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The Jordanaires

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The group formed in 1948, with members Bill Matthews (first tenor), Bob Hubbard (second tenor/lead), Bill’s brother Monty Matthews (baritone), Culley Holt (bass), and pianist Bob Money. After three years, Money was replaced by new pianist Gordon Stoker. This lineup lasted until 1952; at that time, Bob Hubbard was drafted and was replaced by Hoyt Hawkins. Later that year, Monty and Bill Matthews left. Hawkins switched to baritone, and new lead Neal Matthews, Jr. was recruited. Don Bruce came in as a new first tenor; however, he was drafted the next year. The group narrowed to a quartet, with Stoker taking over as first tenor.

The lineup changed again in 1954, with Cully Holt leaving and new bass Hugh Jarrett (later a disc jockey) coming in. Jarrett remained until 1958; at that time, he was replaced by Ray Walker. This lineup, consisting of Gordon Stoker, first tenor and manager, Neal Matthews, Jr., second tenor and lead, Hoyt Hawkins, baritone, and Ray Walker, bass, would be the group’s most stable lineup, lasting throughout the 1960s and 70s.

The group changed again in 1982, when Hoyt Hawkins died. His replacement was Duane West, formerly of Sonny James’ backup group, the Southern Gentlemen. The lineup remained constant for another two decades, with West leaving due to illness in 1999 (he died in 2002). His replacement was Louis Nunley.

Neal Matthews died the next year. He was replaced by new lead Curtis Young.

Hugh Jarrett died at 78 on May 31, 2008, from injuries sustained in an auto accident in March.


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