Remembering Luther Jennings of the Jackson Southernaires

Luther Jennings died Wednesday at UMMC. He was 86 years old. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 11 a.m. at The Tabernacle of Praise Church located at 1917 Forest Avenue in Jackson.

The Jackson Southernaires epitomize the gospel quartet sound: hard lead singing and preaching, bluesy rhythm, rich harmonies and messages that combine biblical truth with old-fashioned common sense. The group was formed in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1940 by local music producer Frank Crisler. Like many quartets, the Southernaires started by singing in local churches for freewill offerings. But in 1963, anchored by the combined talents of brothers Franklin “Frank” Delano Williams and Huey Proctor Williams, and electrifying vocalist Willie Banks, the quartet scored a record deal with Song Bird, a subsidiary of Peacock Records. Their debut single was the hard-driving The Greatest Creator.

The Jackson Southernaires became Malaco Records first gospel artist in 1975.

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