ENNIS, Texas — When the “Melody Boys Quartet” performs in Ennis, Texas this weekend, it will be an historic event.
Richard Smith, who served as the choral music director at Pine Bluff High School for 17 years, and Gerald Williams, bass singer and owner of the group, are the only living members of the original group from 1949, known as “Smilin’ Joe Roper and the Melody Boys Quartet.”
The concert is set for 7 p.m. Saturday and 10:45 a.m. Sunday at Baylor Baptist Church at Ennis, where Smith and his family attend.
This group was started in 1939 and was first known as the “Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys Quartet”. They and other groups traveled the country with a main purpose of selling Stamps-Baxter song books. In addition to performances, the group taught in traveling singing schools. Hundreds attended these schools to learn the art of gospel music.
Smith left the group in December of 1949 to go to college. He decided he wanted to teach music.