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The Jordanaires are a men's four-part harmony singing group based in Nashville, Tennessee, which was founded by Bill and Monty Matthews in 1948. Their various music styles include barbershop, country, pop, rock, rockabilly, gospel and spiritual. In fact, their name comes from their gospel/spiritual background, meaning the ones from the land of Jordan. Their first big gig, like a lot of up and comers of the time, was on the Grand Ole Opry in 1949. They have gone on to sing on more top-ten hits than any other group, with such names as Ricky Nelson, Patsy Cline, and Elvis Presley.

When Elvis was still a fledgling musician, he saw the Jordanaires perform at the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, Tennessee. They made quite an impression on him, and when Elvis was given an opportunity to record his first album, he requested the Jordanaires do the backup vocals. They would back up the king on nearly every single album he recorded. They also are able to claim to be the only ones, other than Elvis of course, to be in every single Elvis movie.

Now, with any group that has spanned half a century, they are not still made up of their original members. The ones that sang with Elvis were Gordon Stoker (first tenor), Neal Matthews (second tenor), Hoyt Hawkins (baritone), Hugh Jarrett (bass) and Ray Walker, who replaced Jarrett in 1958. In all there have been 16 members, including one woman, Millie Kirkham, who sang high soprano and can be heard on such tracts as Blue Christmas, Devil in Disguise, and Bridge Over Troubled Water to name a few.

In recognition of their accomplishments in music they have been inducted into 3 musical halls of fame; the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Here is a list of the members of the Jordanaires and the years which they sang with the group:

1st Tenor:
Bill Matthews (1948-1951)
Don Bruce (1952-1953)
Gordon Stoker (1950-present)

2nd Tenor:
Bob Hubbard (1948-1952)
Neal Matthews, Jr. (1953-2000)
Curtis Young (2000-present)

Baritone:
Monty Matthews (1948-1952)
Hoyt Hawkins (1952-1982)
Duane West (1982-1999)
Louis Nunley (1999-present)

Bass:
Culley Holt (1948-1954)
Hugh Jarrett (1954-1958)
Ray Walker (1958-present)

High Soprano:
Millie Kirkham (1957-1977)

Piano:
Bob Money (1948-1950/1952)
Boyce Hawkins (1952)

Sources:
http://www.jordanaires.net/
http://www.rockabillyhall.com/Jordanaires.html
http://www.elvis.com/concert/whoswho/

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