On this day in Alabama history: Lena Brock ‘Mom’ Speer was born  

On this day in Alabama history: Lena Brock ‘Mom’ Speer was born  
The Speer Family gospel group was formed in 1921 by George and Lena Thomas and Pearl (George Claborn's sister) and Logan Claborn. The group expanded to include many more Speer family members over next seven decades, and was retired in 1998. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Music Hall of Fame)

Nov. 4, 1899

Lena Brock “Mom” Speer of the Singing Speer Family, a popular gospel group that made more than 60 recordings, was born in Cullman County. George Thomas (G.T.) Speer, known as Tom, met Lena Brock, then 14, at an all-day gospel convention in Tennessee, and they married in 1920. To supplement their farm income, the couple taught music. By 1922, they turned their attention fully to music. As their family grew, they included their children and other relatives in the singing group. Fame came in 1941 when WSFA in Montgomery offered the group a 15-minute live gospel radio program. In the 1950s, the group expanded to television and making records. The group continued to perform even after G.T. died in 1966 and Lena passed away a year later.  The group retired in 1998, the year the Speer Family group was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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