(1920 – 1999)
Brock Speer was the oldest son of Tom (Dad) and Lena (Mom) Speer and a member of the pioneering mixed voice Speer Family for his entire professional life. As an adult, bass singer Brock served as the group’s leader, a record producer and was an adamant ambassador for Gospel Music including stints as GMA Board Chairman and President.
Jackson Brock Speer was born in Alabama in 1920, just two months before his parents formed what was referred to at that time as The Speer Quartet. In subsequent years, Tom’s sister and brother-in-law, who were original members, left the group and the name changed to the singing Speer Family. As Tom and Lena’s family grew in number, and as their talented children grew older, the children became participating members of the group. It was in the early 1930s when the group transitioned away from the regular four-part harmony, quartet format of Brock, his sister Rosa Nell, and Dad and Mom Speer. Eventually youngest daughter Mary Tom and youngest son Ben joined the group, and from then on the beloved Speer Family would go on to become Southern Gospel Music royalty for decades. Rosa Nell and Mary Tom eventually left the group but Brock and Ben remained in the group, basically for their entire professional music lives.
Upon the death of Dad and Mom Speer in the mid 1960s, under Brock’s management guidance and Ben’s talented music direction, the brothers became the leaders of the family singing group. In the mid 1950s, when Mom and Dad were still very active, The Speer Family commenced to record dozens of gospel records (78s and LPS). They were one of the first gospel groups to record on the newly innovative 33 rpm LP album format (Long Play). Their recordings included classics such as Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All, Time Has Made A Change, and “Mom” and “Dad’s” theme song, Won’t We Be So Happy? The Speer Family toured the country for years, averaging about 225 engagements per year, thus becoming one the longest-enduring groups in the history of Southern Gospel Music.