Pianist Hovie Lister was the creator and driving drive behind the Statesmen Quartet, the long-running and highly influential Southern gospel group whose flair for showmanship and jazzy accompaniment pointed just how toward the crowd-pleasing CCM of today’s. Lister was created Sept 17, 1926 in Greenville, SC and started playing piano at age group six; by 14, he was associated the Lister Brothers Quartet, an organization comprised of his dad and uncles, and afterwards that summer months toured behind evangelist Mordcai Ham. After participating in Dallas’ Stamps-Baxter College of Music, Lister supported the LeFevre Trio, the Homeland Tranquility, as well as the Rangers Quartet before founding the Statesmen Quartet in 1948 with business lead Mosie Lister (no relationship), tenor Bobby Strickland, baritone Bervin Kendrick and bass Gordon Hill. Even though Statesmen endured countless lineup adjustments over time — alumni included the fantastic Jake Hess — no-one was even more pivotal towards the group’s achievement than Lister himself; not merely was he one of the primary to present piano in to the Southern gospel audio, but his soulful, ragtime-influenced design heralded a significant shift from the rigid accompaniment of days gone by. Throughout their extended profession, the Statesmen released a large number of albums on RCA, with Lister staying a dynamic member in to the 21st century.