Louis Benjamin Crane
1911 - 1995
Louis Crane and his two brothers, Waldo and Wesley, along with Ray Turner, were members of the first Voice of Prophecy radio program quartet, the King's Heralds. Originally known as The Lone Star Four, they started singing together in 1928, when they were students at Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern Adventist University, in Keene, Texas.
All three brothers were the last of nine children of Isaac Alonzo (a Seventh-day Adventist evangelist and minister) and Mary Etta Firebaugh Crane. Louis was born in Addington, Oklahoma, on December 20, 1911.
Determined to stay together as a quartet when they left SWJC, they decided to become nurses so that they could still perform and live on the income nursing would provide. They traveled to California, where they completed the nursing program at St. Helena Sanitarium.
Their first job after graduating from St. Helena was not in nursing but as a quartet in Oakland, California. Even though it was the middle of the Depression, the $30 a month they each earned by performing was not enough to live on. They moved south to work at the Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital, where they met H.M.J. Richards, who was serving as hospital chaplain. Their singing caught the attention of Richards, who brought them to the attention of his son, H.M.S., who was holding evangelistic meetings in Long Beach.
Once he heard them sing and saw the effect they had on the audience, the younger Richards immediately tried to obtain funding to make them a permanent part of his team. Eventually he succeeded, and when the Voice of Prophecy radio program was launched in 1937, they were renamed the King's Heralds quartet and became an important part of the program.
Louis continued with the quartet until 1939, when both he and his brother Waldo left to enroll in medical school. Louis completed the medical program at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University. He practiced medicine in Ukiah, California, and was living in Eagle River, Wisconsin, when he died on May 8, 1995, at age 83. He was survived by his wife, Audrey and a son.
Sources: Obituary, Lake Union Herald, August 1995, 22; Roy F. Cottrell, Forward in Faith, Pacific Press, 1945, 44-47; Robert E. Edwards, H.M.S. Richards, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998, 158, 159, 166; Robert E. Edwards, Hello America! 20 Years of Victory, Voice of Prophecy, 1961, 37, 38.