The Blind Boys Of Alabama
Blind Boys of Alabama are a five-time Grammy Award winning gospel group from Alabama. They first sang together in 1944. Since then, the group's output has spanned seven decades of tours and appearances, and produced a successful discography. The performing core of the group consists of eight musicians, including four blind singers, original founding member Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, Eric "Ricky" McKinnie, and Paul Beasley, the guitarist and musical director, Joey Williams, and a keyboard player, a bass player, and a drummer. One of the surviving founding members of the group, Clarence Fountain, is unable to tour with the band due to health concerns. Since their formation, Blind Boys of Alabama have made it their self-proclaimed goal to "spiritually uplift audiences". The gospel group has been a source of inspiration for those with disabilities. In the words of one of the group’s blind members, Ricky McKinnie, “Our disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. It's not about what you can't do. It's about what you do. And what we do is sing good gospel music."