Fmr. Oak Ridge Boys Member Gary McSpadden Has Died

Gospel singer and songwriter Gary McSpadden has died after a battle with pancreatic Cancer. McSpadden passed away on Wednesday, April 15th at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 77-years-old.

A baritone who performed in numerous Gospel groups throughout his career, including The Statesmen, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Imperials, The Bill Gaither Trio, and The Gaither Vocal Band, Gary McSpadden was also a solo singer and songwriter, television host, and pastor throughout his nearly 60 year career.

Born January 26th, 1943 in Magnum, Oklahoma, Gary’s family moved to Lubbock, TX where his father was a pastor, and his family was very musical with both his father and mother working as Gospel songwriters. In 1962 at the age of 18, Gary was noticed by the manager of the Southern Gospel group The Statesman, and was asked to fill in while the lead singer Jake Hess was on medical leave.

After five months with The Statesman, McSpadden joined what at the time was called The Oak Ridge Quartet at the critical moment when the group signed with Warner Bros. Records and officially became known as The Oak Ridge Boys. Gary McSpadden replaced Ron Page, and appeared on three records with the Hall of Fame group before reuniting with Jake Hess and singing with The Imperials. McSpadden was part of The Imperials when they famously sang backup for Elvis Presley.

From there, McSpadden joined The Bill Gaither Trio in 1977, and began working as a pastor before stepping down to pursue music full time as the group became the Gaither Vocal Band. Gary first began pursuing a solo career in 1979, and by 1988 began solely focusing on a career as a solo artist that resulted in 16 solo albums.

Later in his career, Gary McSpadden continued to work as a pastor, and hosted multiple live and televised music shows, and also worked as a producer for multiple bands and artists. By the early 2000’s Gary had become a fixture of the Branson, Missouri Gospel scene, and mentored numerous artists, including Lauren Mascitti, who Saving Country Music recently featured.

Gary McSpadden has been inducted a total of three times in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame from his various projects and pursuits, and is also a member of the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Most recently, he had been the pastor at the non-denominational Faith & Wisdom church in Branson.

“As most of you know Gary and I have been in Tulsa at the Cancer Treatment Center of America,” his wife Carol posted. “Gary has been battling cancer along with other complications over the last several weeks. This has been a quick and difficult journey we have been on. We knew this week that God had a plan and his healing would be here on earth or in heaven. As of 8:40 AM Pastor passed peacefully surrounded by his family into the arms of God.”

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