Southern gospel music lost one of its beloved voices with Peg McKamey Bean’s death at age 85. An iconic figure of southern gospel, Bean was an integral member of The McKameys – a family group which brought spiritual uplift and joy to fans over nearly seven decades. Her journey, marked by faith, family, and an artistic passion left an indelible imprint in southern gospel music history.
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Who Was Peg McKamey Bean?
Peg McKamey Bean was more than just a singer; she was an epitome of resilience and grace in southern gospel music. Born to parents with strong musical credentials, Bean began her journey in East Tennessee with her sisters Carol and Dora where they founded The McKameys in 1954 – an ensemble whose early years were characterized by harmonious voices blended perfectly and an undying commitment to faith that resonated deeply with audiences across America.
Peg Bean was an invaluable member of The McKameys, serving not only as vocalist but also serving as spiritual guide and support to her groupmates. After marrying guitarist Ruben Bean in 1959, both their lives changed immensely as they navigated both personally and professionally through music industry challenges and triumphs, becoming more closely bonded than ever with Peg’s unique voice and presence becoming a defining characteristic of The McKameys’ enduring appeal.
Over the years, The McKameys lineup changed, welcoming in new family members and adapting to changing times. But Peg Bean remained an anchor to audiences across generations with her comforting voice bringing comfort. Her dedication and faith was not only apparent through performances; rather they inspired those around her as well.
What Happened to Peg McKamey Bean?
Peg McKamey Bean’s final years were filled with both celebration and challenge. Her band, known for their tireless touring and close bonds to their audience, announced they would retire from full-time touring in November 2019; marking not only an end but also the start of a new era for herself and fans of McKameys.
However, Bean’s health became an increasing source of concern during her final years. News that she suffered a stroke on December 11th served as a stark reminder that we cannot depend on anyone for everlasting strength forever; yet her legacy and spirit continued to shine brightly, touching many lives across genres and generations.
On Wednesday morning, her death brought not only sorrow to those closest to her and southern gospel music as a whole but also an opportunity to consider what impact she had made during her lifetime. Yet it also served as a testament to a life well lived – one filled with passion, faith and an unwavering dedication to music.
Peg McKamey Bean left behind a legacy that spans both her life and career, as a founding member of The McKameys. Her impactful vocal and spiritual presence had an indelible mark on southern gospel music; their distinctive sound was greatly shaped by Bean.
Her induction into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame in 2016 was an honorful recognition of Bean’s contributions to southern gospel. Not only was she acknowledged for her musical talents but also as an inspirational matriarch in her community. Bean became beloved to many audiences through her iconic use of white handkerchief performances – her unique style became a sign of hope and faith to many audiences worldwide.
Bean’s legacy lives on through her family and The McKameys’ continuing journey, with Connie Fortner leading The McKamey Legacy as proof of its lasting influence and faith-filled passion. Connie, Roger Fortner and their son Elijah continue her legacy by continuing The McKamey Legacy today in southern gospel music.
Peg McKamey Bean lived a life filled with faith, music and family that has left a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations through her legacy – serving as an example of how music can move hearts and transform lives. Her passing leaves behind an inspiring example that can serve as a lesson about its power to unite us all through sound.