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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".


Family links: 
  Margaret L Roper (1920 - 1986)*
*Calculated relationship
Tupelo Memorial Park Cemetery
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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What blessing your music was and will live forever- they will always be part leading other to our Lord and Savior-
- linda jean thompso
 Added: Aug. 17, 2016

- Ruth Parker
 Added: Feb. 20, 2013

- Linda Davis
 Added: Jan. 22, 2013
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