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The Florida Boys Quartet is a Southern Gospel vocal quartet founded in about 1946 by J. G. Whitfield. Originally named The Gospel Melody Quartet, the group was renamed in 1954.
For sixty years fans have flocked to see The Florida Boys, the only male quartet that was consistently prominent from the 1950's to July 2007. With No. 1 hits like "Standing On The Solid Rock", "When He Was On The Cross, I Was On His Mind", "Lead Me To The Altar" and "I Lean On You Lord" this legendary group has recorded some 100 albums and attained a following of devoted listeners.
So what is at the heart of their success? Les Beasley, who sang lead and served as manager of the group, says it's their commitment to the calling they each have. We sincerely believe we have been doing what we were put on earth to do. We wanted our audiences to have a good time but it was most important that they hear the message in each song.
The Florida Boys' national television appearances consist of "The Today Show", "TNN's Prime Time Country", "Crooke & Chase", "Gaither Homecoming Videos" and their own "Gospel Singing Jubilee" which they hosted for many years.
Glen Allred joined the group in the fall of 1952, Beasley in the spring of 1953. Allred, although still a teenager, was a seasoned artist who had been a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Wally Fowler and the Oak Ridge Quartet. Beasley was just returning from Korea where he served in the 1st Tank Bat 1st Marine Division. Beasley has served as President of The Gospel Music Association, President of The Southern Gospel Music Association and is currently President of The National Quartet Convention. Les is in The Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, The Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame and The Texas Gospel Music Hall Of Fame.
And then there are those red socks. They belong to none other than Derrell Stewart, the Pianist, who hails from Brunswick, GA. Derrell's comic antics have made him a favorite wherever The Florida Boys performed.
In 1964, The Florida Boys became the first gospel group to have a nationally syndicated television program. The Gospel Singing Jubilee, produced by Beasley, brought a number of Dove Awards for "Best Gospel Singing Program", as well as the attention of may in the industry. Almost over-night the group became a nation-wide success.
Asked to describe The Florida Boys, one promoter said, "Crowd Pleasers". Another said, "Inspiring Entertainment". That just about sums it up. They were entertaining but the message of the "Good News" was always there. Year after year they have spread the "Good News" from coast to coast and many foreign countries.
After more than 50 years of traveling, Les, Glen & Derrell have retired. Down through the years, many wonderful singers have been a part of the group. Billy Todd, George Younce, Buddy Liles, Gene Mc Donald and Butch Owens are the bass singers that have been with the group since J. G. Whitfield retired in 1958. Glen Allred sang the baritone for 55 years. Les Beasley sang lead for 50 years. Josh Garner filled the lead spot for the last three years of their career. Buddy Mears, Coy Cook, Tommy Atwood, Laddie Cain, Jerry Trammel, Greg Cook, Rick Busby, Billy Hodges, Allen Cox and Harold Reed are some of the Tenors the group has had.
At the "farewell concert" on the main stage at the National Quartet Convention, it was announced that, with the blessing of Allred, Beaslet, and Stewart, the Florida Boys name would be continuing on and the mantle was passed to Charlie Waller to continue on with the Florida Boys legacy. Waller continued to operate the Florida Boys until 2016.
The Legendary Florida Boys Quartet. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from Florida Boys website: http://www.floridaboys.com/bio.html