Jim Hamill passes away
According to a friend of the family, Southern Gospel legend Jim Hamill passed away at 5:30 this morning. He had been in steadily declining health for months.
Hamill’s debut in Southern Gospel was with the Weatherfords in the 1950s. After a stint with the Blue Ridge Quartet, he also performed for some time with the Oak Ridge Quartet and the Rebels before 1971, when he landed the job that would make him a legend, singing lead for the Kingsmen Quartet. During his time with the Kingsmen Quartet, he helped introduce and define for the fans many of the performers that have shaped Southern Gospel in the years since–among them Anthony Burger, Ray Dean Reese, Ernie Phillips, Mark Trammell, and Arthur Rice.
With the possible exception of George Younce, no other master of ceremonies has had as much impact on today’s Southern Gospel performers, who seek to capture just a fraction of his stage presence. Hamill was one of that tiny handful of singers who defined exactly what it means to be a Southern Gospel performer.