NIck With Booth BrothersHe doesn't tell this to everyone but he was there the night Graceland almost burned to the ground.  He is an unsung hero to many in Southern Gospel Music. Mark Trammell of the Mark Trammell Quartet, Gold City, and the Cathedrals, and his wife Laresa love him so much they named their son Nicholas in his honor.  They used words like, "Incredible musician, steady Christian, amazing talent," to describe him.  He's been nominated for a Dove Award and Squire Parsons credits him with being one of the reasons his solo career took off.  He's the producer responsible for giving the world of Southern Gospel Music such hits as, "Love Was in the Room," by the Booth Brothers, "Excuses" and "Shake Hands with a Poor Boy" by the Kingsmen, "Beulah Land" By Squire Parsons, and "I Found the Lily in the Valley" by Quinton Mills to name just a few. The late Eldridge Fox of the Kingsmen says, "He is an exceptional talent and an exceptional young man.

 

Mention Nick Bruno's name in a room full of Gospel Music artists and the general consensus will be, "He's more than just a nice guy, he’s a talented, nice guy who doesn't put himself first."  Nick is a "southern" boy having grown up in Staten Island, New York, the most southern part of that northern state.  His grandfather and father were both pastors so Nick spent his childhood in and around church.  His love for the Lord and his love for music grew as he did, and while all his friends were hopping to the beat of the Four Seasons and the Beatles, he was loving the Blackwood Brothers and the Couriers.  Naturally, his heart always leaned toward ministry and it was with the ministry in mind that he set off for Bible College in the early 1960's.  It was there as a teenaged member of the Keystone Quartet that his life in the industry began.

 

(Nick with KeystoneThe Keystone Quartet Clockwise From Top: Joe Bonsall, Ron Kelly, Nick Bruno and Richard Sturben.)

 

Nick and another member of that group, Richard Sterban (now of the Oak Ridge Boys) became members of the Eastman Quartet and the re-organized the Keystone Quartet hiring Joe Bonsall (of the Oak Ridge Boys) and Dave Will (of the Imperials) to their first full-time singing jobs.  Nick's talent as a piano player and arranger brought him invitations from many groups.  He's been a member of the Rebels with Jim Hamill, Ron and Charles Booth.  He was a charter member of Coy Cook and the Senators along with Dave Rowland (later known as the "Dave" of "Dave and Sugar"), Calvin Runion and the late Mack Evans

 

 

 

 

 

Nick with Senators

 

NIck with Coy Cook and The Senators

Near the beginning of the 1970's Nick was a pianist for Coy Cook and the Senators. (L-R) Coy Cook, Calvin Runion, Dave Rowland, and Mack Evans.  Nick is down front. 

 

 

Nick with JD Sumner and The Stamps

His amazing talent did not escape the eye of JD Sumner who called Nick in the early 70's to join the Stamps Quartet.  JD immediately recognized Nick's abilities and encouraged him to get involved with producing and arranging vocals for the Stamps.  It was here that Nick realized that he loved being in a studio just as much as he loved performing. At that time, the Stamps were also the backup singers for Elvis and Nick was right there the night the now-famous "Fire at Graceland" occurred.  He says, "Elvis was a little boy at heart and was at Graceland and playing, "War" by shooting Roman Candles at one another.  Nick was on the golf cart with Elvis and he recalls that one of them (he won't say who) shot a Roman Candle really close to the house and it caught the house on fire.  He says, "Within minutes the place was surrounded by police and fire trucks.  It was really a sight to see." The next day the story was reported around the world, not always accurately, however according to Nick.

NickStamps

 

 

(L to R is Bill Baize, Richard Sterban, Donnie Sumner, Elvis, JD Sumner, Ed Enoch and Nick Bruno)

 

 Nick and Marvin Norcross

Another great in the world of music was the late Marvin Norcross.  Nick had a wonderful relationship with Marvin who used Nick as pianist on for orchestrations for Canaan recording projects. It was on such a project for Governor Jimmie Davis that Marvin Norcross passed away.  Nick recalls, "We had finished about half of the album and decided to quit for the day and complete the tracks the next day. I was sitting at home when the call came that Marvin had passed away in his hotel room.  It was quite a shock.  Marvin was a wonderful person."  Nick is thankful for what he learned from Marvin.
Long before any major artist is born in to the world of Gospel Music there is a producer behind the scenes finding the right music, arranging it so that the talent of the artist is showcased.  A good producer is hard to find but a producer who considers his role as part of God's plan to advance His kingdom is a rare gift from God indeed.  His success with and for th Stamps was very noticeable in the industry and in 1972 he received an invitation to join the Kingsmen and he accepted their offer. Almost immediately they put him to work as their very own producer.

 

Nick with the Kinsgsmen

Nick says, "Being around such great singers as Jim Hamill, Johnny Parrack, Squire Parsons, Eldridge Fox, and Ray Dean Reese made me realize that there was a real ministry in producing an album for these men. Long after the concert ends a well produced album can continue to minister to people for years to come in homes and on the radio." Nick adds, "I began to see the ministry in producing not just the technical end of it."

 

Eldridge Fox's immediate response when asked about Nick Bruno was, "He produced and arranged the biggest selling album we've ever had. He arranged it, he wrote it. What does that tell you about his talent as a producer? He's one of the finest musicians in the industry today." Squire Parsons adds, "The brilliance and sensitivity of Nick Bruno was one of the key factors in the launching of my solo career."

 

NickKinsgmenBy 1973 Nick was a part of the Ton of Fun, the Kingsmen.
(Clockwise from bottom: Gary Dillard, Johnny Parrack, Jim Hamill, Eldridge Fox, Ray Dean Reese, Nick and Jim McCauley.)

 

 

Nick's abilities as a producer and arranger are well known in Gospel Music circles but recently news of his talent was the talk of Branson, MO. For a while, Nick worked in Branson as music director for some of the largest theaters in town.  He worked with such greats as Christy Lane, Anita Bryant, Ferlin Husky, the Texans, and many great Grand Ole Opry Stars.  He says, I spent five years working with many great secular artists.  At the time it was not clear to my why the Lord allowed me to do this but now I realize that I had much to learn about music and the music industry." It wasn't long before he missed the ministry of producing for Gospel groups and he and his wife, Cece, returned to Nashville, TN, where they now reside.

 Nick has spent his lifetime learning, loving, and playing gospel music.
He wants to share that lifetime experience with everyone.
If you have a question about a career in Southern Gospel Music, Nick has the answer!
You can contact Nick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.