Debra Robinson informed JGM yesterday that Val Alexander, longtime singer and also guitarist because that the Gospel Keynotes, passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

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Alexander have the right to be heard on Gospel Keynotes recordings as early as 1970. Right here is a brief bio ~ above the Gospel Keynotes:

From Tyler, Texas, Willie Neal Johnson – affectionately known as “Country Boy” – began his skilled singing career once Rev. C. W. Jackson invite him to join a local group, the five Ways of happiness Gospel Singers, when he was still a teenager.

The 5 Ways of happiness instilled in Johnson a love that quartet singing, and also he collection about organizing his own team with hometown friend Ralph McGee, Rev. J.D. Talley, Charles Bailey, man Jackson, Lonzo Jackson and Archie B. McGee. They resolved on a surname – the Gospel Keynotes.

The Gospel Keynotes acquired their first big break once they were introduced to Ernie Young the Nashboro Records. Through then, the group contained Edward James Brumfield, Paul Beasley and Johnny Jones. Their very first single, “Show Me the Way,” videotaped in June 1964, was additionally their very first hit. The complying with year, the Keynotes complied with up v “Only right Will Win,” featuring the incomparable command of Johnny Jones.

The an initial of dozens the Keynotes albums was released in 1968 and featured yet one more Keynotes classic, “One more Time.” other songs that came to be popular with Keynotes fans to be “The Keynotes Prayer” and “My Life will Be Sweeter.” it was throughout their Nashboro years the Alexander ended up being a component of the troupe.

Along with his fellow Gospel Keynotes, Alexander enjoyed a GRAMMY nomination once the group’s 1979 Nashboro release, Ain’t No preventing Us Now, was up for finest Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional, in 1980.

When Nashboro close up door its doors, one more door opened at Malaco Records. The Keynotes signed v Malaco in 1985 and continued your string of famous records and also touring. The was throughout their time through Malaco that Johnson and also the Keynotes, with Alexander, joined forces with the Mississippi fixed Choir top top “I’m Yours, Lord,” offering birth come what is now well-known as the “choirtet” concept.

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A team that never ever left its traditional roots to adopt the modern quartet sound, the Gospel Keynotes will certainly forever it is in remembered because that music that brings come mind one “old fashioned hand clapping, tear streaming revival, led by a soul stirring, aisle wade preacher, singing and also shouting and dispensing the gospel.”

JGM extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and many fans of the late Val Alexander, and especially to the Gospel Keynotes throughout this sad time.

Devyn Antwan has created a playlist in tribute to Bro. Alexander and the Gospel Keynotes. Friend can accessibility it here: