Cecil Blackwood (October 28, 1934 - November 13, 2000)
Cecil Blackwood was born in Ackerman, a town located in Choctaw County, Mississippi in 1934. He was the son of Blackwood Brothers founding member Roy Blackwood and a brother of founding member R W Blackwood.
After relocating to Memphis, Tennessee with his family in the early 1950s, Cecil sang with Jim Hamill in a group called the Songfellows. This is the group for which Elvis Presley presumably auditioned and was turned down due to his inability (at that time) to sing harmony. Hamill's father was the pastor of the church where the Blackwoods regularly attended.
After a plane crash claimed the lives of Cecil's brother, R W Blackwood and bass singer Bill Lyles in 1954, Cecil joined the Blackwood Brothers to sing the baritone part previously sung by his brother. Cecil ultimately succeeded his uncle James Blackwood as the manager of the Blackwood Brothers after James left the group to join the Masters V in 1981. His son Mark Blackwood joined the group in 1987 and sang alongside his father for the next nine years. Cecil's grandson (and Mark's son) Chris Blackwood also performed with the group for several years in the 1990s. Cecil continued to manage and sing baritone for the Blackwood Brothers until his death in 2000, a tenure totalling 46 years.
Cecil received several Singing News Fan Awards as favorite baritone, shared 8 Grammy Awards with the group, and was a co-founder of the Gospel Music Association, the National Quartet Convention, Skylite Records, and Gospel Music Investors. In his later years, he promoted mission work in several countries outside the United States.
Singing News Fan Awards:
Favorite Baritone (1976, 1978, 1980)
1966 Songs You Requested (Steeple Records/STP-80521): Jesus Lifted Me; Give Me That Old Time Religion; Were You There; My Jesus I Love Thee; Amazing Grace; Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone; In The Garden; In The Shelter Of His Arms; Search Me Oh Lord; Where Could I Go.
Without A Prayer