The Blind Boys of Alabama
are a gospel
group from Alabama
that first formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind
at Talladega, Alabama
in 1939. The three main vocalists of the group and their drummer/percussionist are all blind.
As of 2010, The Blind Boys of Alabama continue to tour nationally and internationally, with Jimmy Carter singing lead vocals. In 2006, Clarence Fountain, the group's former long-time lead vocalist and founding member limited his touring for health reasons. Founding member George Scott died on March 9, 2005 at the age of 75. Another founding member, Johnny Fields, died on November 12, 2009.
Releases by the group in recent years have been favorites at the Grammy Awards
—they won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
four straight years between 2002 and 2005. The Blind Boys of Alabama were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
in 2007. In 2009, they were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the early 1980s, the Blind Boys of Alabama performed in the Obie Award
-winning musical The Gospel at Colonus
; their involvement in the production has continued into the twenty-first century, including a 2008 performance in Athens
, near the original performance location of Sophocles
's play Oedipus at Colonus
, where Jimmy Carter took over the role of Oedipus
originally created for Clarence Fountain. This was followed by performances in 2009 in Edinburgh Scotland at the Edinburgh... Read More