About George Beverly Shea
George Beverly Shea is a Canadian-born gospel singer and composer with a slow and sweet baritone. He is known to millions as a soloist on evangelist Billy Graham Crusades and from his radio and television appearances and recordings. In 2011 he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 102.
Childhood of George Beverly Shea
Born in Winchester, Ontario, near Ottawa, in 1909, Bev Shea is the son of a Wesleyan Methodist minister. He first sang in a church choir and at religious meetings in the Ottawa Valley. His father taught him to play the violin, and his mother taught him piano and the organ.
Early Years of George Beverly Shea
In 1928 he moved to New York State to go to Houghton College. Money was tight and he had to leave college. He began working as a clerk in an insurance company in New York. His father had a new congregation in Jersey City and Bev spent time singing and playing the organ there. He sang at outdoor Bible meetings and for ten years sang on WMCA radio.
George Beverly Shea Joins Billy Graham
In 1939, during the Depression, George Shea received an offer to be an announcer and soloist on WMBI radio in Chicago. By 1944 he was singing hymns on WCFL's "Club Time" and "Songs in the Night," a program featuring Billy Graham who was then a pastor in Western Springs, Illinois. In 1947, George Shea sang at his first Billy Graham Crusade and in 1950 joined Graham's weekly "Hour of Decision" radio broadcast. Shortly afterwards, Shea signed a recording contract with RCA Victor. For more than 50 years George Shea performed at rallies around the world and on radio and TV.
Recording Career of George Beverly Shea
George Beverly Shea has recorded more than 70 albums on RCA and World Records.