Gary Gruver was born in Oklahoma, with parents who were golden in the music ministry of keyboard and vocal. Gary was six years old when his mother, Ellawiese Gruver, brought him to one of our church youth camps–and he got up and sang and played his tiny guitar, rendering a perfect rendition of an Elvis Presley song… one of which I will never forget! And Gary recorded his first record at six. Gary’s parents were music ministers, taking him along with them to sing in churches and camp meetings until he was nine years old; and at the age of ten he attended the Stamps School of Music.
While in high school, Gary was asked to sing in a talent show that was sponsored by WKY Radio, promoted by Danny Williams, the chief announcer. Gary received a standing ovation which lasted nearly ten minutes while the audience kept yelling, “Encore!” This is when the public knew he had something exceptional in his music–and EVERYONE has always wanted to hear “one more time” the raspy, beautiful voice of this singer. Gary also plays the piano like none you’ve ever heard and also accompanies himself… which has also drawn in the crowds! He has also played the piano for quartets and other solo artists at many gatherings across the country.
At the age of 17, Gary went to Hollywood, California, where he played and sang in dinner houses around the Los Angeles Airport, and played in a club called Duffy’s for over five years. Gary finally renewed his acquaintance with Charlie and Jerry Thompson (aka Jeremiah), who introduced him to Dorsey Burnett and his family. As you know, Dorsey had a big hit on the song, “Tall Oak Tree;” and Gary began playing the piano for Dorsey Burnett and toured extensively throughout the United States. Gary also landed his own recording contract with Bravo Records in Hollywood and had a record release in 1969 called “These Are Not My People.” The song was played throughout the United States and made it to the top 30′s in many cities. He also wrote the flip side of the record, called “Flowers, Gifts and Candy.” Both songs were produced by Snuffy Garrett and arranged by Ernie Freeman who were both giants in the music industry! Gary has also worked with such names as the Coasters, Platters, Drifters, Bobby Sherman, and many others, as well as many country artists.
Gary wrote and recorded a gospel album called “Get Ready,” which was arranged and produced by Dale McCoy of Oklahoma City. He has ministered in many churches of different denominations all over the United States where many people have gathered from far and wide to hear him sing and play the piano. Gary’s mother founded the Hillcrest Institute of Music and Performing Arts in 1964, and eventually Gary became the director of the school in Texas; and after his mother’s death in 1999, renamed it Hillcrest Music. Gary has been writing songs for many years and has had many of his songs published by Lawrence Welk. He now has his own publishing company with BMI. We are very proud to present Gary Gruver on Chariot Records… and you will have to admit that he has one of those incredible, gravelly, raspy-soulful voices you will never forget!