The Stamps-Baxter School of Music continues the tradition begun by J .R. Baxter Jr. and V. O. Stamps soon after they formed the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company in the mid 1920’s. Their company became one of the foremost publishers of singing convention music from which most of what is known today as Southern Gospel Music sprang. Stamps-Baxter published books of new gospel songs. In order to sing new music, singers had to be able to read music. Until the mid 1950’s Stamps-Baxter’s schools provided training in this and other aspects of music, providing a market for their songbooks. Quartets associated with Stamps-Baxter helped popularize the shape-note books through performances, recording and radio broadcasts. This desire to educate and train competent gospel musicians prompted Ben Speer to resume the tradition of the Stamps-Baxter School in 1988. This school’s e reputation continues to attract students of all ages from all over the United States as well as from other countries of the world.
Ben Speer – President As music director, Ben Speer has been an indispensable part of the of Gaither Homecoming phenomenon. He is a respected artist, publisher and producer. He spent most of the 20th century as lead singer for the Speer Family, one of the most influential family groups in the history of Gospel Music. During that time he appeared on more than 75 Speer Family albums. In 1950, Ben launched the Ben Speer Music company which published such great hits as “What a Day That Will Be,” “I’m Standing on the Solid Rock,” “Touring That City” and “I’ll Walk Them Golden Stairs” which was recorded by Elvis Presley. As a record producer, he has produced such artists as The Florida Boys, The Homeland Quartet, The Speers, Ivan Parker, Candy Christmas, Vern Jackson, Anthony Burger, The Weatherfords, and others. In 1988, Ben established Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music. Ben is a member of both the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.