When the Evereadys tune up their voices in a cappella harmony at live programs, it speaks to their love for traditional gospel music—as well as their desire to create a distinctive quartet sound.
The history of the Evereadys stretches back to Detroit 1950, when future R&B star Jackie Wilson formed an a cappella gospel group called the Ever Ready Gospel Singers with brothers Lorenzo and Emmanuel Jordan and bass singer Jack Johns. The group was locally popular and toured the Midwest, but when Wilson left to sing R&B, the Ever Ready Gospel Singers disbanded.
In 1967, after some persuasion, the Jordan brothers’ sister encouraged her sons, Freddie and Jerome Williams, to sing gospel. Ultimately heeding their grandmother’s request to name their new group after the family’s Ever Ready Gospel Singers, the Williams brothers and their cousins, Lorenzo and Gregory Jordan, formed the Evereadys.
The Evereadys released a string of albums for Malaco Records, starting with Learning to Lean (1982), its passionately sung title track becoming the group’s signature song. Group personnel at that time were Jerome and Freddie Williams, Rodney Bevins, Marvin and Melvin Reed, and Aaron and Mark Beasley.
On the following year’s Revived, which hit No. 23 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart, the quartet was accompanied by an all-star lineup of musicians, including the Williams Brothers, Frank Williams of the Jackson Southernaires, Rev. Haran Griffin, David Curry Jr. and Velma Morgan, organizer of the Truthettes (of Peanut Butter and Jelly fame). By the time Just Think of His Goodness (another charting album) was recorded in 1984, the Evereadys had trimmed down to a five-man quartet of Jerome and Freddie Williams, Marvin Reed, Aaron Beasley and Rodney Bevins.
After contributing Love Is the Greatest Gift of All to the 1985 Malaco Gospel at Christmastime compilation, the Evereadys ceased recording for several years. They returned in 1991 with A Message for You, released on Great Joy Records. The album, which included another fan favorite, Separation Line, hit No. 14 on the chart.
The Evereadys returned to the studio in the 2000s, recording Just for My Friends in 2005 for NFL wide receiver Joe Horn’s For Life Miracle Records. When Aaron Beasley died in October 2007, Marvin Reed, Freddie Williams and Jerome Williams kept the group going.
The Darrell Luster–produced Finally Live (CD and DVD) was released on Malaco’s 4 Winds subsidiary in 2014. It featured the Evereadys singing
Learning to Lean as well as classic hymns and quartet staples such as I Stood on the Banks of Jordan, Come to Jesus and Farther Along.
In its seventh decade, the five-man group remains active, releasing a new version of Learning to Lean for First Choice Gospel Records in March 2018.