Label: ABC Peacock - PLP-195 • Format: Vinyl LP • Country: US • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Gospel
Willmer M. Broadnax December 28,  — June 1, also known as "Wilbur", "Willie", and "Wilmer", was an American hard gospel quartet singer during the golden age of traditional black gospel. His most common nickname was "Little Axe," due to both his small stature and his brother William "Big Axe" Broadnax, who was a popular baritone. By he lived with his step-father Augustus Flowers, mother Gussie Frazier, younger brother William Broadnax, and younger step-sister Armatha Broadnax presumably carrying her step-father's surname because she was born before her parents' marriage in Houston.
Although Wilmer was the oldest of the three Broadnax children, most sources state that Wilmer was the younger of the two brothers  . As Armatha Broadnax is unmentioned after the census, it is possible that she took on Wilmer's name after his death and truly was William's younger sibling.
Broadnax began his career as a gospel singer during his teenage years with his brother William as a member of the St. Paul Gospel Singers in Houston in the s.
The brothers eventually broke off to form their own quartet, Little Axe and the Golden Echoes. Although William eventually left for Atlanta, where he joined the Five Trumpets, Willmer stayed on as lead singer throughout the s.
Label chief Art Rupe decided to drop them before they could record a follow-up, and shortly thereafter the Golden Echoes disbanded. So somebody had to sing the bottom. He is the high lead that takes over from the baritone of Paul Foster. His voice is sweet but almost vicious, dripping with emotion, while Foster, in contrast, would offer almost a growl. InBroadnax joined the Spirit of Memphis Quartet.
Along with Broadnax, the group featured two other leads — Jethro "Jet" Bledsoe, a bluesy crooner, and Silas Steele, an overpowering baritone. The Spirit of Memphis Quartet recorded for King Recordsand Broadnax appeared on their releases at least until By then, quartet singing was fading in commercial viability, and Broadnax retired from touring. In retirement, Broadnax continued to record new material occasionally with the Blind Boys into the s and s.
Broadnax was killed in by his lover Lavina Richardson age 42 at the timewho was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on February 4, Leading up to the stabbing, Broadnax had allegedly been jealous of Richardson. Broadnax saw Richardson in a vehicle with another man, bumped his car into theirs, and dragged Richardson I Cant Get Next To You - The Temptations - 25th Anniversary. I Got It Within Me - Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi - My Desire then threatened her with a knife before he was I Got It Within Me - Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi - My Desire by a bystander, whereupon Richardson picked up his knife and stabbed him three times.
Broadnax died from his injuries several days later on June 1, Upon Broadnax's death init was discovered that Broadnax was a trans man.
The intersection of Broadnax's gender and race created some issues for him on tour as public bathroom were segregated. It was not uncommon for many gospel singers to be unable to use public restrooms Celine Dion* - My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic) they performed. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. HoustonTexas. Philadelphia Daily News.
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