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Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member Joe Moscheo Passes Away
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GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame member Joe Moscheo passed away on January 11, at age 78.

A man of many talents, Joe wore a number of hats throughout his four-decade career in the gospel music industry, filling the roles of musician, manager, executive, songwriter, producer, author and arranger.

As a young man, eager to get his start in music, Joe quit college to join the Harmoneers quartet. From there, he moved on to the Prophets and then, in 1964, Joe joined the Imperials as a singer, keyboard player and arranger. In addition to their own concerts, the Imperials recorded and/or appeared with many legendary performers including Elvis Presley, Jimmy Dean, Roy Clark, Carol Channing, Pat Boone and others. During these years, Joe rapidly advanced as a respected songwriter, and many of his songs were recorded by different gospel groups.

The Imperials came to know Elvis very well as they worked with him between 1966 and  1972, and Moscheo explored Elvis' gospel roots and his enduring love for gospel music in his 2007 book, The Gospel Side of Elvis.

Beginning in 1978, Joe left performing and was hired by BMI, with whom he worked for 16 years as the Vice President of Special Projects. In the mid-'90s, he left to form his own management company and worked with a long list of well-known artists including BeBe & CeCe Winans, Michael English, the Judds and many others.

In 1996, he went to work for First Union Bank, to launch its Entertainment/Music division. After retiring from there in 2003, Joe continued to stay very active in the industry. He served as Music Industry Consultant to MCS America, Inc., later becoming its president. In addition, he helped to found Leadership Music, served as president and trustee of the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, served as president and board member or the W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School, and served as president and board member of the Gospel Music Association.

Joe was individually inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007, in addition to his previous induction in 1998 as a former member of the Imperials. Over the decades, he received many awards and honors from the GMA, NARAS, the Grammy Awards and the Dove Awards.

He continued to appear at events related to Elvis and the Imperials until he retired in 2014. Joe was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease just a few years ago, and was moved to an assisted living facility last year. No details of his funeral arrangements have been released as of this writing. Prayers are appreciated for his devoted wife, Judy, and their family.

Sources: musicrow.com, GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame