Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Jackson Southernaires

Jackson Southernaires Jackson Southernaires

Major Works

  • The Brothers  Dream … Alive
  • The Word in Song
  • Thank You Mama for Praying for Me…
  • Live & Anointed
  • Greatest Hits
  • A Touch of Class
  • Legendary Gentlemen
  • Down Home
  • Word in Song 


The Jackson Southernaires: A Biography
By Gregg Johnson (SHS)

The Jackson Southernaires have a long history of musical training and awards that have  made them one of the best gospel groups in Mississippi. This group contains five members: Huey Williams, Roger Bryant Jr., Maurice Surrell, James Burks and Luther Jennings (the only remaining original  member).   Another member of this group, Franklin Williams, the brother of Huey Williams, died of heart disease in March of 1993 (http://malaco.com/gospel/tjs). Gregg Johnson, SHS

In 1940, the Jackson Southernaires were organized by Frank Crisler in Jackson, Mississippi. The Jackson Southernaires began much the same way as the Mississippi Blind Boys. They began singing at an early age and did  a lot of performing around their hometown. The Jackson Southernaires was the first gospel  group to use bass, drums, keyboard and  guitar in Mississippi.

The Jackson Southernaires have signed many recording contracts during their singing career. They signed their first contract with Duke/Peacock Records in 1963. Too Late was one of the top recording albums on this label. Later on,  the Jackson Southernaires signed a contract with the ABC/Dunhill Label. Save My Child and Look Around were the top two albums on this record label in 1972-75. In 1975 the Jackson Southernaires signed a recording contract with Malaco Records. Every album that was released by this record label reached national acclaim.   In 1989 they released an album On The Third Day, which was one of their best albums (http://malaco.com/gospel/tjs).

 The JacksonThe Word in Song by the Jackson Southernaires Southernaires had their own radio show for forty-three years,  and they also hosted their own television show called Gospel Unlimited.  The Jackson Southernaires were nominated for the Stellar Award in 1985 and 1986 and finally won the award in 1989. The Jackson Southernaires received a Grammy nomination for Thank You Mama in 1991.

In conclusion, the Jackson Southernaires have had a long and prosperous career. They believe without God they cannot make it, but with God on their side they will be a success. Huey Williams, the leader of this group, says on the liner of one of their albums,  "God has allowed the Jackson Southernaires to sow seeds across America and abroad. 



1940 -The Jackson Southernaires were  formed in Jackson, Mississippi, by Frank Crisler.
1963 -The Jackson Southernaires signed their first recording contract with Duke/Peacock Records.
1972 -The Jackson Southernaires signed to the ABC/Dunhill Label.
1973 -The Jackson Southernaires hosted their own television program Gospel Unlimited.
1975 -The Jackson Southernaires signed with Malaco Records.
1985 -They received a nomination from the Stellar Awards and The Gospel Music Workshop of America as the Traditional Male Group of the year.
1986 -The Jackson Southernaires received a nomination from the Stellar Awards and The Gospel Music Workshop of America as the Traditional Male Group of the year. Legendary Gentlemen by The Jackson Southernaires
1987 -The Jackson Southernaires were nominated for the NAACP Image Award as the Traditional Male Group of the year.
1989 -The Jackson were nominated for and won a Stellar Award for the Traditional Male Group of the year.
1991 -The Jackson Southernaires received a Grammy nomination for Thank You Mama.
1993 -Franklin Williams, a member of the Southernaires, died  in March of 1993.
1995 -Released  The Word in Song CD  and cassette.
1998 -The Jackson Southernaires did a concert in Woodbridge, Virginia,  at the Hylton Memorial Chapel. 


Related Websites

This Web Site contains information about The Jackson Southernaires and pictures of them on their old and new albums.  It also give the titles of the songs on their albums.



Myers, Leslie. "Leader of the Pack: Jackson company tops gospel charts." Clarion Ledger. August,  1987.


Williams, Huey.  The Jackson Southernaires CD cover The Word in Song.





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