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GLAD formed on the campus of West Chester State University of Pennsylvania when singer Ed Nalle auditioned for a new Christian band. Nalle would write and produce much of GLAD's early material in addition to his role as lead vocalist. The other members were Bob Kauflin (keyboards, vocals), T. Coble (bass, vocals), John Bolles (guitar, vocals), and Brad Currie (drums). The group's name was chosen from a poll taken at a shopping mall. Playing over 200 dates annually at college campuses, churches and concert halls throughout the United States, GLAD released their first two albums on Myrrh Records: GLAD (1978) and Beyond a Star (1980).
In 1981, the groups signed with Benson Records (on their Greentree label) and began releasing albums with different inflections: Captured in Time (1982) was markedly jazzy, Champion of Love (1985) was big and brassy, and Who Do You Love? (1987) offered driving synth rock.
To date the group has produced twenty-three albums and performed thousands of concerts; additionally, since 1985 they have helped to secure sponsors for thousands of needy children in Third World nations through Compassion International and trips to countries such as Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, Kenya, Brazil and Indonesia.
GLAD's current lineup includes Nalle and longtime members Chris Davis (a musician with a background in classical and electric guitar, plus session work in the Northwest) and John Gates (an experienced studio percussionist who backed Gladys Knight & the Pips, Frankie and the Knockouts, and others), plus alternating keyboardists Paul Langford and Don Pardoe. Kauflin and Don Hart are the group's primary a cappella arrangers.
Recently, the group has released recordings inspired by the writings of John Piper and the worship music of Sovereign Grace Ministries (formerly PDI).