Allison Durham Speer was raised in the Bluegrass fields of Kentucky, and even a land as vast as that was not big enough to contain her talent. Her early childhood was spent enjoying spring vegetable gardens and sun drying autumn apples; tending cattle and crops, and developing a deep respect for God's creation gave her a down-home sense of self.
A concert by The Imperials was Allison's earliest introduction to Christian music. She watched as Russ Taff perform the songs, "Praise the Lord" and "New Creation," and was instantly passionate about the gospel word set to song. The passion she felt that night has taken her to the stage, performing along side Russ Taff, and as a regular on the Gaither Homecoming videos and tours. "It's so surreal to perform next to Russ; he and The Imperials are the reason I fell in love with Christian music in my teens. That means that Russ is a considerable number of years older than me, a fact I continually remind him of."
Allison communicates the Gospel in all she does, in mega-churches such as First Baptist Atlanta (Dr. Charles Stanley), The Brooklyn Tabernacle, First Baptist Orlando (Rev. Jim Henry), as well as small rural churches. She has also been a featured artist for many Bible study cruises with Charles Stanley and D. James Kennedy. She has also performed with evangelists Luis Palau, Bailey Smith, David Ring, and Johnny Hunt (First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA). Her appearances on the Gaither Homecoming videos, The 700 Club, and The Trinity Broadcasting Network have left the nation wanting more of this incredible singer.
She has been the guest soloist at the national Southern Baptist Convention, the Nazarene General Assembly, and numerous Praise Gatherings and Family Fest Events hosted by Bill Gaither. Her time has been spent touring with the Gaither Vocal Band and Gaither Trio, and with Mark Lowry and Wayne Watson, as well as keeping a hectic schedule of solo appearances.
Her grounding lies at her home church, River Of Life in Smyrna, TN. But no matter where she is, a consuming flame keeps her searching for ways to be used, as she says, "to help others identify with the suffering of Jesus and bring clarity to the word of God through music."
Allison's latest recording, "This Old House," showcases the depths of her musical abilities and her passion for showcasing the Gospel with poetry. Her performance seems effortless but pushes you beyond the voice to allow you one to become intimate with the message. The project is packed with scripture and Bible stories. Allison says, "It is the best opportunity I've had to represent" the Gospel."
This talented woman's unique gift of storytelling embraces you with the comfort of a good friend. Allison says, "One of the multitude of things that I learned from my years touring with Bill and Gloria Gaither - and am still learning - is that the warmth and comfort of your own living room is a wonderful atmosphere to strive for in a concert."
Her travels to Russia and Bosnia with Christian relief organization International Aid, and The Philippines with the American Leprosy Mission, have left her changed and moved to a deeper communion with God and with a resolve to banish complacency. "We must lose our egos and find our complete identity in the person of Jesus. It is in the shedding of His blood that we find our lives and in His suffering and death alone, that we must boast."
The conviction of her heart is to provide music for the church. Choosing songs that will minister to others is her policy. Words that glorify God are her creed. Bringing the scripture alive with music is her artistry. "My music is for people who need Jesus, and we ALL need Jesus. This one similarity overthrows all the politics of our differences. I'm learning that you can make a feast on a mustard seed of faith. So when I sing, I just welcome folks to the table."