The Life of George Hannah
George Hannah, the 8th son of Joseph and Mandy Hannah, was born June 4, 1944. George and his eight brothers grew up in the cotton fields of Arkansas. When they were not picking or chopping cotton, they were working in timber or following the fruit harvest in Michigan. He and his family knew nothing but hard work which instilled in George a hard work ethic.
During his early life, when George and his family were not working, they would gather round the front porch and play music after a hard day's work. The neighbors would gather around and listen. His dad played the harmonica and his mother sang and wrote songs. All the Hannah brothers sang and played music. George learned to play the guitar at age 8, and has had a love for music his whole life. He would take his guitar to school and the teacher would have him play and sing for the class. By the time George was a young teenager, he and three of his brothers formed The Hannah Quartet. They would travel around and sing at churches and special events. In the later part of the 50s, they had an hour spot on the local radio station KWCB in Searcy, Ar. The spot was sponsored by Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where his father was Pastor. George sang tenor and people would call in and ask who that "girl" was that sang the low part. He got a lot of teasing from that, but his voice did eventually change and he could sing lead, baritone or bass.
When George was 18, he moved to Chicago, IL. While in Chicago he worked in the factories by day and played the clubs at night. He would swoon the women with his Elvis impersonations and songs. He lived in Chicago for most of the 60s where he met his first wife Brenda. They had 4 children together. Their first, Billy Dean, died at two months told. Then, came along Russell, Sharon and Robbie.
In the later 60s, George Lived in Danville, IL. He was an entertainer for the Midwestern Jubilee and sang front for many of the Top Entertainers that were brought such as Bobby Bare, Freddie Hart, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, and David Houston to name a few. He remained goods friends with Freddie, Bobby and Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers. George got to visit Charlie in Oct 2012 before Charlie died February of the following year. They had a nice long visit and sang several Louvin Brother's songs.
In 1978, George surrendered to the Ministry and became a Missionary Baptist Preacher. He preached for numerous churches until in 1979 when he moved back to Arkansas from Kentucky. Then, he became Pastor at Mount Pleasant Church in Clay AR. He pastored there for several years and built the church up from just a handful of people to a full congregation. From there he moved on and Pastored at Pleasant Ridge, Cotton Plant, and Holly Springs Baptist churches.
In the early 80s, George and his children started the second generation Hannah Quartet. He sang bass and his daughter, Sharon, sang alto and lead. His sons Russell and Robbie both sang either baritone or lead. They traveled and sang together throughout the 80s until Sharon married and moved to Kentucky. Shortly after, Russell married Shirley and she took Sharon's place in the group.
During the 90s, George did mostly Evangelical work and traveled with his kids singing. George traveled and sang with the kids until around 2003. Then, he started singing country and bluegrass gospel with friends. He loved the bluegrass gospel the most as he grew up listening to Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs. He had the opportunity in his life to meet many of his music heroes like Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. George had a great talent that he could sing and sound just like them. When George Jones died, George went to his memorial at the Ryman Auditorium. At the end of the memorial, he was allowed to hold George Jones' guitar on center stage and played and sang four of George's Gospel songs for the crowd. The crowd loved it and wanted more.
George spent the last 10 years of his life with his wife Jennifer. They lived a happy life together spending time with their friends and children. One of the greatest blessings to George was spending time with his grandchildren. In 2015, George was diagnosed with stage 4 Prostate Cancer. He enjoyed what time he had left traveling, singing, gardening and fishing with his baby brother Glenn. He has now gone on to his ultimate reward, living in the presence of the Lord he served faithfully. George was a great soul-winner for his Lord and Savior.
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