PICS: Blind Boys of Alabama at Belly Up

Grammy Award-winning gospel group, Blind Boys of Alabama, brought soul to the Belly Up on Sunday, Jan. 29.

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Chuck Lapinsky
The Blind Boys have won five Grammys in their long, storied career.
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Chuck Lapinsky
They first started singing together in 1939.
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Chuck Lapinsky
The founding members met at the age of nine at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Their first official performance as a collective was on June 10, 1944.
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Chuck Lapinsky
A year later, they dropped out of school and started touring.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Four of the founding members have died, but Jimmy Carter and Clarence Fountain are still active with the group.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Nonetheless, the Blind Boys have still managed to retain their authenticity.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Four of the vocalists in the current formation are, in fact, blind.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Vocalist Ricky McKinnie has been quoted as saying, "Our disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. It's not about what you can't do. It's about what you do. And what we do is sing good gospel music."
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Chuck Lapinsky
While the Blind Boys stay true to their gospel roots, they also try to stay contemporary.
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Chuck Lapinsky
They have collaborated with everyone from Ben Harper to Tom Waits to Prince to Peter Gabriel.
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Chuck Lapinsky
With a discography that's nearly 70 albums deep, I guess collaboration is a must.
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Chuck Lapinsky
In 2009, the group was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Just a testament to the fact that a disability doesn't have to be a handicap.
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Chuck Lapinsky
Let's hope the Blind Boys of Alabama keep going for more years to come.
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