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The Hemphills

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This deep south gospel group comprise of five family members - Joel Hemphill Snr. (vocals), LaBreeska Hemphill (vocals), Joel Hemphill Jnr. (vocals), Trent Hemphill (bass) and Candy Hemphill (vocals). They are led by husband and wife team Joel Snr. and LaBreeska, with their two sons and daughter completing the line-up. Joel Snr. started the group in Bastrop, Louisiana, in 1968, after spending several years as a local pastor. By 1972 the family had relocated to Nashville, adding additional personnel Gary Smith (piano), Jerry Burnside (lead guitar), Mike Allen (drums) and Glen Paul (steel guitar) to expand their sound. The group established itself with a run of albums for the Heartwarming label, where Joel Snr.’s songs such as ‘Sweetest Words He Ever Said (I Forgive)’, ‘I’ll Soon Be Gone’ and ‘I Came On Business For The King’ received widespread praise. The family’s music, meanwhile, reflects the disparate interests of the members, the two sons favouring an upbeat, contemporary style, while their father concentrates on more conventional gospel songwriting.

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