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Page last modified on May 03, 2020, at 11:24 PM EST

Members

Tenor
Mike Jacobs (1962-1971) (also sang lead)
Jerry Plumley (1971-1978)
Mike Lawver (1978-present) (also sang baritone)

Lead
Dick Jacobs (1962-1965; 1966-1968) (also sang baritone)
Paul Furrow (1968-1969)
Rodney Swain (1970-1971)
Mike Jacobs (1971-present) (also sang tenor)

Baritone John Jacobs (1962-1970)
Jim Kenes (1965)
Jim Darden (1970-1971)
Dale Schroeder (1971-1972)
Mike Lawver (1972-1978) (also sang tenor)
Dick Jacobs (1978-1991) (also sang lead)
Bob Jacobs (1991-present) (also sang bass)

Bass
Bob Jacobs (1962-1991)

Bass Guitar
Jerry Plumley (1971-1978)
Mike Jacobs (1974-1978)

Drums
Carl "Sam" Samuelson (1973-1978)

Piano
Betty Lehman (1962-1963)
Jim Kenes (1964-1966)
Bill Smith (1966)
Nick Bruno (1966-1967)
Mike Jacobs (1967-present)
Mike Lawver (1972-present)

Rhythm Bones
Dick Jacobs (1986-1991)

The Jacobs Brothers (1962-Present)

History

The Jacobs Brothers formed in September of 1962 when they began to receive requests to sing special music in local churches. Bob (bass), John (baritone), Dick (lead), and Mike (tenor) Jacobs ranged from ages 15 to 24. They had already been singing for several years during the 1950s in church and school choirs. Influenced by their mother's love of music, singing came naturally to them. After being separated for a few years (1957-62) by military service and college, they were reunited in their hometown of East Berlin, Pennsylvania in 1962 and began to sing together again.

The Couriers Quartet based just 30 miles or so north in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was an early influence on their music. The brothers tried to learn to duplicate their southern gospel music style. After forming in 1962, they met Betty Lehman from York, Pennsylvania who could play that style of music and they were off and running.

At this point, their schedule was part-time and had to be balanced with high school, college, and work schedules. Lehman soon left the group, and in 1964, Jim Kenes of Harrisburg joined the group to play and fill in as a singer when one of the brothers was absent. Kenes helped the group prepare for their first recording in May of 1965. Don Baldwin of the Couriers produced and recorded the album and The Goss Brothers of Atlanta, Georgia were the musicians. The album was released on Baldwin's newly formed Hymntone label where the Jacobs Brothers would remain for the next decade.

In July of 1965, the quartet was invited to perform at RCA Studios at the World's Fair in New York.

In September of 1965, Dick Jacobs left the group to begin a teaching career. Jim Kenes became a permanent vocalist and remained with the group for another year before leaving for college. At that point, Dick Jacobs returned to the group while continuing to teach. Bill Smith of Allentown, Pennsylvania joined the group to play piano but stayed only 3 months. Smith was replaced by Nick Bruno of New York who stayed until March of 1967.

By the time The Jacobs Brothers recorded their third album in November of 1966, they were making plans to become a full-time group. The brothers quit their jobs the following summer and began booking engagements across the United States as well as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They had no pianist at that point. They were one of the few groups in the country performing with pre-recorded music tracks.

In September of 1968, Dick Jacobs left the group again to return to a teaching career. He was replaced by Paul Furrow of West Virginia. Furrow stayed about a year before he was replaced by future LeFevres/Nelons singer Rodney Swain. John Jacobs left the group in 1970.

The group made several more changes during the 1970s. Jerry Plumley and Dale Schroeder joined the group, but Shroeder was replaced by Mike Lawver in 1972. Lawver shared the piano playing duties with Mike Jacobs. Drummer Carl Samuelson joined a short time later.

Jerry Plumley's high tenor voice and bass guitar playing added a new dimension and versatility to the group. Mike Jacobs blossomed as a songwriter during this season as more of his songs began to be featured on the group's records. They also began a television ministry on dozens of Northeast stations and a Christian Travel Ministry. In 1973, the group began co-sponsoring a camp-meeting and All-Night Sing. After five years, they took over the event as the sole owners. For 42 years, the promotion drew thousands of Southern Gospel fans to south-central Pennsylvania each July. The event was an annual fundraiser to assist King's Kids Camp, a camp for underprivileged children.

In 1975, the group left Hymntone Records and spent the next two years recording for Queen City Records in Cincinnati, Ohio. During this time a talented young producer named Charles Novell approached them about recording a concept album focusing on the history of gospel music. Novell had already been turned down by a few other groups, but the Jacobs Brothers agreed to the project. The resulting Tribute To Gospel Music album turned out to be one their finest and most respected among their peers in the industry.

In 1978, Both Jerry Plumley and Carl Samuelson left the group. Dick Jacobs returned after a ten-year absence. The group continued to tour while also having a television program, their tour ministry, the All-Night Sing, and The King's Kids Camp for underprivileged children. Dick Jacobs stayed for the next 13 years while continuing to teach high school. He left the group again in 1991 at which point the Jacobs Brothers reformatted and continued to sing as a trio. They suspended the Kids' Camp and the All-Night Sing in 2019, but continue to host Christian tours.

Brothers Bob and Mike Jacobs from the original quartet celebrated 55 years performing together continuously in 2017. Mike Lawver has faithfully ministered with them for over 45 years. The Jacobs Brothers have recorded more than 60 albums and seen countless souls come to know Jesus Christ as Savior through their music and the preaching of the gospel by Bob Jacobs.

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Page last modified on May 03, 2020, at 11:24 PM EST