Gerald Sweatman is a Southern Gospel singer and songwriter from Dawsonville, GA. Gerald has been singing Southern Gospel music in some form or fashion ever since he was a child. Gerald first sang in churches and revivals throughout North Georgia. For over 50 years Gerald has been blessed with many achievements in gospel music. However, his greatest blessing came when he was 8 years old in an old fashion tent revival when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. As he would later write, "I went down a beggar, but I came up a millionaire."
Gerald's first group, The Gerald Sweatman Trio included Gerald, his wife Deborah and sister Gail. This trio continued to sing together through 1971. Unfortunately, there were no recordings made of this group.
In 1972 Gerald joined his sister Jean, her husband Dave Holbrook and first cousin, Helen Covington forming the Dave Holbrook Quartet. This group recorded three albums. The Dave Holbrook Quartet disband around 1976 then reformed again in 1978 with Gerald, his wife Deborah, sister Jean and brother-in-law Dave Holbrook. They recorded two albums with this line-up. This group continued singing until 1983.
The year 1983 come and so did the birth of Gerald and Deborah's youngest son, Dustin (who would later sing with The Dixie Melody Boys and Mark Trammell Quartet). It was also about this time that Dave Holbrook was called to pastor a church. Another group from the area also had two preachers for members that were also called to pastor churches in 1983. This group was called "The Liberty Quartet". Jacky Fortner (tenor), Joey Pirkle (piano) and Jerry Baker (bass guitar) were left with the name a some PA equipment. They had already recruited a young lead singer, Ronnie Grizzle and were in need of a baritone. Gerald got the call and the group had their first practice. Soon they added Darrell Bagwell singing bass and Gerald's oldest son, Tim on drums. Though the group underwent some personnel changes; Gerald, Jacky, Ronnie, Jerry and Tim formed the core of Liberty for 12 years. This group would go on to record several songs that would reach the top 40 Singing News Magazine charts. They would be nominated in the top five, twice for the Horizon Group of the Year Singing New Fan Award and win the Southern Gospel Music Association Diamond Award for Favorite Newcomer Group. Liberty would appear on just about every major Southern Gospel Concert stage in the country including the National Quartet Convention, Inspiration Park and the All Night Sing at Bonifay, Florida. With Liberty, Gerald would record 12 albums, including three live recordings and share the stage with groups such as the Cathedral Quartet, the Kingsmen, Gold City, The Inspirations and the Hinsons just to name a few. It was also with Liberty that Gerald formed a recording relationship with producer Eddie Crook that would on and off for some 20 years. Gerald would continue singing with Liberty until 1995. It was around this time that Gerald's youngest son, Dustin began to take an interest in Southern Gospel music. Also about this time, Gerald's oldest son , Tim took interest in the guitar.
Gerald's last performance with Liberty was New year's Eve 1995. Gerald took most of the next year off from performing and focusing on writing and recording his first ever solo project. Gerald had planned to start singing solo at this point using recorded tracks to sing with. Gerald was getting ready to do his first solo date using tracks when he came in one day and Tim, Dustin and their cousin Brad had learn all of the music from his new solo album. Dustin ask, "why can't we play for you?" Soon Deborah joined in singing and the "Sweatman Family" was born. The Sweatman Family added longtime family friend Johnny Cochran on drums to round out the band. Dustin eventually took over lead vocals for the group where he began to hone his skills for bigger things to come. The Sweatman Family traveled from 1995 until 2001, recorded 3 albums and garnered a top 80 Singing News Chart song with "He Can Do the Impossible" written by Dustin. Gerald always notes that singing with his entire family on stage together was one of his greatest honors.
After the Sweatman Family disband, Gerald again set forth to do solo work. Again, God had other plans. In late 2001 Gerald began singing solo and was scheduled to sing for a television program in South Carolina. Also scheduled on the program was another soloist Stanley Pierce who Gerald had met during the Sweatman Family days. They decided to carpool to the date in South Carolina. Dustin had joined them for the trip and the three began to sing songs to pass the time. All three had agreed that they had stumbled on something good and formed EasternBound shortly after. EasternBound recorded two albums with Gerald on baritone vocal, Dustin singing lead and Stanley picking up the tenor. They continued on until 2003 when Dustin got the opportunity to join the Dixie Melody Boys. Upon Dustin's exit, Stanley moved to lead vocal and the tenor spot was filled by Wes Palmer. EasternBound continued for to travel and sing for another three years performing their last concert together on December 3, 2006. Today, Gerald is focusing on a solo ministry and will be release a new CD very soon. Be sure to join Gerald's mailing list to receive the very latest news concerning his ministry.