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About Harvey Watkins Jr.

American gospel singer Harvey Watkins, Jr. is best known for his work leading the Canton Spirituals, a pioneering gospel group that his father, Harvey Watkins, Sr., first founded in 1943. Born in 1954 in Canton, Mississippi, Watkins, Jr. performed frequently with his father's group throughout his childhood, eventually joining as a full-time member in 1973. Following his father's death in 1994, he assumed leadership of the group and has acted as lead singer ever since. Watkins, Jr. also launched a successful solo career in 1990 with the release of his first album, He's Here All the Time. Throughout the rest of the decade he remained devoted to the Canton Spirituals, recording several acclaimed albums and earning a Grammy nomination for their 1993 Live in Memphis album. Watkins, Jr. returned in 2003 with his own solo live album, It's in My Heart: Live in Raymond, MS on the Verity label. Meanwhile, the Canton Spirituals remained active throughout the 2000s, recording albums like 2002's Walking by Faith and 2007's Driven. Another six years would pass before Watkins, Jr. and the group returned with 2013's Keep Knocking, this time on the Malaco label. ~ Timothy Monger

Canton, MS
Nov 2, 1954

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