Don Smith Gospel Favorites


Don Smith first came to Fresno California after he had married and brought his young wife Peggy, to Shenandoah Iowa.  Peggy having grown up in San Diego wasn’t excited about spending a second winter in Iowa. Don had been a part of the Legendary Blackwood Brothers when he and Peggy meet.  It was during WWII  that Don had moved to San Diego CA anxious about leaving the South and his first Gospel Quartet.  Don had sung the bass starting at age 18.  When the war broke out he came to San Diego CA after he had grown up in Lubbock TX and moved with Otis Echols Stamps Melody Boys Quartet to Eureka Springs AR. 

After the winter in Iowa Don resigned from the position of the “first non-Blackwood, Blackwood Brother”! Back in San Diego Don received a call from his old singing buddy Bob Jones who also grew up in Texas where the Stamps Gospel Quartets and the Song Books were based.  He had a group called the Harmony Boys and he needed a bass!  They lived in Fresno, CA and this was a fabulous place where there was a large population originally from the South, already lovers of this Gospel Music that Don & Bob performed!

It is not known for sure how the radio program got started but the Stamps Gospel Quartets from Texas sang as many nights a week as they could book.  They would sing out of the Stamps Baxter Song books that they sold after the Singing Conventions.  They were popular in the South (USA) and the people in the Central Valley were thrilled to have a little bit of home in their new location.  The latest media was radio and the quartets would wake early and go down to sing live on the radio. The Dairymen claimed their cows would give them better milk when they listened to the radio each morning!

In September the Sunday radio program on KMJ was turned over to Don Smith because Bob Jones was offered a program on a Los Angelos station. That would require them to pack up again and move.  Peggy was done moving and she actually didn’t move to a new city again!  Don took over the programs and started a new group, The Gospelaires Quartet. This group became popular very quickly on the radio. It encluded Don Smith, and the Daniels Family, JC, Raymond, Wilber & Wilma.

Don also opened an Appliance Store on Kern Street called Gospel Music & Supply Co. where the Stamps Baxter Song Books and Bibles were sold.

At one time there were week day mornings on KBIF and Sundays on KMJ.

If you have any knowledge of the Gospelaires history and would like to write something to add to the history page please send to us via the Contact Us page which will be an email.  Any pictures, etc.

Last Updated Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:54 PM.