b. Albert Edward Brumley, 29 October 1905, Spiro, Indian Territory, Oklahoma, USA, d. 15 November 1977. Brumley is remembered as one of the greatest gospel songwriters of all time, although many of his hundreds of songs have also been recorded by country singers including Roy Acuff, Red Foley, Webb Pierce, Louvin Brothers, Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley. He learned to play organ as a boy and at 19 studied at the Hartford Musical Institute at Hartford, Arkansas. He sang in a quartet but his shyness of solo work prevented him becoming a singer. He turned to writing and in 1931, after he married Goldie Edith Schell, she persuaded him to send some of his songs to the Hartford Music Company for publication. ‘I’ll Fly Away’ appeared in their bookThe Wonderful Message and they soon asked Brumley for more songs. Soon all the major gospel acts were singing his songs. He became one of the few writers to have whole albums of work recorded by groups such as the Chuck Wagon Gang, Smitty Gatlin Trio and the Statesmen. His popular songs include ‘Jesus Hold My Hand’, ‘I’ll Meet You In The Morning’, ‘Little Pine Log Cabin’, ‘If We Never Meet Again’, ‘Turn Your Radio On’, ‘He Set Me Free’ and ‘Nobody Answered Me’. He established his own publishing company and, in 1948, he also bought Hartford Music Company. Albert Brumley was one of the first inductees of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame when it opened in 1970, and in 1972, he also became a member of the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame. He died at his home in November 1977 but three of his six children, Bill, Bob and Betty, run Albert E Brumley & Sons Publishing Company. His son Al Brumley is a country and gospel singer with several albums to his credit, Tom is a noted steel guitarist and Jackson works as a publisher/manager.
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