GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductee and former Elvis Presley bandmate, Joe Moscheo, has passed away, the GMA announced on Tuesday (Jan. 12).
Joe is most famous for his work with the gospel/contemporary Christian music group, The Imperials, serving as the keyboardist for the group until 1975. For five years Joe and the group worked in the recording studio with “The King” himself, since Elvis loved gospel music and always liked the group’s founding member, Jake Hess.
GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Joe Moscheo has passed away. Few people associated with Gospel music have had such a diverse and long-standing impact on the industry as Joe. His career, which stretches over 4 decades, has run the gamut from musician to manager to songwriter to producer to author. Through the years he has worked with Elvis Presley, The Imperials, Pat Boone, The Harmoneers, BeBe & CeCe Winans, The Judds and more. Our prayers are with his family during this time.
The Imperials recorded with Elvis on his last two Grammy-winning albums, 1967’s How Great Thou Art and 1972’s He Touched Me. In addition to recording with Elvis, the group also performed with him in concert for three years before stepping down due to scheduling conflicts.
Photo Credit: Elvis Australia
During an interview with CBN Music after Elvis’ death, Joe emotionally remembered the last time he ever saw Elvis:
“I gave him a Bible. It’s really hard for me to talk about it. I said, ‘Elvis, I got something for you. I know you’re really struggling, and I know you’re having a hard time, but every answer you need is in this book. All you have to do is read it. It’s real simple now, it’s plain English. Read this book. And we hugged, and I left. And that’s the last time I saw him.”
Over the course of his career, Joe also worked with Pat Boone, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and The Judds, but it seems that Elvis always had a special place in his heart.
According to a Give Forward page set up for Joe, he had to stop performing a few years ago after he was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease that significantly affected his strength and mobility. Joe was devastated by the diagnosis and the fact that he could no longer perform.
Even though Joe may be gone, his legacy continues to survive through his music. You can listen to Joe and The Imperials perform “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with Elvis in the clip below.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe’s family and loved ones during this time.
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