Billy Todd passes away

Stewart Varnado of the Dixie Echoes just sent out a press release announcing that former Dixie Echoes and Florida Boys bass singer Billy Todd passed away this morning:

It is with a heavy heart that I write this email to let you know that my friend and former Florida Boys & Dixie Echoes bass singer, Billy Todd, passed away this morning (November 30th), after a long battle against alzheimers.

Arrangements are still pending. They will be available at once they have been finalized.

I have just uploaded a “Remembering Billy Todd” page on our website that consists of a brief biography along with many pictures of Billy throughout the years. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

Please keep the Todd family in your prayers.

God Bless you all!
Stewart Varnado
Dixie Echoes

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

9 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. Another legend gone…rest in peace Billy.

  2. Hidee,
    This is a sad day! Billy was one of my many Heroes in the Quartet World! We had many wonderful visits at the GOGR, NQC, and when the DEs would come to Texas. He was a wonderful gentleman and an great bass vocalist.

  3. Billy Todd had more power and projection in his bass voice than just about anybody. He was a great, great bass singer. I would argue that he perhaps appeared on TV as much as any bass singer in gospel music history, thanks to Gospel Song Shop and then the 9 or 10 years he appeared on the Jubilee. Also, my grandfather worked with his brother for many years and became quite well-acquainted with his family. I never got to know Billy personally, but in every encounter I had with him, he was nothing short of being a very kind and distinguished gentleman. This is a sad loss for gospel music.

  4. My father sang with him with the Florida Boys and they have always remained close friends. Mr. Billy was a wonderful, and kind man. One of the greatest bass singers too. He will be missed.

  5. Billy Todd was a true gentleman and a tremendous bass singer. His big smile and hearty laughter was infectous. I had the distinct priviledge of singing with him the first year of the Gospel Singing Jubilee Television program. He and his wife Jane were so kind to our group from Pennsylvania during those wonderful days of television. I was thrilled when he came out of retirement to join the Dixie Echos. I heard him sing in Pennsylvania and he was even better than I remember him years ago. The list of gospel singers going home is getting longer and longer and reminds us all of our mortality. May we use Billy Todd as a template as to how to live life and treat our fellow singers and people in general.

    Duane Nicholson The Original Couriers

  6. It was my privilege to personally know Billy, Jane and their children. Anyone ever hearing that meliflous bass voice of Billy’s will need no reminder of the power this gentle man had. Having lived in the North (where gospel music is not easily found), I could always hear Billy and the Florida Boys in my mind. To have grown up with Billy and Jane in the small Pensacola Berean Baptist Church was a joy. Not only could we hear him sing and her play the piano or organ, they were family friends as well. Jane played and sang for my wedding and Robin and David were our flower girl and ring bearer, we let Billy enjoy being a guest for a change. Concerts don’t allow for much interaction between performer and attendee and for that, in this case, it was the attendees loss. Billy and Jane were gentle, quiet people with kind hearts and easy smiles. Billy will be greatly missed and while I’ve never heard anyone speak of Jesus tapping His toes, I tend to think He surely does and, if Billy isn’t laughing with Him, he’s singing to Him. Thank you Lord, for the gift of musicians such as Billy Todd.

  7. I was very shocked to hear about Billy Todds passing.
    We were great friends.Time is passing and those who were a
    part of the Golden Age of Gospel singing are few anymore.

    My prayers for Billy’s family.

    In Christ Bobby Clark

  8. Billy Todd was my Great-Uncle and by far the sweetest, most generous, and kind man that I have ever known. I am sure I speak for the rest of my family when I say, “We dearly miss him.” This may seem a little conceited (pardon my spelling), I haven’t heard any better of a bass singer yet. I know he is singing God’s words in heaven. God bless everyone. Thank you for appreciating my uncle just as much as my family did.

  9. I grew up listening to Billy Todd, Coy Cook, Glen Alred, Derrell Stewart, Les Beasley and remember Billy Todd would play the organ at the Macon auditorium when they would come to town. I often wondered where he went and what he did after leaving the Florida Boys. He was my favorite bass singer. I am so sorry he had alzheimers disease, but he is now with the Lord and there is no better place to be. He ran the race for so many years, and what a race he has won!


  1. Billy Todd Passes Away « Burke’s Brainwork - [...] 1, 2008 by burkesbrainwork News broke yesterday that Billy Todd, longtime bass singer for the Florida…
  2. » 2008 in Review: News Stories - [...] Former Florida Boys / Dixie Echoes bass Billy Todd passes away. [...]