February 15, 2018

Are You Sure You Want to Sing in a Touring Group?

Not many people know about my life before the Imperials. I wanted to share that time with you now.

I had graduated from high school, and the next fall I enrolled in the University of Memphis, then known as Memphis State University. I commuted to and from school every day for a year.  I went from a relatively average sized high school to a large state school, which at the time had about 15,000 students. All of a sudden I was thrown into an environment totally foreign to me. Because I didn’t know what my major would be, I took the basic required subjects. All male students were at that time required to take ROTC and wear thick wool pants in the hot August sun, where we marched daily in the dusty ground. When you approached an officer, no matter how many books you were carrying, you were required to salute him. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with that one bit.

After one year of college, I had my chance to escape!  My uncle James Blackwood, cousin, Cecil Blackwood, and JD Sumner had bought the Stamps Quartet publishing company and they wanted to put a group together to travel on the road, singing songs that were in their catalog. They handpicked members to be in that group. Roger McDuff was chosen to sing lead, Jerry Redd was tenor, Big John Hall sang the bass, “Smilin” Joe Roper on piano and I was chosen to sing baritone. Jerry didn’t last a year and was replaced by Jim Hill on tenor. We were called The New Stamps Quartet because there had been a Stamps Quartet in the late 40’s that was very popular out of Texas.  The photo attached shows the group with Jim Hill. We had an amazing sound and appeal and we toured 40 days a month! At least three times a year, we toured west to California, up the west coast to Canada, and back east across western Canada and then back home. It wasn’t uncommon for that old bus, (we called it Old Purple) to break down at the end of a tour or in the middle of the tour. Some of our days off were spent in a garage waiting for bus repairs. Such is the “glamorous” and exciting life on the road. Are you SURE you want to sing in a touring group?  Pray before you answer!

October 4, 2017

Bit by Bit, Note by Note

So how does a young, shy son of a gospel singer ever get to where I am today? Some call it luck. I call it God’s providence as He led me from very humble beginnings where singing in front of a crowd never was even a consideration. I was petrified of singing in public. Though my father was such a natural on stage, his son was quite the opposite. I was so shy that singing just wasn’t a consideration for me at that time. So at age 7, I began studying the piano.

 My teacher, Ms Pernie Wiley, was a disciplinarian who was quite old, very sweet but very strict.I don’t think she was ever married.  She saw I had talent and she wouldn’t let me get away with anything. If I didn’t practice, she knew it. I not only had to play the right notes, I had to hold my hand properly on the keys. I had one lesson a week and all we studied was classical music. She probably didn’t even know who Elvis was!  We would work on scales and arpeggios first and then the last 15 min I would play the song I had practiced that week. After three months, we would have a recital with all her students each playing the song they had learned and I would get to play my song. Being shy was hard enough. Being a perfectionist made it even worse! I might have played 99% of the right notes but I would remember those little mistakes I had made and that kept me frustrated. The encouragement I received from my family and my friends actually kept me motivated to continue my study of the piano. It has been an invaluable tool that I was later able to use as pianist and baritone singer for my father’s group, The Memphians, while I was a student at Memphis State University. Playing piano and singing at the same time is like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.  I stayed in that group while I finished school and paid for my education with the money we got from singing. Our group made two records and they both won awards. In 1965 the NEFF (National Evangelical Film Foundation) awarded us as best quartet of that year. We had a weekly television show in Memphis and toured all over the US in the summers and locally on the weekends when school wasn’t in session.  Later on, when I joined the Imperials, those 12 years of piano instruction served me well as I ultimately became vocal arranger for the group. That’s another story for another day.

So don’t despise the day of small beginnings because you never know where it will lead.

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November 8, 2016

Terry’s appearance at the Guest House/Memphis

Terry was at the new hotel owned by the Elvis Presley organization and catering to Elvis fans. Sunday morning, Oct 30, 2016 at 10 am, Terry was interviewed by Andy Childs and shared some of his experiences as lead singer with the Imperials as they backed up Elvis. After the interview, Terry sang two gospel songs from the piano. All in all, it was a great morning at the new Guest House. Make your plans to visit this beautiful new hotel on your next trip to Memphis.

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August 27, 2016

Terry Blackwood and the Imperials/Randers, Denmark and Bad Nauheim Elvis Festival, Aug 19 and 21, 2016

The Imperials just returned from Randers, Denmark where we had gospel concert at the Memphis Mansion, a beautiful replica of Graceland in Denmark. We sang to a full house of happy Danish folk, some even from Sweden. We had our new cd, The Journey, available and it was well received. Thanks to Henrik Knudsen, our host, and owner of the facility.

From there, we flew to Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday morning and were driven to Bad Nauheim, Germany, which was Elvis’ home while in the army. This was the annual EPG event hosted by Maria Hesterberg, and co-sponsored by the city. Fans from all over Europe were there, from the UK to Switzerland. Our Sunday morning gospel concert was so well received. We had a long meet and greet after the show and left many of our new cd’s of The Journey with the fans. Thanks to Maria for such a great reception and we do hope to be back next year.

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August 17, 2015

On Tour August 2015

What a wonderful time we’re having on the road! One of my favorite things to do is perform all over the world! What a privilege to be with the audiences and to share our music! We just finished our gospel program here in Bad Nauheim, Germany. We were here as guests of EPG and the 14th Annual Elvis Festival. I must say this was one of the most memorable concerts we have ever done and we won’t forget the warmth and the encouragement of the fans from all over Europe. You are so appreciated by the Imperials and we hope to do this again. We will be in Vienna Austria Dec 11 and 12, 2015, God willing, at the Metropole with Dennis Jale. Please come to Vienna. It’s a most beautiful city especially decorated at Christmas.

In 1956 1957 Elvis made his home in Bad Nauheim while Elvis was in the Army. The Festival is attended by scores of people celebrating Elvis.

From a local newspaper:

One tour guide described the city as “Elvis Reloaded” this year ahead of the 38th anniversary of the star’s death on Sunday.

Residents and visitors are all shook up with rock and roll contests, a Cadillac old-timer tour, a “Peggy Sue” fashion show and the much-anticipated concerts of American musicians who once performed alongside Elvis.

“It is always good to be here,” guitarist James Burton, who played in the TCB band with Elvis from 1969 until 1977, told reporters Thursday. Burton was joined by pianist Glen D. Hardin and The Imperials singer Terry Blackwood, who both worked with the star during his career.

When Elvis lived in Germany between 1958 and 1960, he brought “tolerance, fairness and happiness to Bad Nauheim,” said Beatrix van Ooyen. It’s a great experience to be in Bad Nauheim and one of the privileges of the tour! Here’s a local glimpse of the news story of the Festival.

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December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

One week and one day from now, Dec 9, the Imperials get on a plane for Vienna, Austria for a show at the Vienna, Austria, Metropol, with our good friend, Dennis Jale. If you live in the area, please come see us. If you are in the US, it’s not too late to book a flight!  Here’s hoping you have a very Merry Christmas.

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July 15, 2014

Memphis Elvis Week!

The band and I will be in Memphis for this year’s Elvis week! Details to come! Each August, Elvis fans from around the world gather in Memphis for a celebration of the music, movies and legacy of Elvis Presley. Elvis Week always includes traditional events such as the Elvis Fan Club Presidents Event, Elvis Insiders Event and Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, plus special concerts, panel discussions, dances and much more. The band and I will sing on Saturday night at the Orpheum Theatre downtown on Beale St and then do a Sunday morning concert right across the street from Graceland. We hope you can come for that. For more information on who you’ll see in Memphis visit Graceland’s site information

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June 12, 2013

News Story on WCBI

Thank you to our friends in Ackerman and WCBI.com for the kind article on my recent visit there. It was humbling to have June 2nd named “Terry Blackwood Day” by the Mayor, thank you! Here’s the video that ran with the story. To read the full story go here

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May 30, 2013

Homecoming in Ackerman, MS

Next Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, will be a special weekend for me and my family. I will be participating in three Homecoming concerts at the place of my birth, Ackerman, MS. I haven’t been there in many years and I’m sure it’s changed a lot.  On Saturday at noon, I will sing downtown Ackerman for a 30 minute segment of my music to the good folks of Ackerman.
Sunday morning I will be doing the entire service at the Enon Presbyterian church. I will have some surprises that morning for the people. I have never sung there and it should be a special service. Then, Sunday night I will be doing a concert at Ackerman Baptist Church. My friend, Buddy Smith, VP of American Family Association will have his quartet there and also there will be three choirs from different churches present for some gospel music from the choirs backing me, from Buddy’s quartet, and some numbers from me as well. It promises to be a memorable weekend in Ackerman, MS. I hope if you live in that area, which is central MS, you will come out to see us. We are very close to Starkville, home of Ms State U.  See you then!

The new single, “If My People”, by Terry Blackwood and the Imperials has over 13,000 hits on youtube after only 4 months! Please listen if you dare. It will encourage you in your walk of faith and in this present age of secularism that is sweeping America. God is your hope, your refuge, and a very present help in time of trouble. Look to Him as your source of strength, ask for wisdom as to how to negotiate this difficult economy, and pray like you never have before. He is our deliverer and He will not fail us. Blessings to you.



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June 12, 2012

Following You Album

TB_125x125_FollowingYou_DoubleAlbumI just released another cd from Andrus, Blackwood & Co entitled Following You. It was originally a double album and was nominated for a grammy award that year. Check it out on my product page. I have had many ask when it would be available. Now you know. If I can ever figure out how to sample three of the songs, I will upload that for you so you can hear how those songs go. There are 18 songs on this cd and the price remains at $20. If you are international, please add $5 to the order. Thanks so much.

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