Billy Graham Center

George Beverly Shea Memorial Page - Biography


Full name George Beverly Shea
Birth February 1, 1909 in Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Death April 16, 2013 in Asheville, North Carolina
Parents Rev. A. J. Shea and Maude (Whitney) Shea
Marital Status Married Erma L. Scharfe in 1934. She died in 1976. He married Karlene Aceto in 1985
Children Ronald George; Elaine
Annesley College, Ottawa, Ontario
1928-29 Houghton College, Houghton, New York
1929-1938 Clerk with Mutual of New York insurance company. At the same time he studied with many voice teachers
1929-1938 Sang and announced on the radio on WMCA and WHN. First appearance on the radio was probably singing on Percy Crawford's program. Also sang at church services and at youth rallies organized by Jack Wyrtzen
1932 Wrote music for the hymn, "I'd Rather Have Jesus" Later he wrote other hymns, such as "The Wonder of it All," "Sing Me a Song of the Rose of Sharon," "I Love Thy Presence Lord," and "I Will Praise Hum."
1938-1944 Announcer and staff soloist on Moody Radio, WMBU, Chicago, Illinois
ca. 1939 Studied voice under Gino Monaco
1943 Was persuaded by Billy Graham to become the soloist on Graham's radio program, Songs in the Night
1943-1944 Played a key role, with Lacy Hall, in getting Chicagoland Youth for Christ started, modeled on the youth programs of Jack Wyrtzen in New York
1944-1952 Soloist on ABC's program, Club Time, sponsored by Club Aluminum under the presidency of Herbert J. Taylor
1947- Soloist with the Billy Graham evangelistic team, which was incorporated as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950. For decades, GBS would sing the solo before Billy Graham preached. He also was the regular soloist on the BGEA's radio program, The Hour of Decision, which began broadcasting in 1950.
1951- Recording artist with RCA and Word Records, producing over 70 albums and tapes
1956 Received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Houghton College
1965 Won a Grammy Award in the sacred music category for Southland Favorites, with the Anita Kerr Singers. He was nominated for a Grammy numerous other times
1968 Published his autobiography, Then Sings My Soul
1971 Published Singing I Go
1972 Published Songs that Lift the Heart, A Personal Story
1972 Received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Music degree from Trinity College, Deerfield, Illinois
1978 Elected to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
1982 Gold Angel Award for Country Music award to George Beverly Shea by Religion in Media
1993 Won the Christian Service Award of The Christian Holiness Association
1999 Receives the Integrity Award from Marketplace Ministries
2004 Published How Sweet the Sound
  July 9, 2006 Shares the evangelism campaign platform together for the last time with his long-time comrades Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows in Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Last Revised: 4/17/13
Expiration: indefinite