Edward Easter, one third of the iconic Easter Brothers, died earlier this morning. He was 84 years of age.
The Easter Brothers were surely among the first families of bluegrass Gospel, performing together for more than 60 years. Along with brothers Russell and James, Edd recorded at least two dozen albums and that many singles again over their long career.
Not only that, they spawned a new generation of Gospel artists that continue in their stead, most famously James’ son Jeff, who united two bluegrass Gospel families when he married Sheri Lewis of The Lewis Family in 1985. They now work as Jeff & Sheri Easter with their children in tow.
It was long remarked that the brothers had an auspicious and completely appropriate name for a Gospel group.
The group started in 1953 in Mount Airy, NC. Edd played mandolin with Russel on banjo and James on guitar. The three often switched the various instruments they played, and in the early days, Allen Mills of Lost and Found fame was their bass player. They continued recording until the last album, I’d Do It All Over Again was released in 2014.
Over their career, The Easter Brothers recorded for King Records, QCA, Lifeline Records, Rebel, County, and their own Commandment label. Many of their original songs are considered part of the bluegrass and southern Gospel canon, including They’re Holding Up the Ladder and Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me.
The Family will accept visitors on Friday, February 1 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Moody Funeral Home in Stuart, VA. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Buffalo Ridge Pentecostal Holiness Church, also in Stuart.
R.I.P., Edward Easter.