As leader of the Bill Gaither Trio, Bill Gaither has carved out one of the most longstanding and successful careers in the Contemporary Christian music genre. Originally, the trio consisted of Bill, his brother Danny, and his sister Mary Ann. This line-up got started in1956 while Bill was attending Anderson College.
After college, Gaither pursued a career as an English teacher while still dabbling in music on the side. A break-out song in 1964 -- “He Touched Me” -- began the beginning of the end of his life as a teacher. By 1967, Gaither was a full-time gospel singer following in the footsteps of those he grew up listening to, including Jake Hess, Hovie Lister, the Speers, and the Statesmen.
Some of Gaither's songs have been recorded by legends in both the secular (Elvis Presley, the Statler Brothers) and non-secular (Sandy Patti, the Heritage Singers) worlds. Among his more famous works are "The Longer I Serve Him," "Because He Lives," "There's Something About That Name,""The King Is Coming," "Something Beautiful," and "Let's Just Praise The Lord."
Most of Gaither's songwriting has been done in collaboration with his wife, Gloria, who also replaced sister Mary Ann in the Bill Gaither Trio line-up in 1964. Gloria generally handled the lyrics with Bill composing the music of more than 600 songs. Together, they were anointed Christian Songwriter of the Century in 2000 by American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP).
Bill and Gloria have also pursued a side project with Gaither Vocal Band which has also included CCM singers like Guy Penrod, Mark Lowry, Michael English, Larnelle Harris, Russ Taff, and others.
Beginning in 1991, Gaither staged Homecoming Tours that have toured the U.S. with performances at iconic venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. As evidence of Gaither's massive popularity, the 2004 run out sold tours by Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Fleetwood Mac.
In addition to Dove Awards too numerous to count, Gaither has earned six Grammy Awards over the years since 1973. Among his Dove Awards are 13 prizes for Southern Gospel Album of the year. Included in the count is his 2011 win for Greatly Blessed. In 1983, Gaither was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame.
All told, bringing his Trio and Band projects together, Gaither has released more than 75 albums throughout his illustrious career. He has also influenced the vanguard of new CCM artists that includes such well-known singers as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Karla Worley, Don Francisco, and many others.
His popular television program, The Gaither Gospel Hour, and a series of videos documenting many of the legends of southern gospel have led to the creative rebirth of what had been a declining genre of music.