George Beverly Shea, whose baritone renderings of “How Great Thou Art” and “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” were long-time highlights at Billy Graham crusades, turns 104 on Friday.
To honor his birthday, Charlotte’s Billy Graham Library will offer a special exhibit that opens Friday. It’s called “How Sweet the Sound: A Tribute to George Beverly Shea.”
Highlights of the display include the piano on which he composed the music to the popular hymn “I’d Rather Have Jesus;” his Lifetime Achievement Grammy (awarded in 2011) and a Western Electric Model 633A “Salt Shaker” microphone that Shea used in the early 1940s.
These days, Shea and his wife live in Montreat, less than a mile from the home of Billy Graham, now 94.
The Library’s exhibit is free and runs through March 31. Guests will have the opportunity to write a personal birthday greeting to Shea during its opening week.
The Billy Graham Library is at 4330 Westmont Drive. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.