David Battle was born
in Rocky Mount, NC. His parents are Gaston Battle and Dorothy Lee Battle,
now Overseer Dorothy Greene (Willing Workers Miracle Tabernacle/United Holy
Church) of Rocky Mount, NC.
His father died when he was at the age of 4, but his mother raised him in the
Church and taught him about the love of Jesus Christ and he remembers hearing
his old pastor say that God would be a father to the fatherless and a mother to
One day on a children's program, at the age of 9, David decided to sing a song
by the Highway QCs, "Do You Love Him?" and afterwards someone prophesied to him
that one day he would sing with a professional group..
In was at Gethsemane G. Holy Church that David began to play the guitar at the
age of 10 years old. He would often times as a kid pick up a broom and pretend
to play like his cousin, Donald Thomas, at the Church. Donald's father, Mr.
Henry Thomas gave David a folk guitar with two strings on it and he wrote his
first song, "I Know God Is Good To Me".
One day his mother came home with a brand new Silvertone guitar and a small
amplifier from sears and cousin Donald taught him how to play the bass lines
while he played lead. Eventually Donald ended up playing for a local quartet and
David's mother asked him if he would try. She promised to give him 50 cents if
he tried. One Sunday night he tried by playing with the congregation "At The
Cross" and many other songs and his mother gave him a silver half dollar coin.
Every Sunday morning, David's mother would get up and cook breakfast before
Church and turn on the Radio with the gospel music blasting. He still remembers
the favorite sounds of the Soul Stirrers and the melodious sound of the
Fantastic Violinaires. Rocky Mount was a city that loved quartet music and you
could walk down the streets on Sunday morning and people would have their doors
open playing the quartet music on WCEC with Charles Johnson (Charles O)
At the age of 15 , David and some of the other boys in the Church started a
little group called the "Shining Stars" and they did some local Church programs
in the surrounding areas. At this time David played with a Kent guitar that his
mother got from Helig Meyers furniture store.
At the age of 17, David met up with Robert Arrington and some other Church
friends who had a local group called "The Fantastic Goldenaires." The Shining
Stars had the music, but the Goldenaires had the singers who sounded like
David's favorite group; The Fantastic Violinaires of Detroit, Mich.) . David and
his brother, Dennis (bass player) and Russell Cheeks (drummer), joined the
Goldenaires and recorded their first single recording (My Life Depends On You,
and I'll Be Waiting Up There) in a little studio in Roanoke Rapids, NC (Bishop
The group continued and recorded with Pinewood Record Co., under Mr. Bill
Johnson, who gave these local guys exposure in the Virginia Area and eventually
they were invited to sing in Norfolk, Va. with the Pearless Four; in Richmond,
Va. with Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes; Franklin, Va. with the Gospel
Travelers (Teddy Cross's old group) and the Pearly Gates off Suffolk, Va.
Because of their popularity in the area Mr. Charles Johnson, who managed Mel and
Tim ( famous R and B singers) asked them if they were interested in going to
Muscle Shoals Studios in Huntsville, Ala. and do some R and B, but, they turned
it down because they said that they were gospel singers. They also had Little
Robert Holland in their group, who now sings with Doc McKenzie. During this
time, the fellas got to meet Lil' Shot, Bernard West, Jessie McDaniel, and J C
Smith of the Violinaires.
In 1976, David Battle and Russell Cheeks went to the Big Gospel Program in
Raleigh, sponsored by Mr. James Thomas, with Almeta Ingram; and after the
program J C Smith (Smitty) and Frank Thompson came and asked if they were ready
to travel on the road. The Violinaires were looking for an extra guitar player
and a drummer. This caught them by surprise. They were told to come and audition
the next day. This baffled David and on the way back home he went the wrong way.
It was like a dream coming true.
The next day (Labor Day) David and Russell auditioned in front of Bobby Butler
(Brooklyn Allstars), Tree of the Highway QCs, the guitarist of the Soul
Stirrers, and the Violinaires musician. This was a nervous situation and the
pressure was on.
After the audition, Little James (the guitarist for the Violinaires) went to
Robert Blair and said that the drummer would make it, but he didn't think that
the guitarist (David) would make it. Mr. Blair rolled over on the bed and said,
"Well, he's hired because you all are not playing it right anyway!"; and that
was the beginning of a legacy that continues on to today.
David Battle has written: "Today In The Day", "Just Talk To Jesus", "Forever",
"I Need You Jesus", "One Day With Jesus", "Everything Will Be Alright", and now
is even singing lead on "That's What He Did" and wrote "Whenever I Need You" on
"The Fantastic Violinaires Revived" CD.
David is thankful for the opportunity that God has given him through this group
to share with the world the gift and talent that God has placed in him and the
opportunity to have had worked with some of the greatest gospel legends ever
recorded in the gospel field.
Pastor Gaston (David) Battle now also pastors Charity Fellowship Ministries in
Gastonia, NC. God has filled him with His Spirit, His Word, His Song and the
best is yet to come in Jesus' name.