Milestones of the Brumley Musical Legacy
1905 – October 27, Albert E. Brumley was born near Spiro, OK. Two years before Oklahoma was gained statehood.
1924 – Albert walked 28 miles from his parents home to the Hartford Music Institute in Hartford, AR with dreams of learning how to write music with his mentor E.M. Bartlett. Albert graduated from the Hartford Music Institute.
1925 – Albert works for the E.M. Bartlett at the Hartford Music Institute making songbooks and teaching in the traveling Singing School. It’s at one of his traveling Singing School sessions that he meets Goldie Schell in Powell, MO.
1927 – Albert publishes his first song titled “I Can Hear Them Singing Over There”
1929 – Albert returns to Spiro, OK to help his family on the farm where they were sharecroppers planting and picking cotton. It’s on that farm where the inspiration for “I’ll Fly Away” comes from.
1930 – Albert is once again teaching in traveling Singing Schools for the Hartford Music Institute. He is also working on writing a few songs including “I’ll Fly Away”
1931 – Albert marries Goldie Schell and moves to Powell, MO after years of writing love letters back and forth.
1932 – “I’ll Fly Away” is published by the Hartford Music Company in their songbook “The Wonderful Message”
1933 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their first son, William Jocephus Brumley. “Jesus Hold My Hand” is published in the Hartford Music Company book titled “Gems Of Gladness”.
1933 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their second son, Albert Edward Brumley Jr.
1935 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their third son, Thomas Rexton Brumley. “I’ll Meet You In The Morning” was published in the Hartford Music Company book titled “Lights of Life”. Albert E. Brumley signs on to become a staff songwriter for the Stamps-Baxter Music Company. Albert is to write 12 songs per year and is compensated with a $12.50 per month salary.
1937 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their forth son, Robert Bartlett Brumley (Bob). Albert E. Brumley & Family move to Harrison, AR and works for the Bartlett Music Company. Under the Bartlett Music Company, Albert publishes “Albert E. Brumley’s Book of Radio Favorites”. The printing of the book is contracted to the Stamps-Baxter Company in Fort Worth, TX.
1938 – “Turn Your Radio On” is published in the Stamps-Baxter Music Company book titled “Guiding Star”
1939 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their fifth son, Jackson Stamps Brumley
1940 – First known recording of “I’ll Fly Away” by the Selah Jubilee Singers
1941 – Albert and Goldie welcomed their sixth and final child, daughter Betty Belle Brumley
1944 – Albert E. Brumley & Sons Music was formed by Albert to take control of his own publishing and book printing. Albert E. Brumley & Sons becomes a member of SESAC.
1946 – Albert E. Brumley & Sons begins to manufacture custom books for Rex Humbard, Rennfro Valley and other major players in the music industry.
1948 – Albert E. Brumley & Sons begins purchasing pieces of the Hartford Music Company from the heirs of E.M. Bartlett to regain control of his songs written for Hartford.
1949 – August 8, The Chuck Wagon Gang releases “I’ll Fly Away” on their Fort Worth, TX radio program. That recording goes on to sell over 1 million copies. (Pre RIAA recognition. Would now be considered a Platinum Album)
1951 – Completes the final payments to the heirs of E.M. Bartlett and Albert E. Brumley & Sons is 100% owner of the Hartford Music Company including his song “I’ll Fly Away”
1952 – 330,000 copies of Albert E. Brumley’s Book of Radio Favorites were sold according to Billboard Magazine.
1956 – The Kossoy Sisters recorded “I’ll Fly Away”
1957 – Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis invites Albert to his home in Baton Rouge.
1960 – Elvis Presley records “If We Never Meet Again” on his “His Hand In Mind” album that eventually goes platinum.
1961 – Carolyn Hester records “I’ll Fly Away” with Bob Dylan playing harmonica in his first ever professional recording.
1962 – Elvis Presley asks for Albert to come meet him in Memphis. Albert declines and Elvis travels to Powell, MO to meet him. Albert Brumley Jr signs a recording deal with Capitol Records.
1963 – Gospel Music Association (GMA) founded. Albert and son Bob at initial meetings. Tom Brumley is hired to play steel guitar with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and is featured on the song “Act Naturally”
1964 – Buck Owens releases “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” & “Together Again” both featuring Tom Brumley on Steel Guitar.
1966 – The Boston Pops Orchestra records “I’ll Fly Away”
1969 – Inaugural Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Sing held at the Parson’s Rodeo Arena in Springdale, AR. “I’ll Fly Away” first Grammy Nomination for Best Sacred Performance by Jim Bohi. First edition of the “Gospel Singing Journal” printed. Inaugural Hill and Hollow Folk Festival held in Powell, MO at the Brumley Fairgrounds. Tom Brumley leaves Buck Owens and the Buckaroos to become the steel guitar player for Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band.
1970 – Albert E. Brumley & Sons releases “Songs of the Pioneers” Volume 1. This book was named as the number #1 selling folk songbook in America by Billboard Magazine selling 995,000 copies in its first year. Albert inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame.(Charter Member)
1972 – Albert E. Brumley inducted into Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame. Rick Nelson releases “Garden Party” featuring Tom Brumley on Steel Guitar.
1974 – “I’ll Fly Away” second Grammy Nomination for Best Country & Western Instrumental Performance category by Danny David and the Nashville Brass
1975 – Inaugural Albert E. Brumley Appreciation Day held in Albert’s hometown of Spiro, OK. “I’ll Fly Away” featured on the television program “The Waltons”
1976 – “I’ll Fly Away” named “Most Recorded Gospel Song in History” by SESAC. Albert E. Brumley named in Maquis Who’s Who in America. Albert E. Brumley & Sons is sold to two of Albert’s Sons Bill & Bob.
1977 – November 15, Albert E. Brumley passes away due to an abdominal aneurysm. “I’ll Fly Away” is featured on “The Waltons” television program for a second time.
1978 – Albert E. Brumley named to Maquis Who’s Who in the World. Brumley Family invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter. “I’ll Fly Away” featured on the television program “CBS Sunday Morning”
1979 – “I’ll Fly Away” featured on television program “Dolly & Carol in Nashville” staring Dolly Parton & Carol Burnett
1981 – “I’ll Fly Away” featured in the motion picture “This Is Elvis”. Jackson Brumley becomes the manager for Country Music Artists David Frizzell & Shelly West.
1983 – The Smithsonian names Albert E. Brumley “The Greatest White Gospel Songwriter Before World War II”
1986 – “I’ll Fly Away” inducted into the SESAC Hall of Fame. Bob buys out Bill and becomes sole owner of Albert E. Brumley & Sons. Albert E. Brumley inducted into the Ozark Hall of Fame. Albert E. Brumley honored by the International Bluegrass Music Association with their Distinguished Achievement Award (Charter Member)
1987 – Missouri Highway E running 13 miles from Pea Ridge, AR to Missouri Highway 76 near Rocky Comfort renamed Albert E. Brumley Memorial Parkway.
1991 – “I’ll Fly Away” the television series is named after Albert E. Brumley’s song “I’ll Fly Away” wins 2 Emmy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 1 Peabody Award, 2 NAACP image awards and earns 23 Emmy Nominations.
1992 – Albert E. Brumley first two Grammy Wins. “I’ll Fly Away” featured on Sounds of Blackness Album wins “Best Gospel or Choir or Chorus Album”. “I’ll Meet You In The Morning” featured on Gaither Vocal Bands Album wins “Best Southern Gospel Album”
1993 – 25th Anniversary of the Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Sing is filmed for television production and is sold in a 5 VHS Tape Collection. The last Hill and Hollow Folk Festival held in Powell, MO
1995 – Crystal Gayle records “I’ll Fly Away” on her album “Someday”
1997 – Aretha Franklin records “I’ll Fly Away” and it’s chosen to be included on the Princess Diana Tribute Album. Albert E. Brumley inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame.
1998 – “I’ll Fly Away” wins 3rd Grammy in Best Rap Album category as a part of Puff Daddy’s “No Way Out” Album. Puff Daddy’s album goes 7 times Platinum. Actor/Director Robert Duval personally chooses “I’ll Fly Away” to be included in the motion picture and soundtrack for “The Apostle”. Albert E. Brumley inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
1999 – “I’ll Fly Away” wins for Grammy Award in Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album category for “The Apostle” performed by Wynonna Judd and Gary Chapman
2000 – “I’ll Fly Away” included in the motion picture “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
2001 – The Albert E. Brumley Memorial Gospel Sing moves to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR.
2002 – “I’ll Fly Away” wins 5th and 6th Grammy for the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack in the categories Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. It also won for Album of the Year. The “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Soundtrack is eventually certified 8 times Platinum. “I’ll Fly Away” wins 7th Grammy for the Best Traditional Folk Album. The Album was titled “Down From The Mountain” and featured various Artists. “I’ll Fly Away” performed by Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch. 10th Grammy Nomination in the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album of the year for the Album “Two Old Friends” by Merle Haggard and Al Brumley, Jr. Six of the eleven songs on the Album were written by Albert E. Brumley. CMA Award Nominee in Vocal Event of the Year Category for “I’ll Fly Away” performed by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.
2003 – “I’ll Fly Away” earns 11th Grammy Nomination as part of The Charlie Daniels Band’s Album “How Sweet The Sound” in the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Category. Randy Travis records “I’ll Fly Away” for his “Worship & Faith” Album that eventually certifies as Gold
2004 – “I’ll Fly Away” wins 8th Grammy in the category of Best Rap Album for Kayne West’s “College Dropout”. This album eventually is certified 3 times platinum.
2005 – “I’ll Fly Away” wins 9th Grammy in the category of Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album for the Randy Travis Album “Worship & Faith”. “I’ll Fly Away” was also nominated for a Grammy on another album in the same category. That album was Amazing Grace 3: A Country Salute to Gospel and it was performed by Keith Urban. Albert E, Brumley inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.
2006 – “I’ll Fly Away” earns it’s 15th Grammy Nomination in the Best Country Instrumental Category from Charlie Daniels Album “Songs From Long Leaf Pines”. “I’ll Fly Away” wins Dove Award in the Best Recorded Music Package as a part of Jars of Clay’s Album “Redemption Songs”. “I’ll Fly Away” is recorded by Alan Jackson for his album “Precious Memories”. This album eventually goes Platinum. “I’ll Fly Away” is used the Spike Lee’s HBO Movie “When The Levee’s Broke”. This movie won both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. The Albert E. Brumley Memorial Gospel Sing moved to Lebanon, MO.
2007 – Alan Jackson’s “Precious Memories” wins Dove Award for Country Album of the Year. “I’ll Fly Away” used in the series finale of the television show “7th Heaven”
2008 – “I’ll Fly Away” appears in the motion picture “The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons”. The 40th Annual Albert E. Brumley Memorial Gospel Sing filmed for television and DVD release.
2009 – “I’ll Fly Away” earns 9th Grammy Win in the Best Traditional Gospel Album as a part of the Blind Boys from Alabama’s album “Down In New Orleans”. “This World Is Not My Home” earns Albert E. Brumley his 16th Grammy Nomination in the category Best Traditional Folk Album as a part of Ricky Skaggs album “Songs My Dad Loved”. The Blind Boys of Alabama also won the Dove Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album. The Stanley Brothers version of “Rank Strangers” is selected by the Library of Congress for the National Registry of Recording.
2010 – “I’ll Fly Away” performed and used as the name of the series finale of the HBO series “Treme'”
2011 – The Del McCoury Band performs “I’ll Fly Away” on “Late Show with David Letterman”. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” releases 10 year anniversary special soundtrack featuring both the original soundtrack and movie versions of “I’ll Fly Away”. I’ll Fly Away Foundation created by Betsy Brumley-Bernier and her husband Kevin Bernier to preserve our musical heritage while inspiring children to reach for their musical dreams. Bob Brumley inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame.
2012 – “I’ll Fly Away” turns 80 years old and is the most recorded song in history with over 9000 licensed recordings. Trisha Yearwood sings “I’ll Fly Away” on her Food Network show “Trisha’s Kitchen”. I’ll Fly Away Foundation awards first scholarship to a student attending Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO. The Grand Ole Opry celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the song “I’ll Fly Away” with an All-Star cast performance. Stars include Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Charlie Daniels, Riders in the Sky and more. Arkansas Representative Steve Womack honors “I’ll Fly Away” with a one minute speech on the Floor of the US House of Representatives.
2013 – Albert E. Brumley inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. “I’ll Fly Away” licensed for use on “American Idol”. “I’ll Fly Away” reaches #2 on the Folk DF Songs Charts. I’ll Fly Away Foundation awards scholarships to students attending Missouri Southern State University and Belmont University. Bob Brumley receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Gospel Music Guild.
2014 – “I’ll Fly Away” featured on CBS Sunday Morning at the Sarah McLaughlin School of Music in Vancouver, BC Canada. I’ll Fly Away Foundation awards scholarships to students attending Missouri Southern State University and University of Missouri.
2017 – “I’ll Fly Away” featured on Joey & Rory’s Album “Hymn’s That Are Important To Us” that won a Grammy for Best Gospel Roots Album. The 1949 recording of “I’ll Fly Away” selected as one of 25 recordings selected by the Library of Congress for the National Registry of Recordings.
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