RIP, Marion Snider
An era in Southern gospel music was celebrated today, when services for piano legend/songwriter Marion Snider were held at Dallas’ Northway Christian Church. Called “the greatest pianist to ever play in a gospel quartet,” the longtime Oak Cliff resident died Sunday at 96, after performing for more than 80 years. His wife, Belle, died in 2008.
At today’s remembrance–whose hymns and speakers Snider selected himself–the Stamps Quartet mainstay was recalled as “bigger than life,” as someone who wouldn’t compromise his music, even for his friend W.A. Criswell. But the most affecting tribute came from Snider’s granddaughter, Ashley Erickson. Ashley said her fondest memory of Snider came when she was a little girl, ”driving with him to the farm, singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ at the top of our lungs.”
The Cult of James Vaughan in southern gospel these days often tends inadvertently to obscure the Stamps flank of professional southern gospel’s formative years in general, and in particular, the contributions of the early Stamps Quartet in the era before J.D. Sumner bought the name and made it world famous. Can I blame this dynamic for being tardy in memorializing Snider? In any case, may he rest in peace.
If anyone is able to find some clips of Snider at the piano, feel free to share.Email this Post