Earl Terry (1924 - 1998)


Earl Terry was born and spent his childhood in Gotebo, OK. He was in the Army in WWII, serving in the Engineers and worked on the Burma Road. Earl was in California when he went into the service and returned there after his discharge. In late 1945 or early 1946, he attended the Stamps-Baxter Music School in Dallas. There he met Alice and C.W. Melton. In March or April of 1946, he joined with them to help create the All American Quartet in Tennessee and became the quartet’s original tenor. He married Geraldine Bingham, also a fine singer, near the end of 1946. He left the All American in 1947 to sing with the Earl Weatherford Quartet in California after briefly singing with the Frank Stamps Quartet.

In 1951 Earl sang tenor for the Statesmen Quartet in Atlanta. When he left the Statesmen, he joined the LeFevres. Up the road a few miles in Canton, GA, Lee Roy Abernathy, an experienced quartet pianist, song writer, and vocal coach began to build a quartet with the voices he wanted for what he considered as tops in the field. After Abernathy’s Miracle Men Quartet had existed for only a few months, Earl was selected to sing tenor. Although the quartet was a fine group, they didn’t last for long, as was often the case with groups of the period. When Earl left the Miracle Men around March 1953, he rejoined the All American Quartet, which at the time was located in Decatur, Illinois. Before the end of 1953, Earl had left the All American Quartet. He soon joined Bob Jones, Sr. and his Harmony Boys who had moved to Atlanta. In 1954, the Harmony Boys relocated to California and were encouraged to change their name. Earl came up with their new name, Songfellows Quartet.

Around late 1956 or the beginning of 1957, Earl joined the Foggy River Boys in Springfield, Missouri. The Foggy River Boys were cast members of the Country Music Jubilee (formerly Ozark Jubilee) program on the ABC television network. In early 1957, because they had begun singing more country and popular music, they changed their name to the “Marksmen” for a while before becoming the “Foggy River Boys” again. Earl remained with the Foggy River Boys until late 1959, when he retired from full-time gospel music and returned to California. There he entered into the construction industry and remained in construction until his retirement in 1990.

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