Squire Parsons

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Squire Parsons
Birth nameSquire Enos Parsons Jr.
Born (1948-04-04) April 4, 1948 (age 71)
Origin Newton, West Virginia, U.S.
Genres Southern gospel
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, Pianist
Instruments Vocals
Years active1974–Present
Associated acts Bill Gaither
The Kingsmen Quartet
Website SquireParsons.com

Squire Enos Parsons Jr. (born April 4, 1948), is a Southern Gospel singer and songwriter. He was born in Newton, West Virginia, to Squire and Maysel Parsons, [1] and was introduced to music by his father, who was a choir director and deacon at Newton Baptist Church. Squire's father taught him to sing using shaped notes. [2]

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics or composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Newton, West Virginia Unincorporated community in West Virginia, United States

Newton is an unincorporated community in Roane County, West Virginia, United States. Newton is located on West Virginia Route 36 11.5 miles (18.5 km) northeast of Clendenin. Newton has a post office with ZIP code 25266.


Musical career

In 1970, Parsons earned a Bachelor of Science in music from West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, where he was trained on the piano and bassoon. [2]

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a four-year college located in Beckley, West Virginia. It is a divisional campus of West Virginia University. The school is commonly referred to as WVU Tech, WVU Beckley, or by its former nickname of West Virginia Tech.

Montgomery, West Virginia City in West Virginia, United States

Montgomery is a city in West Virginia, along the Kanawha River. Most of the city is in Fayette County, with the remainder in Kanawha County. The population was 1,638 at the 2010 census.

Following graduation, he accepted a teaching position at Hannan High School in Mason county, West Virginia, and served as music directors of various churches. [3] During this period he wrote "Sweet Beulah Land", his signature song.

Mason County, West Virginia County in the United States

Mason County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,324. Its county seat is Point Pleasant. The county was founded in 1804 and named for George Mason, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Before the Civil War, the county was in the State of Virginia.

The Southern gospel song Sweet Beulah Land, was written and composed by Squire Parsons in 1973. Parsons recorded it in 1979. It became the number one Southern Gospel single and received the Singing News Fan Awards for Song of the Year in 1981. It has been recorded by several other artists, including Carroll Roberson, The Chuck Wagon Gang, and the Gaither Homecoming Choir.

He joined the Kingsmen Quartet as a baritone in 1975 and toured with them for four years before embarking on a solo career. [4]

A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.

In 1975, Parsons was ordained as a minister at Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina. Among his most popular compositions are "The Master of the Sea", "Walk On", "He Came to Me", "I Call it Home", "I Sing Because", "I'm Not Giving Up" and "Sweet Beulah Land".

Asheville, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Asheville is a city and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 12th-most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The city's population was 89,121 according to 2016 estimates. It is the principal city in the five-county Asheville metropolitan area, with a population of 424,858 in 2010.

He appeared in the Little Rock Crusade with Billy Graham and performed with the Gaither Homecoming Choir. He currently performs as the lead singer of The Squire Parsons Trio, and lives in Leicester, North Carolina, with his wife Linda. [5]

Little Rock, Arkansas Capital of Arkansas

Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As the county seat of Pulaski County, the city was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 198,541 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.

Revival meeting

A revival meeting is a series of Christian religious services held to inspire active members of a church body to gain new converts. Nineteenth-century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon said, "Many blessings may come to the unconverted in consequence of a revival among Christians, but the revival itself has to do only with those who already possess spiritual life." These meetings are usually conducted by churches or missionary organizations throughout the world. Notable historic revival meetings were conducted in the US by evangelist Billy Sunday and in Wales by evangelist Evan Roberts.

Billy Graham American Christian evangelist

William Franklin Graham Jr. was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. One of his biographers has placed him "among the most influential Christian leaders" of the 20th century.

His songs have been recorded by Brian Free, Gaither Vocal Band, Gold City, Ivan Parker, Kingdom Heirs, the Blackwood Brothers, The Cathedrals, The Florida Boys, The Greenes, The Hoppers, The Kingsmen, The McKameys, Statesmen, Marty Raybon, Casting Crowns, The Sugar Creek Quartet, among others. [6]

In April 2019, Parsons announced his retirement from touring, and possibly all public appearances, due to declining health after "life-saving surgery." [7]


Parsons was nominated for a Dove Award in 1999 for contributing to tribute album to Dottie Rambo.

He has won the Singing News Fan Award for favorite male singer in 1988. He won a Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Songwriter in 1986, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. He won the Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Baritone in 1986 and 1987.

"Sweet Beulah Land" won the Singing News Fan Awards for song of the year in 1981.

In 1999, Parsons was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater , West Virginia Institute of Technology. [8] He makes public appearances at churches across the country, both large and small.

Selected discography

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  1. Carpenter, Bill. "Squire Parsons: Biography". Yahoo Music Guide. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  2. 1 2 "Biography". www.squireparsons.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  3. "Bassonist Turns Baritone" Archived 2006-11-15 at the Wayback Machine . Southern Gospel News; retrieved May 5, 2007
  4. Bil Carpenter. "Squire Parsons: Biography", yahoo.com; retrieved May 5, 2007.
  5. Biography Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine , squireparsons.com; retrieved May 9, 2007.
  6. Squire Parsons. The Songs of the Millennial Collection. Leicester, North Carolina: Beulah Music Company, 2001. p. 2
  7. "Squire Parsons Announces Retirement". Singing News Magazine. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  8. "Biography" from Squireparsons.com. Retrieved December 10, 2017
  9. Southern Gospel history