Ray Turner, Bass in Original King's Heralds, Dies at 99

Ray Turner, right, with the King's Heralds and H.M.S. Richards   circa 1937. [photo: courtesy VOP]

Ray Turner, right, with the King's Heralds and H.M.S. Richards circa 1937. [photo: courtesy VOP].

[July 8, 2008] Source: Adventist Review

Ray Turner, the bass in the original King's Heralds Quartet, a singing group long supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Voice of Prophecy radio ministry, died May 15 at a care facility in Killeen, Texas. He was 99, and roughly five months from celebrating his 100th birthday.

While a student at Southwestern Junior College (now Southwestern Adventist University) in Keene, Texas, Turner began harmonizing with the three Crane brothers -- Louis, Waldo, and Wesley -- and formed the Lone Star Four Quartet in 1927.

They were hired as a quartet in Oakland, California after graduating from nursing school. But the $30 each earned a month didn't pay the bills during the Depression. The four men traveled south to the Los Angeles area and began working at Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital.

Upon hearing the group, hospital chaplain H.M.J. Richards recommended them to his son H.M.S. Richards, founder of the Voice of Prophecy, who asked the Lone Star Four to join his evangelism and radio team in 1936.

The group was featured during a one-hour program every afternoon on Hollywood's station KMPC. On Saturday mornings they sang for a program on KNX, also in Hollywood. Every evening they assisted with Richards' evangelistic campaign in his tabernacle in nearby Long Beach and assisted other evangelists in the area when they could.

The following year, the Voice of Prophecy conducted a radio contest to re-name the quartet, since the name "Lone Star," a Texas reference, was no longer applicable in California. The winning name was the King's Heralds.

Though Louis and Waldo Crane left the quartet in 1939 to attend medical school, and Wesley Crane left in 1943, Turner's bass voice was featured in the King's Heralds until 1947. Besides singing, Turner also directed Voice of Prophecy live broadcasts at the radio studio.

Turner and his wife, Ouida, then began a life-long career in evangelism. Ouida played piano while he sang for church services and evangelistic campaigns around the world. The couple last year celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Survivors include Ouida, the couple's two daughters, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, James Milton Turner, in October 2002.