By Robert M. Marovich
Professor Johari Jabir, Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Black Studies Program at University of Illinois at Chicago, informed the Journal of Gospel Music of the passing of St. Louis gospel artist and businessman Austin Layne Jr. on October 1 at age 87.
As a gospel singer, Layne’s style was mellow, pleasant, rich, a blend of traditional and contemporary. His presentations of “God’s Tomorrow” and “Have Mercy Lord” (with the Layne Ensemble) evoked the smooth crooning of Robert Anderson and Bishop Charles Watkins.
A St. Louis American article by Kenya Vaughn sums up Layne’s life and legacy as head of one of the city’s leading mortuaries and a gospel singer and recording artist. Homegoing service information is available at the conclusion of the newspaper article.
JGM extends its sympathies to the family, friends, and many fans of Augustus Austin Layne Jr.