Heritage Singers are an American Gospel group founded by Max Mace and his wife, Lucy with their two children, Val and Greg. Upon entering their fourth decade, they had traveled to over 65 countries, performed over 7,000 concerts, produced 200 television programs, and recorded over 100 albums. In 2014 the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network began re-playing their 30-minute shows three times each week with the new title of Heritage Singers Classics.
After four years of performing with a patriotic/folk singing group to promote Portland-based United Medical Laboratories named Rose City Singers, the Maces decided to resign and form a Christian group in 1971. The first year they released two albums (Come Along With the Heritage Singers and Hymns We Remember) and performed their first public concert in June. Early accompanyists included Bob Silverman on piano and Pete McLeod and Jeff Wood on guitars. In 1974 the Heritage Singers collaborated with Ron Huff, who arranged their first albums with full orchestration. As their popularity grew (along with a television series, Heritage Singers Presents), they formed a second group in September 1974, dubbed Heritage II, (subsequently named New Creation) to perform mostly at cities located in the eastern half of the United States; and a third group, Heritage Singers en Espanol, which tours South America singing Spanish versions of the group's signature songs. More than 250 people (including Chris Willis) have performed as members of Heritage Singers; however, the Mace family has remained at its core.
Celebratory reunion concerts have been held in 1979 (Swing Auditorium), 1986 (Anaheim Convention Center), 2001 (Ontario Convention Center), and 2005 (Crystal Cathedral). A 45th anniversary reunion will be held in southern California in 2016.
Influence and awards:
A concert review by the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventists revealed, "During the period of socialist Yugoslavia, bootlegged cassettes, bearing the signature sound of the Heritage Singers, were the only source of recorded Christian music in countless households. This sound ... became a blueprint for music groups, bands and praise teams across the region."
Prior to performing at Pacific Union College in 2002, they had received more Angel Awards from "Religion in Media" than any other gospel group, including:
Album of the Year,
Best Children's Album,
Vocal Group of the Year,
Best Christian Television Variety Show,
Best Music Video
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