that an awards program be a part of the annual meeting. The Dove Awards is the result of that suggestion. Beasley named the award.[18]
  • President of a Southern Gospel Music Association that later became the Southern Gospel Music Guild[19]
  • President of The National Quartet Convention that promotes the National Quartet Convention[20]
  • Member of The GMA Hall of Fame[21]
  • Member of The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and The Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame[22]
  • Member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame[23]

References[edit]

External links[edit]