THE O'NEAL TWINS
Edgar Richard O’Neal and Edward Vazon O’Neal, Jr. were born August 17, 1937, in Saint Louis, Missouri to Rowena and EdwardO’Neal.
The young O’Neals professed salvation in Christ under the ministerial leadership of Elder James Ward, Sr. They began singing as a duo at age 11 and called themselves, “The O’Neal Twins”. The O’Neal Twins got their start singing in storefront churches. With Eddie at the microphone and Edgar at the piano, their style and harmony was so unique that it could never be duplicated. Their climatic sound catapulted them to a much wider audience than ever imagined which allowed their careers to span for decades.
During the late sixties, the O’Neal Twins sang locally in different churches throughout St. Louis and Illinois. In 1968-1969, they were encouraged by the late James Cleveland to make gospel music their career. The Twins began traveling nationally to various cities on a full time basis. The O’Neals toured for two years with the Reverend James Cleveland, followed by headline performances at Carnegie Hall,Madison Square Garden, and The Kennedy Center in Washington.
In 1969, the O’Neals were voted the “World’s Greatest Gospel Duo” by the National Association of Television and Radio Artists.
Over the years, The O’Neal Twins produced more than 25 albums on labels such as Peacock (this was the label that the late Rev. Cleophus Robinson recommended them to), Savoy, Nashville Records and Atlanta International.
The O’Neal twins were featured in the documentary “Say Amen Somebody”, which catapulted their careers higher than they could have ever thought possible and was a major turning point for them, and for the church world as a whole. Some of their greatest hits were, “I’ll Trade A Lifetime”, “Broken Vessel”, “Jesus Dropped The Charges”, and “Can’t Let A Day Go By.”
The O’Neal Twins helped organize the Gateway Area Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. They also founded along with co-founder, Eula J. Flowers, the Power Packing Interfaith Choir of St. Louis, MO. This choir traveled around the country and recorded numerous albums with the O’Neal twins. They were also nominated for a Stellar Award.
The twins were prominent figures within the International Music Department, Church Of God In Christ where they lead songs and played with the mass choir, in addition to unforgettable performances on the late night musical celebrations. The O’Neal’s also toured overseas with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark and her daughters.
Edward O’Neal made his transition on December 9, 1990.
After the passing of his brother Eddie, Edgar began his solo career with the recording of “Another Chance” as well as, being featured on several other recordings. Of all of his Achievements, the highlight of Edgar’s life was when The O’Neal Twins were inducted into the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame in October, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan. Edgar received his last acknowledgement of achievement when he was awarded the 2007 Gateway Area Gospel Legends Hall of Fame in Association with the Gateway Area Chapter, Missouri and Illinois, Inc. of the Gospel Music Work Shop of America, Inc.
Edgar O’Neal, died January 16, 2008 after a short illness, at age 70.