ADGER M. PACE
(1982 – 1959)
Adger M. Pace was a songwriter, quartet performer and music teacher who wrote or contributed to more than 3,500 songs during Southern Gospel’s emerging years of the 1920s – 1930s.
Like many leaders in the world of Southern Gospel music of the 1920’s, the talents of Adger M. Pace were applied to a wide variety of associated areas of accomplishment. As a lifetime student of harmony and counter point, he was considered an authority on the subject and one of the foremost harmonists and arrangers in the South.
As a teacher and proponent of shaped-note gospel music, Pace was the music editor of the Vaughan Publishing House company, gospel music’s leading publisher of the time. He taught at the Vaughan School of Music in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and authored two music text books. Pace worked with the pioneering print music publisher James David Vaughan for twenty-seven years.
As a performer, Pace was part of various Vaughan-owned, music-selling, itinerate quartets, including the somewhat unorthodox Vaughan Saxophone Quartet, where he sang bass and played baritone sax as early as 1917. Pace would remain a member of the one of the various Vaughan-named quartets from 1923-1930 and was part of the Vaughan foursome groups that made a series of recordings in Nashville and Memphis in 1929 and 1930. Gospel music’s popularity on the radio in the 1920s created the identity of one the more enduring of the Vaughan quartets, the Vaughn Radio Quartet. When the depths of the Depression forced most groups off the road, the Vaughan Radio Quartet, with Pace as their bass singer, continued on as the only Vaughan quartet able to stay on the road.