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Bill and Gloria Gaither Biography

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William "Bill" Gaither (born March 28, 1936) is an American singer and songwriter of southern gospel and Contemporary Christian music. He has written numerous popular Christian songs with his wife, Gloria. Besides performing solo and with his wife, Gaither has appeared as part of the Bill Gaither Trio, the Gaither Vocal Band, and as a part of his "Homecoming" groups.

Gaither was born in Alexandria, Indiana in 1936, the son of George and Lela Gaither. He formed his first group, the Bill Gaither Trio (consisting of his sister Mary Ann, and brother Danny) in 1956 while a college student at Anderson College. After graduating from Anderson in 1959, he worked as an English teacher. He married the former Gloria Sickal in 1962. After a few years of trying to manage both a music career and his full time teaching job, he quit his teaching job in 1967 and worked full time in the Christian music industry.

Gaither was influenced by southern gospel groups and singers such as Jake Hess, Hovie Lister, and groups like the Speers, the Statesmen and the Happy Goodmans.

Many of the more than 600 songs that he and Gloria wrote have become standards across the English-speaking world. Among the titles: "Because He Lives," "The King Is Coming," " Something Beautiful," "He Touched Me," "It Is Finished," "There's Something About That Name" and "Let's Just Praise The Lord". His songs have been performed by Christian artists (Carman, Sandi Patty), country singers (The Statler Brothers) and pop artists (Elvis Presley).

Gloria Gaither often writes the lyrics while Bill writes the music, although composing is usually a collaborative project between the two.

Since Gaither first began singing with the Bill Gaither Trio in the 1950s, he has constantly been performing. The Bill Gaither Trio originally consisted of Bill, his brother Danny Gaither and his sister Mary Ann Gaither. In about 1964 Bill's wife, Gloria, took the place of Mary Ann. The trio sang traditional gospel songs along with original compositions by the Gaithers, but gave them a more contemporary feel.

Gaither has a high bass voice (or low baritone), and would often sing while playing a guitar with the Bill Gaither Trio. He also plays the piano.

Gaither founded the Gaither Music Company, which performs the functions of record company, concert booking, television production, copyright management, retail store, recording studio and telemarketing for the Gaither empire. Gaither also runs a retail center called Gaither Family Resources.

Gaither has been a father figure to many up-and-comers in the Contemporary Christian music industry, while helping to prolong the careers of those who came before him. Mark Lowry, Sandi Patty, Carman, Steve Green, Don Francisco, Amy Grant, Michael English, Jonathan Pierce, Karla Worley, and Cynthia Clawson are all CCM artists who either got their start or became popular while touring with the Gaithers.

His "Homecoming" tours, which started in 1991, brought together giants of the southern gospel and CCM industry, sparking a revival of the genres. The "Homecoming" tours have sold more than 1.1 million tickets across the world, and have included such notable venues as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Pollstar lists the tour as selling more tickets in 2004 than Elton John, Fleetwood Mac or Rod Stewart. [1]

In addition to singing and songwriting, Gaither has produced albums for other Christian artists since the early 1990s.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine named Gaither one of the top 50 richest musicians, with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and the Grateful Dead. At 68, Gaither was the oldest on the list. [2]

Bill and Gloria still live in Indiana and have three grown children.
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