Billy Graham learned early in his ministry how important it was to have gifted musicians on the Crusade platform with him. In earlier months we shared how God led Billy to George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows and how invaluable they soon became in the Crusade meetings. Equally important were Tedd Smith in the early years, Don Hustad, and eventually John Innes, all employing their gifts on the piano and organ.
In his book, Just As I Am, Billy writes, “By Cliff Barrows’ side on every Crusade platform is a talented team of musicians on the organ and piano. For years Don Hustad played the organ; then left to become professor of church music at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. For the past thirty years, John Innes, originally from England, brought his considerable talents to bear on the organ for us. But through the years, I have always known who would be sitting at the piano on my right in virtually every crusade: Tedd Smith. A native of Canada and a graduate of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Tedd first joined us in 1950. Not only is he an accomplished instrumentalist, but he’s also a talented composer and arranger—and a poet too. Often he has worked with Cliff in arranging music and coordinating musical programs.” There were others who assisted the music team as well, such as Bill Fasig. Bill was gifted on both the piano and organ and could step in at those times when he was needed.
As important as Billy’s preaching was, it took a good team of talented musicians to set the stage for the message to be heard.