From D.A. Johnson of Malaco Records:

Jackson, MS. March 24, 2008– On Friday, March 21, 2008, Gospel music lost another legend. Dillard Crume, producer, guitarist and lead singer of the legendary Soul Stirrers passed away after an extended illness.

Dillard was born in a small town in Missouri but due to economics the family
of 10, eight boys and two girls, migrated to Chicago. Dillard and the other
Crume brothers would later be introduced to Gospel music through their
eldest brother A.C. Crume. Dillard quickly found out that this is what he
wanted to do for the rest of his life and the brothers formed a group called
the Crume Brothers.

Other major Gospel groups became interested in the Crume Brothers because of their musical ability. At the age of 19 Dillard was approached by the Blind Boys of Mississippi. He accepted their offer and became their guitarist and background vocalist. After singing and playing with Blind Boys, Dillard became a member of the Highway QC’s. After singing with the Highway QC’s, Dillard left the Gospel Field to sing R&B. One night while singing in a night club in California, Dillard was approached by a motion picture company to be a part of an upcoming film entitled “Blume In Love”, starring George Segal and Shelley Winters. Dillard and his brother Rufus wrote a song for the movie entitled “I’m in Love With You”. Dillard also appeared in the movie.

In the midst of all of the fame and fortune, Dillard still felt a void in his life and returned to his roots, Gospel Music. Dillard began producing records for labels such as Specialty Records, Checker Records and Jewel Records. Whatever label the Soul Stirrers were on, Dillard would somehow land a job. In 1976, an opportunity became available for Dillard as one of the lead singers for the Soul Stirrers. He gladly took the job and remained there until his death. While with The Soul Stirrers, Dillard wrote such hit songs as “Resting Easy”, “Meeting Over Yonder” and “If You Love Jesus Raise Your Hands” just to name a few.

In February 2008, the Soul Stirrers were all reunited at the Malaco recording studio in Jackson, MS to record the upcoming release, “A Soul Stirring Reunion” on Malaco Records.

Darrell Luster, member of The Sensational Nightingales and producer of “A Soul Stirring Reunion” states, “Dillard was my childhood idol. I learned so much from him. He taught me the Nashville Number System and how to read and write music charts. We’d stay on the phone for hours talking about the business. He will definitely be missed by me.”

Dillard Crume will be greatly missed by his family, fans and friends, and by
the Gospel Community who admired and cherished his life’s work.

Wake / Viewing
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 7:00 PM- 8:00 PM Whitaker’s Funeral Home 25 N.
Kennedy St. Metter, Ga. 30439 Phone # 912-685-5158


Wednesday, March 26, 2008 11:00 AM
Greater Bethel A.M.E. 119 Oak St. Reidsville, Ga. 30453

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Whitaker’s Funeral Home
25 N. Kennedy St. Metter, Ga. 30439

Please send cards and flowers to the funeral home.


  1. Anonymous March 30, 2008 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Dillard indeed was an inspiration and will be greatly missed. I attended the funeral it was a celebration of his life, and what a meeting, a meeting that reflected the song he wrote meeting over yonder. see you over there Dillard. Rev,Charles Wiggins

  2. Anonymous April 10, 2008 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Dillard Crume was an icon to myself and many others around the world. He was an icon to me because he was my father. No one can fill his shoes.

    His voice was a powerful one that will sing in my heart for as long as I live.

    On behalf of myself and all of Dillard Crume’s family members, we appreciate all those who attended Dillard Crume’s home-going. And for those who were unable to attend this special event, Thank you, for keeping him and his family in your prayers.

    Dillard Crume is gone in the physical…but his legendary music/voice reigns forever!

    I would also like to thank, personally, Darrell Luster/Malaco Records, for taking the time to put together the Soul Stirrer Reunion.

    I Love You Daddy..I know you are “Resting Easy”..your daughter/mc

  3. Anonymous April 10, 2008 at 12:15 am - Reply

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  4. ben McKinney May 15, 2008 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I first became aware of Dillard Crume in 1990 (??) through a CD titled Soul Stirrers Live in Concert. That featured Dillard; Arthur; & Leroy Crume along with James Davis and Frank Davis. I enjoyed the music and I liked the way they honored the music and the men that that made the Soul Stirrers Legendary. I have collected the Specialty/SAR/Malaco recordings of the Soul Stirrers since the 1980’s.

    My deepest sympathy to the Crume Family; friends & Fans, you are in my prayers

  5. Anonymous September 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    God bless you and your family brother Crume. “Resting Easy” kept me in 2003 when I was in Iraq. I played it morning, noon, and night. You truly will be missed. But your legacy will live on in the meaningful music you left behind. Well done good and faithful servant. You really helped further the kingdom!

    Minister Dexter Benefield NLHOP Columbus, GA

  6. Raretee November 15, 2009 at 6:02 am - Reply

    As close as I once was with Frank D. and the group, I lost touch for a couple of years and am just now finding out that Dillard had passed. I was so deeply sorry to learn of his demise, but am happy he had a full life. My sorely belated condolences to all of his family. Continue to RIP Dillard.


  7. Anonymous May 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I’m happy to be a part of the family of Dillard Crume. Its been a pleasure to sit down with him and here many stories of his career. I thank God I was able to assist him in his last days.

    your nephew

  8. Enoch Webster March 5, 2016 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    I had the privilege of sanging with my friend Dilliard in Norfork Va.I will never foget you Dilliard your friend Enoch Webster. Jax. Fla. RIP.

  9. Deborah True Crater June 7, 2023 at 12:39 am - Reply

    I knew Dillard and Rufus as a child to teenager in Southern California. They worked with my father, Paul, and I loved them so much and still do. They were both a huge influence on my life. I have young portraits taken of them both which I would enjoy sending to their family. But I can’t find a way to reach them. If anyone can assist me, please email me.

    • Melanie Crume December 15, 2023 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Deborah I’m Dillard Crume Jr baby girl you can reach me though email I have a Facebook Melanie Crume

  10. Evangelist Sadie SKEEN February 4, 2024 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Please text me and let me know if dilliard crime of the soul stirrers wife is alive I love the crimes my sister went to school with Leroy crime on chgo

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.