History Project: Weatherfords Personnel

I just spent several hours updating the Weatherfords’ entry at SGHistory with everything I know of their personnel through the years. I also checked their website and Lily Fern’s autobiography (With All My Heart). Does anyone have additional information on when different members were with the group? If so, post it here in the comments, and I’ll update the page.


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32 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Have you talked with Steve?

    • Not yet. Celebrities can only spare so much time, you see, and I’d rather find out as much as I can before asking him, because I could then focus my questions on those things that only he would remember! 🙂

      • Good plan. I just wasn’t sure if you had thought of him, planned to or what.

      • Yes, I was planning to, at some point, but there are a few too many – a few DOZEN too many – question marks at this point!

  2. Mark McLaughlin is my brother. He would have been with them approx 98-2000 or 99-2001.

  3. I will try and find some of these. As for me , I was there from New Years 90 through Feb 94. Came back in July 95 through June 97. Scott Pratt was there when I came in the first time. He was there about 6-7 months. Came back briefly in the mid 90’s.

    • Thank you! I should have thought to specifically ask you. Even just the members you toured with (and whom you replaced, and who followed you) would be a fantastic boost.

  4. To bad albums don’t have dates on them (like cd’s)! This may take awhile. I have vinyl that goes all the way back to Bobby Clark. Alot of these people I have met or seen with the Weatherfords (when I was really small), but it will take awhile to get dates with the group in a general time frame.

    • Thanks! And yes, the lack of dates on albums can be a significant minus! However, should I get an hour or two opening at some point, I’m also hoping to expand that portion of the entry, with data I have and can track down online. I don’t have all my Weatherfords albums in the album listing yet!

  5. Just found “Listen For The Sound” with Tracy Dartt, Ken Williams and Haskell Cooley (plus Earl and Lily ) on ebay selling for $80. Didn”t realize I was on such a gold mine!

    • Oh, not necessarily. People sometimes ask very high-dollar sums for Gospel records on eBay, and those albums often don’t sell. It’s the ones priced at $2-$10 that actually do sell on eBay. 🙂

    • Listen for the Sound for $80? I didn’t know I owned an album that valuable.

      • The question is if it would actually sell for that price!

  6. I grew up in the Akron, OH area and attended Rex Humbard’s Cathedral of Tomorrow. My mother was his secretary. I was there when the Weatherford Quartet came to the church and stayed as the church quartet. Lily was my Idol since I was a singer from age 5. I was about 11 when they left the church and the newly formed Cathedral Quartet took over. I keep my Weatherford albums because I wanted to become like Lily and be in a quartet. I got married out of high school and my husband was not a singer. My dream of being in a professional quartet never happened but I did keep singing and developed a low tenor voice like Lily and enjoyed singing for decades. I loved seeing her on the Homecoming series. I am 65 this year but still love her singing. Are any of the old albums on CD.? I especially loved her solo album.
    Where can I get her biography? This is an awesome website I just found it.
    God Bless You.

  7. Dorothy Bright Payne (my mom) 1944-1945. In the 1950’s- James Hopkins,Mack Evans,Jerry Evans,Vic Clay. 1960’s – Dave Roland, Roger Wiles, Chris Hammond, Dale Ellis, Danny Lawson, Danny Larson. 1960-1970- Gayle (Tank) Tackett, Debbie (Mcqueen) Baker, Cloid Baker. 1970’s- Ken Williams, Doyle Ankrom, Ken Carter, Ken Feliciano, Tim Chevront, Marlin Sparks, Art Ross, Brenda Clark. 1990’s- Don Cook, Joel Caldwell. Hope some of this will steer you in the right direction.

    • Thanks! Everything heading in the right direction is definitely a great help!

  8. I may be imagining it, but didn’t Mike Allen sing bass for them at one time?

    • He did, though he was with them under his real name, Mike Allen Hofacker. He is listed in the discography there, though, under his stage name.

  9. If you need any more background on Mark, here is a page about our old quartet prior to the Weatherfords.
    http://mclaughlinbrothers.blogspot.com/

  10. I will see Doyle Ankrom tomorrow afternoon and will pass this on. He doesn’t do computer….but I will offer to pass his information back to you.

    • That would be excellent – thanks!

  11. Saw Doyle Ankrom tonight at the Legacy 5 concert in Kearney Missouri. He has been the pastor at Full Gospel Assembly in Independance Missouri for many, many years now. He can be reached at 816-461-0149.

    He said he was with the Weatherfords two different times. The first time 1965-1966. The line up was Earl and Lily, Fulton Nash (Bass) Doyle Ankrom (Lead) and Ray Cude at the Piano. Dave Roland followed Doyle as lead. At that time they were based in Scaremento, CA.

    He was back with them again in 1975-1976 (and maybe a little bit longer) . The line up at that time was Earl and Lily, Fulton Nash (Bass) Doyle Ankrom (Lead) amd Glenn Beeler at the Piano. He said Steve Weatherford was doing a few spot specials at that time. The were based out of Paoli, OK then.

    Doyle does not do computer but said he would be glad to talk to you in more detail about that era if you want to call him or leave a number.

    • FJW, thank you very much for finding this out! I think that is all I would need to know presently – I’m just working on the chronology right now. 🙂

  12. Oops! In rereading Doyle’s notes…I should have said the second time was 1975-76 but for just a few months to fill in. How much of 1976 he can’t recall.

    • Thanks for the clarification! Even if it was only for a few months, since it seems as though he was there across the turn of that New Year, the date I edited in should remain the same.

  13. I sang lead with the Weatherford quartet from 1965 through 1968. When I joined the group Bob Thacker was the bass, James Clark ((now of Spring, Texas) was the piano man and arranger and of course Lily & Earl. A few months after that, Bob left the group and Fulton Nash (now in Tahlequah, OK) became our bass.
    With Bob we recorded, “Come On Let’s Sing” and with Fulton we did, “Listen To Those Smooth Weatherfords” and “Blessed Assurance”. James had left the group, so 15 year old Chris Hammond was our pianist.

    • Thank you very much! I actually own copies of both “Come On, Let’s Sing” and “Listen to Those Smooth Weatherfords.” Both are excellent projects.

    • Bob Thacker was an outstanding bass singer. He is often overlooked when great bass singers of the past are discussed.

      • Yes. The gentlemen on best bass singer lists are often not solely the absolute best, but those of the best who were in front of enough people for enough years for their talent to be recognized. Thacker was one of the great unsung bass singers.