Blackwood Brothers: The Old Country Church

The Blackwood Brothers singing The Old Country Church at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. The group at this time was comprised of tenor Bill Shaw, lead James Blackwood, baritone Cecil Blackwood, bass J.D. Sumner and pianist Wally Varner.

The highlight for me was when Bill Shaw is featured on the last verse. I liked the song so much I that I wore out the record and had to order another one.

I have been fortunate to have seen the Blackwood Brothers a few times in concert but not with this configuration since J.D. Sumner was no longer with the group and Wally Varner had left the group in 1963.

Varner was one of the best southern gospel pianists to sit down at the keyboard. The following video shows him playing Looking For The City and he is in top form as he shows his piano wizardry.

This is southern gospel music at its best with Vestal Goodman, Johnny Cook, Wally Varner and the Bill Gaither homecoming singers singing the classic Looking For A City on the Turn Your Radio On video. This video was the fifth in the Bill Gaither Homecoming series and was released in 1993.

Wikipedia has more information about the homecoming videos and even lists how many videos each of the performers appeared on.

It was surprising to me that Jake Hess was on 38 videos while James Blackwood only appeared in 10 of them.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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