The Proverbs is dedicated to active Christian service through a music ministry that now spans more than 5 decades! The Proverbs have toured from coast to coast in both Canada & the USA playing up to 200 dates per year to audiences from small churches to large concert halls with over 15,000 in attendance. The Proverbs have appeared alongside well known Christian artists such as Andrea Crouch, The Cathedrals, Gold City Quartet, The Hemphills, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
The Proverbs adopted their name in 1967 and were originally comprised of brothers Dave & Frank Daw along with their first cousin Ken Harnden. Prior to this, the trio had sung together at every opportunity for several years. There are actually home recordings of Dave, Frank & Ken singing together as far back as 1957 or 58 at 3 or 4 years of age. Originally, all 3 group members sang, and Dave & Ken played guitars with Frank on the bass. Later, Ken became the group's first keyboardist.
Dave, Frank & Ken recorded their first album, "The Proverbs Sing" in 1968 and completed 5 more albums plus 2 singles (including 4 projects recorded in Atlanta, GA & Nashville, TN) before they had all finished high school! By this time, Ken was fully committed to keyboards, Frank played Bass and Dave had switched to drums.
The original group remained together until 1973, when Ken left for college and was replaced by Steve Elliott as keyboardist & lead vocalist (Steve is currently a full-time Wesleyan pastor). Shortly after Steve joined the group, the Proverbs became a quartet with the addition of Ron Spearman (a friend and former band-mate of Steve's) in 1974.
Following Steve's marriage he was replaced by Owen Greyling in 1976. Dave (vocals & drums), Frank (vocals & bass), Ron (vocals & guitar) & Owen (vocals & keyboards) remained together until Frank and Ron left the group in 1979.
In September of 1974 ,The Proverbs and a group known as the Johnston Singers performed together in a concert in Pembroke, Ontario. (The Johnston Singers was made up of sisters Kathy & Karen Johnston, along with Cheryl Perry. They performed regularly together from the 1960's until 1979. The Johnston Singers were voted "Canada's Top Female Gospel Group" by the Canadian Gospel Association numerous times before they disbanded.) It was at this event where Dave Daw and Kathy Johnston met. They began dating shortly afterward, were engaged in 1977 and married in May of 1979.
Kathy joined Dave & Owen as the first female member of the Proverbs in June of 1979 and Dave moved from drums to bass guitar. The group continued in this configuration until 1981 when Owen left to pursue a full-time career as a piano technician.
Owen was replaced by Steve Campbell who "filled-in" for nearly a year and a half until Dave's sister Karyl joined the group as keyboardist and lead vocalist in 1981.
This combination of Dave, Kathy & Karyl became one of the most popular and award winning) versions of the Proverbs, producing some of their best selling albums. During this time, studio drummer Dave Taylor also joined the group and remained until he moved to Vancouver, BC in 1985.
Karyl left the Proverbs in 1985 (just before her marriage) and was replaced by Brenda Welsh (keyboards & vocals) who remained with the group until she was married in 1986. Brenda was replaced by Dave's youngest sister Suzanne. Since Sue did not play keyboards, and the group was without a pianist, Kathy took over the responsibilities of group keyboardist. During this time, Steve Olmstead had replaced Dave Taylor as drummer in1985, and Steve remained with the group for a record 9 years.
With this combination of Dave, Kathy, Sue & Steve the Proverbs recorded their most ambitious album project "I Still Believe" in 1989.
Sue left the group in 1991 and was replaced by Kathy's sister Karen from the original Johnston Singers. Shortly after Karen joined the group, her husband Neil also became a vocalist with the Proverbs. Neil had an extensive background as tenor for "The Cahllengers Qt." from Pembroke, ON This combination of Dave, Kathy, Steve, Karen & Neil recorded "More Like Jesus" in 1992 ,and remained together until 1994.
In 1994 when Steve left the Proverbs to pursue his responsibilities as a full time pastor and Karen & Neil felt they needed a break from life on the road, Dave & Kathy decided to continue the ministry of the Proverbs as a duo.
Dave & Kathy continued the ministry of the Proverbs as a duo from 1994 until the summer of 2001 when a friend asked if Karen & Neil would re-join Kathy & Dave for a special concert in Kathy and Karen's hometown of Foresters Falls, ON. From that time until New Years Eve 2003 Karen & Neil unofficially continued doing the majority of Proverbs bookings with Dave & Kathy. During the concert New Years Eve 2003, Karen announced on stage that she and Neil felt the Lord calling them back to a long-term commitment as active members of the Proverbs again - this continued until early 2008.
In the spring of 2008 Dave's sister, Karyl (Daw) Tymciw rejoined the Proverbs along with her husband Paul.
In March of 2008, the Proverbs were back in the studio at Summit Sound recording album 19 "Give it Away" with it's release scheduled for the summer of '08.
The Proverbs celebrated 40 years in music ministry in 2007 and look forward to many more!
Over those 40+ years, the Proverbs have appeared alongside most of the artists featured on the Gaither Homecoming video series, and have themselves been featured on events such as Nashville's International Gospel Festival, countless fairs, country music festivals (including the Havelock Jambouree which draws over 30,000), and large and small scale gospel music concerts, in addition to thousands of church bookings.
The Proverbs are recipients of dozens of awards for excellence both for their recordings and also as CGMA's top Canadian gospel artists.