Inez Andrews: Gospel Pioneer Dead at 83
Veteran gospel singer Inez Andrews has died at age 83.
Andrews was a member of the pioneering gospel group The Caravans, where she sang alongside the late Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, Shirley Caesar, Cassietta George, Delores Washington, Josephine Howard, the late James Cleveland, and others.
She died on Wednesday from complications of colon cancer at her home in Chicago.
Her music career began when she sang with Dorothy Love Coates & The Original Gospel Harmonettes in Birmingham.
She would go on to become a member of the legendary Caravans in 1957, and her lead vocals on the group’s 1958 hit, “Mary Don’t You Weep” would help make the tune a gospel classic.
A spirited contralto, Andrews went on to have solo success outside of The Caravans. She scored a crossover hit with the blues-laced Gospel song, “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain” that was released in 1962.
Andrews continued to perform throughout the years and was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2002.
In 2006, she reunited with Caravans members Walker, Norwood and Washington to release a reunion CD called “Paved The Way.” The album was produced by Derrick Lee of “Bobby Jones Gospel” fame and released on Malaco Records.
Andrews, who was born in Birmingham, Ala., is survived by seven children, 19 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.