Wendy Bagwell

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Wendy Bagwell
Wendy bagwell.png
Wendell Lee Bagwell

May 16, 1925
DiedJune 13, 1996
Parent(s)Cajer and Arza Bagwell

Wendell Lee "Wendy" Bagwell (May 16, 1925 - June 13, 1996) was the founding member and leader of the Southern gospel music and comedy trio Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters.

Early years[edit]

The son of Cajer and Arza Bagwell, Bagwell was born in Chamblee, Georgia.[1] His secondary education was at West Fulton High School in Atlanta, Georgia.[2]

Bagwell served in the United States Marine Corps and twice was decorated for bravery. Bagwell returned home where at the age of 21, he adopted an abused nephew.[1]


In 1953, he formed Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters. He joined with two young singers he met in church, Geraldine Terry (later known professionally as Jerri Morrison), and Georgia Jones (ultimately replaced by "Little Jan" Buckner, the wife of Bagwell's adopted nephew), to form the gospel trio.[2]

Bagwell was best known for his comedy monologues, notably the million-selling "Here Come the Rattlesnakes" (also known as "The Rattlesnake Song"), an account of the trio's performance at a small church that engaged in snake handling.

Bagwell also was seen in television commercials as a spokesman for Stanback Headache Powders.[3]


Bagwell died on June 13, 1996, of a brain aneurysm.


In 1970, Bagwell was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance (Other Than Soul Gospel) for the album Talk About the Good Times.[4]

Bagwell was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1997[5] and into the GMA Hall Of Fame in 2001.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "W. Wendy Bagwell". Southern Gospel History. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b McNeil, W. K. (2013). Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music. Routledge. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9781135377007. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ Jones, Loyal (2008). Country Music Humorists and Comedians. University of Illinois Press. pp. 71–72. ISBN 9780252033698. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ "GRAMMY Award Results for Wendy Bagwell". The Grammys. The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ Wendy Bagwell profile, sgma.org; accessed June 29, 2008.