Musicians to be honored posthumously at Unsung Heroes Fundraiser Banquet
by Marie Nesmith
Nov 03, 2011 | 2272 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Known for his charitable spirit and musical talents, the late Bishop Robert L. "Jackey" Beavers touched many lives across the nation with his multifaceted contributions. Prior to pastoring Glory Harvester Church in Cartersville for 20 years and leading its prison ministry program, the Summer Hill High School graduate was a singer and songwriter in the music industry.

While he produced many gospel albums, recordings and videos through Glory Records in the 1980s, Beavers is most known for penning various songs with Johnny Bristol that were later made famous by Motown musicians. In the 1960s, he co-wrote "Someday We'll Be Together," which became a hit for Diana Ross & the Supremes. Beavers was recognized about six years ago by Broadcast Music Inc. after the Motown song's 4 millionth broadcast performance.

"I guess we were inspired as young country boys who had just finished a rock 'n' roll engagement at the Keith 105 Theatre with groups like Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Anthony and The Imperials, The O'Jays and some others," Beavers told The Daily Tribune News in 2005, referring to helping write "Someday We'll Be Together." "Many of our songs were written in cars as we traveled up and down the roads. ... You can't explain nothing like [the award for 4 million broadcast performances]. You expect this out of New York City or L.A. but not out of Cassville, Ga."

On Saturday, Beavers (June 19, 1937 to Oct. 28, 2008) will be one of four local artists that will be inducted into the "Bartow County Gospel Music Hall of Fame" at the annual Unsung Heroes Fundraiser Banquet. The other musicians who will be honored include Annie Rose Mitchell (Nov. 10, 1946 to March 17,1996) who instructed members of the Zion Bells Choir and E.H. Mitchell Choir; James E. Heard (Jan. 2, 1931 to April 23, 2003), deacon of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Cassville, soloist and lead singer for several gospel quartets, such as New Hope Horizons; and Tunya Banks (June 25, 1960 to Jan. 4, 2003) who sang and played the piano and organ at Damascus Baptist Church in Emerson, and also contributed musically at Greater New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

Sponsored by Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Foundation, the banquet will start at 7 p.m. at the Bartow County Senior Center, 33 Beavers Drive in Cassville. Along with presentations from those closest to the honorees, the evening will consist of a buffet-style meal and vocal performances.

"We chose [to honor these musicians] because these were some that have just recently passed away that were very instrumental in helping others to learn music and to sing," said Marian Coleman, curator for Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, a cultural museum at 2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cassville that reveals what life was like for black residents during the late 1800s to mid-1900s. "They worked with choirs not only at their churches but they helped other churches too.

"[We want] to encourage [the younger generation]. A lot of them like music and they might want to go in that field. This is something that they could attend [that could] help inspire them. ... This [theme] was really an idea that came from a young person named Ahmad Hall. He thought about inducting some of our African-American musicians into the Bartow County music hall of fame. So this is what we're calling it -- the Bartow County Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The awards will be presented to [their family members], inducting them into the Music Hall of Fame. We are hoping this could be a continuation, something that we could continue to do."

Tickets, which can be obtained at the door, for the Unsung Heroes Banquet are a $20 donation or $25 for event admission and foundation membership.

For more information, contact the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, 770-382-3392, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday.