Bill Gaither, a native son of Madison County, has a long history of giving back to his community.
Twice the Gaither Vocal Band and its predecessor, the Bill Gaither Trio, performed in the Anderson Wigwam with all the proceeds going to charitable causes, the handicapped and community efforts at addressing the economic downturn of the early 1980s.
Twice the Vocal Band held concerts in the Paramount Theatre, the first of those for the filming of the "Back Home in Indiana" video, with all the gate receipts going back to the Paramount’s support. The Homecoming Tour’s most recent Indiana appearance, last winter, raised a large sum for Indianapolis’ Wheeler Mission’s endowment campaign.
On Thursday, Aug. 14, in honor of the Paramount’s 85th birthday, the latest edition of the Vocal Band will be in concert again in the historic theater. And again the entire gate will go toward the Paramount’s current debt retirement campaign.
And those are only the most high-profile benevolences of the Gaither organization from which the community has benefited.
“The Paramount Theatre has been an important part of my upbringing,” said Gaither, recalling the time he saw comedic bandleader Spike Jones in person as well as the movie musicals "Sound of Music" and "South Pacific." “I want to do what I can to keep that name going.”
Admission proceeds won’t be the end of Gaither’s effort to make a dent in the Paramount’s indebtedness either. He has pledged $5,000 from his organization’s charitable foundation and is obtaining pledges from matching donors as well. He expects $50,000 in pledges before the doors even open Aug. 14.
It will be the first Anderson appearance for the two newest GVB members, lead singer Adam Crabb and baritone Todd Suttles, both of whom joined the group earlier this year. Tenor David Phelps was with the group the last time they appeared at the Paramount, but it will be tenor Wes Hampton’s first time to sing in the venue.