Born: Jan­ua­ry 26, 1905, Coleman, Texas.

Died: Feb­ru­ary 8, 2003, Coleman, Texas.

Buried: Silver Valley Ce­me­te­ry, Silver Valley, Texas.


Robert was the son of Mil­lard Frank­lin Ar­nold and Ro­we­na Vic­tor­ia Law­rence, and a cou­sin of country-west­ern sing­er Ed­dy Ar­nold.

He learned mu­sic at Nor­mal Schools run by the Cen­tral Mu­sic Com­pa­ny and at oth­er sing­ing schools.

His teach­ers in­clude­d J. H. Carr, Will Ram­sey, Frank White, J. B. Her­bert, John A. Mc­Clung, W. W. Combs, L. A. Gor­don, and Mrs. J. H. Carr.

Sterling be­gan ra­dio work and sing­ing with quar­tets in his late teen age years. He sang for the Cen­tral Mu­sic Com­pa­ny quar­tet, and man­aged the Na­tion­al Quar­tet for num­ber of years.

For a quar­ter cen­tu­ry, he taught pi­ano and voice in Fort Worth, Tex­as, where he had a pri­vate stu­dio.

For a while, he part­nered with Al­bert Brum­ley and W. Ol­iv­er Coo­per in the Hart­ford Na­tion­al Com­pa­ny. He lat­er found­ed the Na­tion­al Mu­sic Com­pa­ny in Jef­fer­son, Tex­as.

Sterling’s ti­tles were per­formed by a num­ber of ar­tists. One of his most po­pu­lar songs, No Tears in Heav­en, was re­cord­ed by Buck Ow­ens, Skeet­er Da­vis, Red Fo­ley, and The Chuck Wa­gon Gang.

Sterling was in­duct­ed in­to the Tex­as Gos­pel Mu­sic Hall of Fame in 1985, and to the Sou­thern Gos­pel Music Hall of Fame in 2005.