Six-time Grammy-winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama was first formed at Alabama's Talladega Insitute for the Blind in 1939. It was there that the original five members came together under the moniker "The Happyland," which was changed to The Blind Boys of Alabama in 1948.
In the group's incredible 70-year existence, it has released more than 60 albums and been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Maintaining their signature four-part harmonies, the band members have experimented with various styles within the gospel tradition. The Blind Boys' blend of traditional and contemporary gospel, soul and R&B once confined the group to small gospel venues, but after collaborating with artists such as Mavis Staples, Tom Petty, Prince, Peter Gabriel and Taj Mahal, it's become a global sensation.
The Blind Boys' latest release, Take the High Road, continues this expansion into other genres: This time, the group explores the connection between traditional country and gospel. The 13-track collection has an all-star guest list, including Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack and the Oak Ridge Boys. The material mixes old and new with a soulful feel.
Return to this page on Thursday at noon ET for a celebration of country and gospel with The Blind Boys of Alabama, live from The Queen in Wilmington, Del. Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.