The Canton Spirituals are an award-winning gospel recording group and are regarded as pioneers in the genre of traditional gospel music. The group was organized in 1946 with the original members being Eddie Jackson, Thoe Thompson, Roscoe Lucious and Harvey Watkins, Sr. (deceased). Through the years new members were added to the group, namely, Harvey Watkins, Jr. (lead singer), Cornelius DeWayne Watkins (lead guitar), Merlin Lucious (bass guitar), Wallace Strickland (keyboards), Victor Allen, Sr. (keyboards), and Michael Richardson (drums).
The Canton Spirituals garnered a Grammy nomination in 1993 for the album Live in Memphis and were 1997 Stellar Award recipients for “Best Group/Duo of The Year” as well as “Traditional Group Of The Year” for the Living the Dream: Live In Washington, DC album. In 1998, the group took home two trophies at The American Quartet Awards for “Quartet Of The Year” and “Artist Of The Year”. They currently have a CD Titled “Driven” that was released on 08/27/07. They are still considered Gospels’ No. 1 Quartet group.
The group has had four songs to make Billboard and Black Magazine: “I’m Coming Lord”, “Ride This Train”, “Mississippi Po-Boy” and “Heavenly Choir”. The group has performed with such artists as Take 6, The Sounds of Blackness, Mom and Pop Winans, Shirley Caesar, The Williams Brothers, The Gospel Keynotes, Milton Brunson, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Milton Biggham, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and the late, great, Frank Williams. The group has recorded two albums on Blackberry Records: Live in Memphis and Live in Memphis II, both of which continue to be favorites of their fans. Main Source: Black Berry Records.