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Fowler Center Series rings in the holiday season with the Blind Boys of Alabama's Christmas show Dec. 8

Nov. 6, 2009 -- The Fowler Center Series presents its fourth event of the 2009-10 season in Riceland Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m., when it presents the Gospel Music Hall of Fame legends, the Blind Boys of Alabama, in their Christmas show, “Go Tell It On the Mountain.” Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, is located at 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. This performance is also part of the Riceland Distinguished Presentation Series, which was established to assure high-quality presentations in conjunction with the Fowler Center Series. An advisory committee meets semi-annually to evaluate the presentation series objectives, effectiveness of promotion and presentation of the series, and then selects four presentations to display its Distinguished Presentation moniker.

Formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind some six and a half decades ago, the Blind Boys of Alabama are the Iron Men of the music industry. They predate Elvis, Little Richard, and Al Green, and yet even in their 70s, they are still at the top of the gospel charts.

While a
huge gospel sensation back in the 1940s and ‘50s, the Blind Boys—led by founding members Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott—moved into the mainstream in 2001 with the first of three consecutive Grammy-winning recordings, “Spirit of the Century,” a blend of gospel, blues, soul, and folk that won Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. It became the best-selling album of the Blind Boys’ career, and it turned these septuagenarians into folk heroes in hipster circles, landing them the opening slot on Peter Gabriel’s 2002 worldwide arena tour.

Further acclaim and another Grammy win for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album followed in  2002 with the release of “Higher Ground,” which included songs penned by Jimmy Cliff, Prince, Ben Harper (who added vocals and guitar), Stevie Wonder, and Curtis Mayfield. That same year, the Blind Boys were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and presented with the Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

In 2003, The Blind Boys scored their third consecutive Grammy win for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album for “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” already considered a holiday classic. A concert version of the album, featuring many of the guests from the CD, was also featured on PBS as a 2004 Christmas special.

The Blind Boys of Alabama continue to thrill and inspire audiences the world over, creating critically acclaimed recordings and reaching new career heights even today. The group has been featured on “60 Minutes,” “Regis & Kelly,” “The Tonight Show,” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.” They have performed on the 2005 Grammy Awards telecast and appeared in the 2003 movie “The Fighting Temptations” alongside Beyonce and Cuba Gooding Jr.

As the group has reached new levels of respect, acclaim, and commercial success, one thing has remained--the group’s mission to do God’s work in new and inspiring ways. In doing so, they are not only expanding the very definitions of gospel and soul, but also bolstering a legacy that is unmatched by any other traditional artists that have remained true to the gospel path.

Their induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and their National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement only confirms that the Blind Boys of Alabama have earned the true distinction of “living gospel legends.” Visit the Blind Boys of Alabama online (, learn more about the individual members of the group (, and listen to them online, too (

Ticket prices are $30 and $20 for adults; $24 and $16 for ASU faculty and staff; $23 and $15 for senior adults and K-12 students; and $10 and $6 for ASU students. Tickets for all Fowler Center Series events may be purchased by calling 870-972-2781 or 1-888-278-3267, or online at On performance evenings, the box office in Fowler Center opens one hour prior to the event.

Visit for additional information or call Fowler Center at (870) 972-3471.

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