Biography: Lillie Mae Jamison was born in Neeses, South Carolina on December 28, 1919 to the late Charlie and Jessie Mae Jamison. From their union, they had several children, Maggie, Joseph, Lillie Mae, Charlie, Sammie Clyde, and Alma Lee. Lillie Mae was educated in the Orangeburg County school system. She was a true country girl and helped her family take care of their farm faithfully. As a child, she gave her life to Christ and was baptized at Cherry Hill Methodist Church.
In 1938, she married the love of her life Clinton Francis Graves. From their union they had five children, Annie Louise, Alton, James Rufus, Katherine and Clinton Clay. In the 1940’s, Lillie Mae’s mother started a quartet group called the Gospel Singers. This group consisted of herself, her mother, her brother Joseph and her husband. In the 1950’s, after her mother retired, she started a new group, called the Golden Light Quintet of Norway, South Carolina. This group consisted of Lillie Mae, her brother Sammie, her husband and three cousins. They broadcasted on radio for over one year. They sang until 1956, this was the year she was pregnant with her last child and her husband went home to be with the Lord.
Lillie Mae moved to New York City in 1959 to raise her children and provide better opportunities for them. She continued to sing solo until 1970. In the 1970’s, along with her daughters, Annie Louise Hines and Katherine Graves, she formed a group called the Relation Gospel Singers. They sang for many years before her son, Clinton joined the group as a bass singer and guitarist. In the 1990’s, her granddaughter, Tina Louise and her daughter-in-law Audrey Jean became members of the Relation Gospel Singers.
Lillie Mae was employed as a childcare provider, factory toy maker at FAO Schwartz, and Security Guard at St. Paul's Catholic School. During those times, she raised her children in the fear of the Lord. All through her life, she continuously thanked God for allowing her children to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
While in New York City, she learned to play the guitar through her brother,Joseph. She further independently learned how to play the harmonica. She joined and served faithfully at Mt. Paran Baptist Church for many years. She also attended Bethel Gospel Assembly and was a member of SWAP (Seniors With a Purpose). Lillie Mae also attended Metropolitan Church and often played and sang duets with her daughter Annie Louise every Sunday. She will be most remembered for her leadership in the Relation Gospel Singers.
On Thursday, December 12, 2019, Lillie Mae went home victoriously to meet her Heavenly Father God.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter Annie Louise Hines, son Clinton and Audrey Graves (daughter-in-law); brother Charlie Jamison; sister-in-law, Pernell Jamison; grandchildren: Ervin Hines Jr., Jeffrey Hines, Reginald Hines, Tina Cheeseboro (Charles), Lois Alston, Michelle Alston, Clinton Isaiah Graves, Joshua Nehemiah Graves, Jeremiah Josiah Graves; eleven great-grandchildren, ten great great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.