About The Artist
The Trace Family Trio consisted of a mother and her two daughters who hailed from the lower Scioto Valley in southern Ohio.
Mrs. Trace was not only a dedicated Christian but had a talent for song lyric composition and singing. She felt that there was a need for newly composed sacred songs. She passed her vocal talents on to her daughters.
During the latter half of the 1940's, the Traces began to develop a tight trio harmony with a simple guitar accompaniment and sometimes piano. Their sound and style were reminiscent of the original Carter Family.
This singing skill quickly passed from their home, to their church, to neighboring churches, and gospel sings. While they never had a regular radio program they often sang on local station WPAY and about 1950 made four custom recordings on their own; this appears to have been on the "Trace Trio" record label.
Research of newspaper archives show mostly their appearances at local churches and revivals. One such note implied that Sylvia was a minister. A Social Calendar column in 1963 indcated that the Trace Trio of Lucasville were to be special singers at the annual homecoming at Mt. Pleasant Methodist CHurch on Rte. 93S. It indicated that the "Rev. Syliva Trace" would be the afternoon speaker.
A Dayton disc jockey was much impressed and had the best of their songs "The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow" published by Acuff-Rose. Sylvia then sold the Masters to Syd Nathan at King who signed them to a contract. Meanwhile, the Jordanaires and Carl Story recorded their song although the Story version remained unreleased until 2011.
The Trace Family Trio went on to have a total of sixteen numbers released on King Records during the 1950s, most of them originals by Sylvia. They continued to play area churches as before, but their reach now extended into more distant parts of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Among their other recordings, "My Title to Heaven," more often called "Clear Title to a Mansion," has become a standard.
Darlene Trace DeAtley recalled that they enjoyed a good relationship with Syd Nathan even though "he was not of our faith" [meaning he was Jewish]. This contrasts with some artists' impression of Nathan who could be difficult at times.
Sylvia Trace had a bad fall backwards down a flight of stairs in 1962, and the resulting injuries and subsequent health problems virtually ended the career of the Trio as she seldom sang in public again, passing in 1989.
The daughters retained fond memories of their mother, the moral foundation she carved for them, and their singing days.
In 2005 Old Homestead released a compact disc containing most of their original recordings with the daughters' approval.
Credits & Sources
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