Often being described as gospel music’s answer to Boyz II Men, the Wardlaw Brothers are five siblings who use the natural blend of their voices to create a sound that mixes smooth soul and vocal jazz with classic gospel while filled with the power of the Lord’s message.
Born and raised in Lyons, Georgia, the Wardlaw Brothers are the sons of Rev. Carl Wardlaw Jr., who spent more than 15 years as the pastor at Vidalia, Georgia’s First African Baptist Church. While the pastor himself was no singer, he was a fan of classic gospel groups such as the The Jackson Southernaires, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Williams Brothers, and The Winans, and he and his wife taught their children the valuable role of music in worship.
After a period of music ministry at a church in the state of Washington, the family returned to Georgia. Soon after, Rev. Wardlaw would receive the call and become a pastor and The Wardlaw Brothers would continue in church music ministry. The group’s sound, inspired by Boyz II Men and the jazz-influenced gospel vocal group Take 6, began to take shape, with four of the brothers — Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw, Martin Luther “Lute” Wardlaw, Carl “Carlo” Wardlaw III, and Rodney Allen “Baby Boy” Wardlaw — trading off on lead vocals and harmonies, with Cornelius “Jamie” Wardlaw providing the supportive bass vocals.
When the Legendary Cathedral Quartet retired in December of 1999, Scott Fowler and Roger Bennett decided to continue the rich musical tradition of Southern Gospel Quartet singing. Legacy Five was organized and had their official debut in January 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia. Since that day, they have made a major mark on the Southern Gospel Music world. Immediately audiences responded overwhelmingly to their four-part harmony and their ability to effectively communicate the message of Christ. Since the quartet’s formation, they have established and maintained a firm place at the top of Christian music.
Legacy Five has enjoyed more success in their short career than many groups experience in decades. In their first ten years, The Singing News Magazine, Southern Gospel music’s leading fan and trade publication, has nominated Legacy Five for some 75 Singing News fan awards. Year after year they are recognized as one of Gospel music’s favorite southern gospel groups. The Southern Gospel Music Association honored Legacy Five with Recording of the year and they have had 2 Dove Award nominations.
Legacy Five has been featured on numerous video tapings of the Gaither and friends Homecoming Video series, which has sold multiple millions of copies worldwide. They have also appeared on In Touch, with Dr. Charles Stanley, as well as In Touch Ministries’ sponsored cruises. Legacy Five is also regulars at Dr. David Jeremiah’s Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. Viewers across America have seen Legacy Five on TNN, TBN, Sky Angel, INSP, GMT, The Odyssey Network and a host of local channels.
The rich four and five part harmony that Legacy Five has become noted for are the result of a masterful weaving together of five unique and versatile talents. Matt Fouch sings the bass, Bryan Walker sings the baritone, Scott Fowler sings the Lead, Lee Black sings the tenor and Josh Townsend is the group’s pianist
Some 130 times a year, Legacy Five presents Gospel music in a way that has endeared them to audiences all across the United States and Canada.