Joe Bias

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A gaggle of background singers clustered around an overhead studio microphone will inevitably consist of individuals whose careers have taken them wherever a knack for singing on key is an asset. Following…
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A gaggle of background singers clustered around an overhead studio microphone will inevitably consist of individuals whose careers have taken them wherever a knack for singing on key is an asset. Following the man credited as Joe Bias, Joseph Bias, and even Reverend Joseph Bias wouldn't provide proof in itself that good singing can lead anywhere -- that would require consolidating the collective activities of dozens of background singers, just as these groups themselves seek a level and tone at which their collective voices blend into perfection. As expected from the "Reverend" title, Bias' bias would be toward gospel music, certainly a genre that has plenty of use for sweet singing. His discography indicates that when asked to provide background singing, he is even willing to step into a honky tonk situation.

The most significant activity of Bias on the music scene seems to have been the release of a pair of gospel solo albums under his own name by the One Way label. There was I Choose Life in 1979, followed by Word of Life one year later. Fans of interesting country & western songwriters who also like squinting at liner-note credits may come across the name of Bias among the background singers on Mickey Newbury's elaborate 1978 production, His Eye Is on the Sparrow. Bias also sang on albums by singers such as Donna Fargo and Janie Fricke in the same period. In the '80s, he participated in a recording session with two gentlemen who must have been on their best behavior in order not to offend a Reverend, Johnny Paycheck and George Jones. In recent years the Reverend has served as the music director for the First United Methodist Church in Tulsa, OK.