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Neal Matthews died the next year. He was replaced by new lead Curtis Young.
The Jordanaires are an American singing group formed in 1948 in Springfield, Missouri.
The group formed in 1948, with members Bill Matthews (first tenor), Bob Hubbard (second tenor/lead), Bill's brother Monty Matthews (baritone), Culley Holt (bass), and pianist Bob Money. After three years, Money was replaced by new pianist Gordon Stoker. This lineup lasted until 1952; at that time, Bob Hubbard was drafted and was replaced by Hoyt Hawkins. Later that year, Monty and Bill Matthews left. Hawkins switched to baritone, and new lead Neal Matthews, Jr. was recruited. Don Bruce came in as a new first tenor; however, he was drafted the next year. The group narrowed to a quartet, with Stoker taking over as first tenor.
The lineup changed again in 1954, with Cully Holt leaving and new bass Hugh Jarrett coming in. Jarrett remained until 1958; at that time, he was replaced by Ray Walker. This lineup, consisting of Gordon Stoker, first tenor and manager, Neal Matthews, Jr., second tenor and lead, Hoyt Hawkins, baritone, and Ray Walker, bass, would be the group's most stable lineup, lasting throughout the 1960s and 70s.
The group changed again in 1982, when Hoyt Hawkins died. His replacement was Duane West. The lineup remained constant for another two decades, with West leaving due to illness in 1999 (he died in 2002). His replacement was Louis Nunley.
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The Jordanaires have been one of country music's premier backup vocal groups, working with artists such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Horton, Ferlin Husky, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Ween, Red Foley, Jim Reeves, and George Jones. They also served as backup vocalists for pop music artists such as Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Connie Francis and Julie Andrews.
They are best known across the world as the backup vocalists for a number of Elvis Presley's hit singles, with whom they performed for more than fifteen years and backed up on well over 100 different songs (singles and album cuts, on television and in a number of films). The Jordanaires also provided vocal support for Ricky Nelson on "Poor Little Fool," "Lonesome Town," "It's Late," and other hit recordings.
In addition to singing backup for other musicians, the group toured extensively around the world plus they recorded a number of music albums on their own, winning a Grammy Award in the category of Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Album.
They were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. The group is also in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. They were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
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