The Blind Boys of Alabama are a gospel singing band and have existed since the 1930s. In their 80 year history, the band has seen many different lineups. This also makes them amongst the longest running live acts. Over the years, there has been a long string of successful gospel albums and many appearances at important events. They have also performed all over the world, never stopping once since their emergence. Even today, their fans can find Blind Boys of Alabama tickets if they wish to see them live. They have won many awards, including the highest honor in music, the Grammy, which they had the opportunity to win five times.
Ever since the 30s, the band has extremely gifted singers who have inspired people by overcoming their disability and letting their talent shine through. The current lineup consists of singers Ricky McKinnie, Jimmy Carter
and Ben Moore
, their musical director and guitar player Joey Williams
and other musicians who join the band for their live performances. This lineup has carried on the torch of the singers and musicians before them, all of whom helped the band stay prominent throughout history. Their goal has always been to revive the faith of god in people through their music. They want to uplift their listeners and empower them. By default, they have also inspired people with disabilities. Mckinnie
has said that the fact that they are all blind does not have to stop them. What they cannot do becomes irrelevant when they are really good at doing what they can
In many ways, it can be said that they have helped shaped gospel music in the modern era itself. Ever since their mainstream breakthrough in the 1960s, they have defined soul and gospel. Back in that time, before the civil rights movement, the soul genre had started to be known as the music of the African American people. The Blind Boys of Alabama then could have indulged themselves in soul music, for it had the same depth and spirituality of gospel, but had more marketability for it was closer to pop. The version of the band that existed at this time could have made the decision to become radio friendly and deviate slightly from the versions before them. In that way, they would have been successful in their commercial endeavor. They would have begun to sell more and become more known to the mainstream audience. Not only would that have given them more fans, this would also have ensured more financial security to the band than they would ever have with pure gospel music. But money and fame had never been their goal. While many gospel singers like them were making the route to soul music, they kept their ground and carried on the tradition of pure gospel music that had been living on for 30 years before them. A big moment for the band was when they performed at many benefit events for the head of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr.
The band actively took part in the cause, fighting for their rights.
The latest version of the band began their work with an album called "Spirit of the Century". This ended up becoming their most commercial and critically acclaimed album of all 70 years prior. This was because it was perhaps the most artistically engineered one to date. It blended gospel music with some folk tunes, some blues and some soul. Their hard work and risk with the technical element was rewarded when they received a Grammy Award
in the category of "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album". Other renowned musicians, such as David Lindley, Danny Thompson, John Hammond
and Charlie Musselwhite
played on the album as well.
They have spent the past year appearing on other prestigious events, singing their latest tunes. In February of this year, they were featured on the "Preservation Hall Jazz Band" show where they were honored alongside singers like Allen Toussaint
. They also performed at a Louis Armstrong
tribute concert which was held in Brooklyn. Other than that, they regularly perform in churches around the country. There has never been a time when they have stayed away from the stage for too long. Blind Boys of Alabama tickets
are always on sale all year round. Their fans can always catch them performing on their tours, on different events, on festivals, and on television. They have created a legacy which will carry on for much longer.
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