Wendy Bagwell

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Wendell Lee "Wendy" Bagwell was the founding member and leader of the Southern gospel music and comedy trio Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters.

Bagwell was born in Chamblee, Georgia, on May 16, 1925, the son of Cajer and Arza Bagwell. After serving as a United States Marine where he was twice 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 died on June 13, 1996, and was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1997[3] and into the GMA Hall Of Fame in 2001.[4]


  1. ^ "Southern Gospel History | W / Wendy Bagwell". www.sghistory.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  2. ^ W.K. McNeil, Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music (2005), pp. 21-22.
  3. ^ Wendy Bagwell profile, sgma.org; accessed June 29, 2008.
  4. ^ "Southern Gospel History | W / Wendy Bagwell". www.sghistory.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23.