That afternoon when the radio taping was over, Bill Gaither took Adam into a little room in the back of the studio. “He told me that they were thinking of making some changes in the Vocal Band, and my name had come up,” Adam remembers. “Then he said, ‘And to be honest, I’ve never really heard you sing.’ That was real comforting! I was very nervous because I had sung so much the week before that my voice was tired and just about shot, but it was just the two of us there and I did my best. When I finished, Bill looked over at me and smiled and said, ‘Boy, you sure sing with a lot of heart.’ The next day he called and said that the Vocal Band was going out in about two weeks and he’d love for me to come and do some Christmas concerts with them. It was all like a dream,” Adam says, “until he sent me the 40 songs he wanted me to learn!”
The last night of the tour was in Nashville, and that’s when Adam finally got the official nod from Bill Gaither. “He said, ‘I think this is going to work. We’ll get together after Christmas and figure it all out.’ I was just overwhelmed with joy,” Adam recalls. “I’m very, very honored. It still feels like a big ol’ dream.”
Adam grew up in one of the family dynasties of Southern Gospel music, the Crabb Family. Hailing from Beaver Dam, Ky., Adam and his father Gerald, brother Jason, twin brother Aaron and two sisters Terah and Kelly traveled, sang and recorded together very successfully as the Crabb Family for more than 10 years. Then, in 2007, the Crabb siblings decided to pursue their own individual dreams, and they moved away from the family group and launched new careers. Adam feels that his past experience will come in handy as he joins the GVB. “I think already knowing how to sing in a group, how to feel each other out musically and lean on each other will definitely be beneficial,” he says. “But I’m used to getting up there and singing by the seat of my pants, and the thing no one really gets is just how difficult Gaither Vocal Band harmony is — that’s the biggest challenge for me; it’s the hardest stuff I’ve ever sung! But when we all hit those notes, when you hear it lock in … it’s just magic.”
The newest member of the Vocal Band also “plays a little bit of harmonica,” which he looks forward to adding to the mix. “I’m no Buddy Greene,” he cheerfully admits, “but I’ve been playing since I was 16, and I love it.” Asked to sum up his feelings about this exciting new chapter in his life, Adam takes a moment to gather his thoughts. “God has truly given me such a heart for people, and I want the audience to experience that. I love to be around His people, to engage with them. I want to sing every note on key and do the best job I can, but at the end of the day, if people can’t feel my heart and the anointing behind the music, it doesn’t really mean anything, does it?”
Note: Since this article was written, the fifth Gather Vocal Band member has been selected. Welcome Todd Suttles! Click here to find out more.