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 • Tupelo Memorial Park Cemetery
 • Tupelo
 • Lee County
 • Mississippi
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Joseph L "Smilin' Joe" Roper
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Birth: Jul. 10, 1919
Death: Nov. 3, 1990

Smilin" Joe Roper

Born July 10, 1919 near Hayden, AL, Joe Roper became one of the most influential pianists in Southern Gospel history.

As a boy, he attended his father's singing schools and then followed that education by attending a series of Stamps-Baxter singing schools as a teenager. In 1929, he began playing piano for the Hayden Quartet, a local group led by his father. In 1935, Joe began playing for the Happy Hitters Quartet our of Birmingham, AL. Joe began gaining attention and, over the next 30 years, he served some of the most impressive quartets in the industry: VO Stamps Quartet (1938-39), Blackwood Brothers Quartet (1939 – 40, serving as the group's first piano player), Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys (1940-60), Prophets (1960-61), and the Stamps Quartet (1962-64). He also served in the early 1960s as music editor the Stamps Quartet and Vaughan Music companies.

Known as "Smilin Joe" Roper, he made such an impact on the industry that, in time, the Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys became popularly known as Joe Roper and The Melody Boys. In addition, he served as music teacher at numerous singing schools across the South and taught many the magic of his piano artistry. Among his early students was Country Music legend, Floyd Cramer.

Roper also composed and arranged songs that were published by Stamps-Baxter Music, the Faith Music Company, the Vaughan Music Company, and the Stamps Quartet Music Company. Among his compositions were, "I Like the Old Time Way," "Riding on the Glory Train," "What Marvelous Love," and "Sinner's Plea".

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Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Margaret L Roper (1920 - 1986)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Tupelo Memorial Park Cemetery
Tupelo
Lee County
Mississippi, USA
Plot: Section E - Row 2
 
Maintained by: Ruth Parker
Originally Created by: Nancy Parker Frugé
Record added: Feb 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84857770
Joseph L Smilin' Joe Roper
Added by: Jan Breshears Thomas
 
Joseph L Smilin' Joe Roper
Added by: hoganc
 
Joseph L Smilin' Joe Roper
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Nancy Parker Frugé
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
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- Ruth Parker
 Added: Feb. 20, 2013

- Linda Davis
 Added: Jan. 22, 2013
What blessings I receive when I listen to those great Gospel songs that you wrote praising our LORD and Savior. "Love So Divine" "I Like the Old Time Way""Sinner's Plea"
- Claudine Nunez-Newton
 Added: Jan. 22, 2013
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