The Soul Stirrers were one of the most popular and influential gospel groups of the 20th century. The group was formed by countertenor/falsetto Silas Roy Crain.
Born in Augustine, Texas, on June 7, 1911, Mr. Crain sang as a teenager with a group that called itself the Soul Stirrers. When he moved to Houston in 1932 and joined a quartet, he took the name with him and founded the professional group.
The Soul Stirrers were known for the innovative use of four men singing tight, light harmony plus a fifth as lead singer, originally R. J. Harris and later Cooke.
Mr. Crain wrote and arranged many of the songs they performed, including, Jesus, I'll Never Forget, He'll Welcome Me and It Won't Be Very Long.
He brought Sam Cooke into the Soul Stirrers, and later served as Cooke's road manager, business partner and adviser when Cooke became a secular music star.
Crain passed away September 14, 1996.