Nothing could stop Terri Gibbs from reaching her dreams. Even her blindness did not make her give up. Back in 1981, she shook the charts with her song “Somebody’s Knockin’.” This song became not only a huge Country hit, but it also dominated on the Pop charts.
Terri Gibbs was born on June 15, 1954, in Miami, Florida. Though she was born blind, her parents sensed her musical talent and enrolled her in piano class at the age of three. Her singing skill was first showcased in their church as she joined the choir.
Her parents did not want her to be treated differently from sighted people. They sent her to public school. She graduated at Butler High School in Augusta in 1972.
She eventually met Chet Atkins while she was performing around the Augusta area. At the age of eighteen, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her country music career. She failed to find a record deal, but she did not give up. She joined the band, Sound Dimension, who used to perform in Miami. Later on, she formed her own band, the Terri Gibbs Trio.
Rise to Stardom
Gibbs released her first single “Somebody’s Knockin’” in 1981. She co-wrote this with Ed Penney. Penney was a former Boston disc jockey and at the same time, a songwriter. The song reached number eight on the U.S. country charts, number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Adult Contemporary charts.
That same year, she won ACM’s Best New Female Vocalist. She was also able to beat Reba McIntyre and Sissy Spacek for the title CMA’s inaugural Horizon Award. This award honors new artists making an impact on the music industry.
In addition to her awards, she was also nominated for Grammy for singing both country music and Christian music. It is known to many that Gibbs shifted to the Country Music genre after releasing a few more country albums.
Now, she has recorded six Christian albums yet she remains humble and finds time to play piano and sing at local churches. Perhaps the best thing we can learn from her is the attitude of optimism. She is on the mindset that when a door closes, a window opens.
“So my parents found out at the age of six months that I was totally blind so…the Lord’s used it in a wonderful way,” she said. “You just have to take lemons and make lemonade.”