The Weatherfords (also Weatherford Quartet and Weatherford Trio) is an American southern gospel music vocal group.
The Weatherfords were formed by husband and wife Earl and Lily Weatherford, who first began singing together in the mid-1940s in Long Beach, California after their marriage in 1944. Earl had founded the group prior to this as an all-male troupe, and Lily began filling in on the tenor parts in 1948, eventually becoming the group's most visible member. They moved several times over the next few decades, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, Akron, Ohio, Fontana and Sacramento, California (as part of the staff of Calvary Temple), and Paoli, Oklahoma.
The group sang on California radio stations ( KFOX- KBGR-KBIG ) in the 1940s, and was offered a full-time spot on radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1949. In the 1950s, they recorded for RCA Victor. In 1959, The Weatherford Quartet recorded an album for RCA called In The Garden that was produced by Chet Atkins, and also featured guitar work by Atkins. It was recorded in Nashville at RCAs Studio B. They also worked in collaboration with evangelist Rex Humbard between 1953 and 1963. The group's other key members at this time were Glen Payne, Armond Morales, and Henry Slaughter.
The Weatherfords departed Akron, Ohio for California in 1963, and the groups The Cathedrals and The Imperials were formed from members of the Weatherfords at this time as well.
Other notable members included Dallas Holm, whose time with the group was short due to his draft requirements during the Vietnam War; Jim Hammel, who went on to be a long-time member of the Kingmens Quartet; David Engles, who now owns and operates a radio network out of Tulsa, Oklahoma (KNYD); and Dave Roland (Dave & Sugar).
The Weatherfords were featured on Greystone Productions: The History Of Southern Gospel Music, that was featured on many PBS stations in the mid 1990s, as well as several of the early editions of the Gaither Homecoming Videos.
Earl Weatherford died in 1992. In 1999, Lily published an autobiography, With All My Heart. She performed with the Weatherfords and retired in June of 2013.
Steve Weatherford is still touring nationally doing upwards of 150 concerts per year.
It is believed the Weatherfords may hold the record for having the most members in a Gospel music group having had over 100 in a 70-year period.
Members have included:
Earl Weatherford (1922-92): alternated on baritone and lead 1944-1992,
Lily Fern Goble Weatherford (b. 1928): alto 1945, 1948-1961, 1963-2013,
Steven Earl Weatherford: 1976-present,
Les Roberson: lead 1948-1955,
James Hamill: lead 19??-1956,
George Younce: bass 19??-1956,
Armond Morales (b. 1932): bass 1948-1964,
Glen Payne (1926-99): lead 1957-1963,
James "Hoppy" Hopkins: tenor 1961,
Henry T. Slaughter (b. 1927): piano 19??-1963,
James M. Clark: piano 1964-1966,
Billy Brisendine: lead 19??-1966,
Tracy Dartt (b. 1944): bass 19??-1973,
Fulton Nash: bass 19??-1973,
James Holbrook: piano 197?-197?,
Haskell Cooley: piano 1972-1974,
Glenn Couch (b. 1935): 1966,
Bob Thacker: bass 19??-1966,
Steve Weatherford: lead 1976-present,
Cody Boyer: baritone 2007-2010,
Terry Robertson: 2010