Category:Southern gospel performers
Performers of Southern Gospel music
Pages in category "Southern gospel performers"
The following 136 pages are in this category, out of 136 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
Performers of Southern Gospel music
The following 136 pages are in this category, out of 136 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Southern Gospel – Southern gospel music is a genre of Christian music. Like other forms of music the creation, performance, significance and it is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Vaughan Music Publishing Company in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the existence of the genre prior to 1910 is evident in the work of Charles Davis Tillman, who popularized The Old Time Religion, wrote Lifes Railway to Heaven and published 22 songbooks. Some of the roots can be found in the publishing work and normal schools of Aldine S. Kieffer. Over time, southern gospel came to be a musical form with groups singing traditional hymns, a capella songs, country, bluegrass, spirituals. Because it grew out of the traditions of white musicians from the American South. Convention songs typically have contrasting homophonic and contrapuntal sections, in the homophonic sections, the four parts sing the same words and rhythms. In the contrapuntal sections, each member has a unique lyric. These songs are called convention songs because various conventions were organized across the United States for the purpose of getting together regularly, Convention songs were employed by training centers like the Stamps-Baxter School Of Music as a way to teach quartet members how to concentrate on singing their own part. Examples of convention songs include Heavenly Parade, Im Living In Canaan Now, Give the World a Smile, Southern gospel is sometimes called quartet music by fans because of the originally all-male, tenor-lead-baritone-bass quartet makeup. Early quartets were typically either a cappella or accompanied only by piano or guitar, over time, full bands were added and even later, pre-recorded accompaniments were introduced. In the first decades of the century, southern gospel drew much of its creative energy from the holiness movement churches that arose throughout the south. On October 20,1927, The Stamps Quartet recorded its early hit Give The World A Smile for RCA Victor, the Stamps Quartet was heard on the radio throughout Texas and the South. A handful of groups were considered pioneers in southern gospel music for a series of firsts, Sumner also was instrumental in creating the National Quartet Convention, an annual music festival where many groups, both known and well known perform for a week. The Speer Family was known for bringing blended groups to mainstream popularity where both male and female performers toured together, the best known group of the 1950s and 1960s was Statesmen Quartet, which set the trend for broad appeal of the all male quartets that would develop years later. From the start of the genre, the predominant type of artist has been the male quartet, trios and duos have also been a vital element of southern gospel for most of the genres history. All-male trios also are very popular, groups such as Greater Vision and the Booth Brothers are immensely popular. Both have been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, the genre also has a growing number of popular soloists
2. The Arnolds – The Arnolds are a Southern Gospel trio and concert promotion company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The group consists of husband/wife Frank and Vicki Arnold and their success do in part the original members Franks sisters and brother. Jennie, Lahona, and little brother on drums Kenny and their first success came in the early eighties when they added their first pro band. Pianist Steve Snodgrass, Dennis Fast on Bass, Kenny on Drums and other members who came, the big success came with their album Pearly Gates. Six original songs written by Dennis Fast and recorded with help from Lari Goss in Nashville Tenn, many sacrifices from the family and members help put Frank on his way to the promoter when he stop in 2012. The group has found success with the singles on The Singing News Top 80 Chart. Some are When Nothing But A Miracle Will Do, Gods Still Faithful, and He Cradles You
3. Les Beasley – Les Beasley is a retired American Southern Gospel musician. From 1953-2007 he was the singer, bass guitarist. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of Gospel Music TV, Beasley was born to Lester Beasley and Edna Stewart Beasley. His father was a minister, and his mother a homemaker, Beasley started singing at an early age in his fathers churches. Growing up, Beasley lived in places, including Crockett TX, Ripley TN, Mt Vernon TX, Mobeetie TX, Benton AR, Burdette AR, Jena LA, Kentwood LA. Beasley attended college and graduated from Louisiana State University, Beasley started his career singing with a trio called the McManus trio and then in 1953 joined The Gospel Melody Quartet, which eventually was renamed The Florida Boys Quartet. Joined by future Southern Gospel music legends and hall of famers Glen Allred and Darryl Stewart, Beasley was the lead singer, after developing severe vocal problems, Beasley stepped aside as lead vocalist in 1999 but stayed on as manager of the group and as well as bass guitarist. An innovator in the Southern Gospel world, he introduced a sound by adding guitars in addition to vocals as he. In the 1960s and 70s, Beasley co-produced the popular syndicated television program The Gospel Singing Jubilee and he also served as President of the Gospel Music Association in 1970 and 1971, and co-designed the Dove Award statue. Beasley is the owner of Beasley And Barker Publishing Company and also serves as a lifetime member and he has also served on the board of the National Quartet Convention for many years. He is also a songwriter with such songs as Lead Me To The Altar to his credit. Beasley was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1989, Beasley retired from the Florida Boys in 2007 along with Allred and Stewart, their last performance as a group was at the 2007 National Quartet Convention. Beasley is no longer performing, but is leasing the name of the group to Southern Gospel Music promoter Charlie Waller with entirely new members to keep the name alive, Beasley stays active in the Gospel music scene. He has been married to his wife Frances for almost 50 years and has 6 children,12 grandchildren, the Dove Awards is the result of that suggestion
4. Kenny Bishop – Kenny Bishop is an American musician. He traveled with his father Kenneth Bishop Sr. and his older brother Mark Bishop from 1984 to 2001 as a part of the Southern Gospel trio The Bishops, the group earned several industry and fan awards including the Gospel Music Associations Dove Award. They had several number one and top ten songs on the music charts. The group traveled mostly within the United States and made appearances on both Christian and mainstream television. They recorded more than two dozen audio and video recordings, many of their songs were written by Mark, who often wrote story-songs or ballads intended to make a spiritual or inspirational point. The Bishops were also noted for their a capella recordings and performances known as front porch singing, while performing with the group, Kenny worked as a part-time political advisor and consultant, helping run and manage local and regional political campaigns. In the fall of 2002 Kenny joined the staff of U. S. The following year the Congressman ran for Governor of Kentucky and was elected to a four-year term, Kenny went to work in the Fletcher administration as the executive director of Kentuckys Governors Mansion. During his tenure as executive director Kenny helped establish the annual Easter Egg Roll at the Governors Mansion in 2004, Kenny managed the multimillion-dollar renovation project that was begun in the winter of 2006. He also serves on the board of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, kennys first solo recording on Daywind Records was released in May 2006. The recording was nominated for a 2007 GRAMMY award in the Best Southern, the self-titled release was also nominated for two GMA Dove Awards for the songs The Prodigals Dad and Dont Let Who You Are Keep You Away. The same album contains the hit song Lord Have Mercy, written by Sonya Isaacs and several other songs co-written by Bishop as well as other well known gospel music writers. Kenny has performed for heads of state, including US presidents, governors as well as other dignitaries and officials. He has been a performer on the Gaither Homecoming video series and radio program, and has performed on Nashvilles Grand Ole Opry, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN. His story has been featured in Billboard, Country Weekly Magazine, Kenny has defined his musics message with a stated mission and purpose based on his understanding that everyone, without exception, qualifies for Gods grace
5. The Blackwood Brothers – For the Scottish publisher and printer, see Blackwood. The Blackwood Brothers are an American southern gospel quartet and they are nine-time Grammy Award-winning pioneers of the Christian music industry. The Blackwood Brothers Quartet were formed in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression when preacher Roy Blackwood moved his family home to Choctaw County. His brothers, Doyle Blackwood and 15-year-old James Blackwood, already had experience singing with Vardaman Ray. After adding Roys 13-year-old son, R. W. Blackwood, to sing baritone, by 1940, they were affiliated with Stamps-Baxter to sell songbooks and were appearing on 50, 000-watt radio station KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa. Doyle left in 1942 and was replaced by Don Smith, after Doyle left, The Quartet relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 1950. The move proved to be successful for the group as they began to appear on television station WMCT in coming years. After the move, Roy left and was replaced with Calvin Newton, who was replaced with Cat Freeman, in 1951, Alden Toney and Don Smith left and were replaced with Dan Huskey and Bill Lyles. In 1952, Dan Huskey left and was replaced by Bill Shaw, the excitement was short lived, however when a plane crash took the lives of R. W. Blackwood, Bill Lyles, and Johnny Ogburn, a local friend of the Blackwood Brothers. The survivors, James Blackwood, Bill Shaw, and Jackie Marshall soldiered on, R. W. s little brother Cecil Blackwood took over as baritone and J. D. Sumner replaced Bill Lyles at the bass position, according to Ken Berryhill, their producer, it was at about this point in their career that they first crossed paths with the young Elvis Presley, with whom they became friends. But they had to him from joining them. The Blackwood Brothers were, in fact, Presleys favorite gospel group led them to form an enduring friendship. The group is also the founders of the National Quartet Convention, with Sumner also contributed to the group as a songwriter, the Blackwood Brothers were also setting new standards in the studio. Their RCA Victor recordings from time period are now prized collectors items. The lineup with Bill Shaw, James, Cecil, and J. D. Sumner is considered the classic version of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, a replica of the bus can be seen at the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Blackwood Brothers formed a partnership with the Statesmen Quartet to tour as a team in the 1950s and this dominance lasted for about a decade until the rise of gospel television shows in the late 1960s began to give competing groups wider exposure. The Stateswood team also started independent record label Skylite Records, at one time, the Skyline roster included The Blackwood Brothers, J. D
6. Anthony Burger – Anthony John Burger was an American pianist and singer, most closely associated with Southern gospel music. Anthony Burger was born in Cleveland, Tennessee to Richard and Jean Burger, at age eight months, he was using a baby walker and fell into a heating duct on the floor of his house. He suffered third degree burns on his hands, face and, after suffering the burns, Burgers doctor told his parents he was very likely to not be able to move his hands in the future. At the age of five, he was accepted at the Cadek Conservatory, a child prodigy, Burger was playing classical piano repertoire within a few years. Burger graduated from Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, burger’s first recording, Anthony Burger At The Lowrey Organ, was released in 1975 when he was 14 years old. He recorded with The Celestials on their album Ole Fashion Gospel in 1976 and he joined the Kingsmen Quartet at age sixteen and remained with them until 1992. During that time, Burger recorded nineteen projects with the group and was voted the Favorite Pianist in the Singing News Fan Awards for a ten years. The award was renamed the Anthony Burger Award for several years after that, during this period, Burger presented the award to the winner each year, but was ineligible to receive it. In 1992, Burger left the Kingsmen Quartet to pursue a career as a solo pianist and he joined the Gaither Homecoming Tour the following year and was featured on more than 65 Homecoming videos. Burger continued to release solo recordings and headline concerts. Adding more variety to his schedule, Burger formed an impromptu sideline group with Ivan Parker, Burger was known throughout his career to tell of how God healed his hands and playing the piano was his way of praising God. During the course of his career, Anthony teamed up with gospel Sax-Man Dan Traxler, with over 100 tracks to their credit, Dan and Anthony were two musicians who really understood each other. Over the course of his career, Mr. Burger released a number of piano folios, the Hazelton Brothers piano company honored Mr. Burger just after the turn of the century when they began offering an “Anthony Burger Signature” model. Then in late 2005, Steinway & Sons announced that Mr. Burger was being added to their roster of endorsing artists. On February 22,2006, at the age of 44, Burger died of a heart attack while performing aboard the MS Zuiderdam. According to eyewitnesses, Burger was accompanying Bill and Gloria Gaither and Guy Penrod when fans in the audience noticed Burger had ceased moving, several fellow artists carried him backstage, where the cruise ships emergency response team performed CPR for about 45 minutes, to no avail
7. The Chuck Wagon Gang – The Chuck Wagon Gang is a Country gospel musical group, formed in 1935 by D. P. Carter and son Jim and daughters Rose and Anna. The group got their first radio break as sponsored singers for Bewley Flour in 1936, at one point they were Columbias number one selling group with excess of over 39 million in record sales. The Chuck Wagon Gang has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the group has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institutions classic American recordings. The group was founded in 1935 broadcasting from radio station KFYO in Lubbock, Texas, by the late 1970s, the group was still touring but felt a lack of support from the label they had recorded for during the previous forty-one years. Columbia had stopped servicing their songs to radio, thus airplay had become non-existent, roy and Ruth Ellen Carter talked about it. They asked each other the question, What can we do to rebuild what Daddy started and that became the aim, not to make money, but to truly dedicate themselves to rebuilding the group to the strongest position it had enjoyed in years past. It was at this point starting in 1979 that they began recording for Copperfield Records for several years, CD Cover Move Up To Heaven The Glory Land Way Joy Bells Ringing in My Soul That Old Time Religion Gods Gentle People Prayers in Song All Praise the Lord
8. The Cockman Family – The Cockman Family is a bluegrass/Gospel band from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, United States. They were selected as the recipient of the 2011 Community Traditions Award by the North Carolina Folklore Society, the Cockman Family is currently promoted by Homeland Entertainment under the Heart Warming label. Billy Cockman won the 2013 National Banjo Championship in Winfield, KS, ben also won the 2013 4th place National Guitar Flat-Pick and 4th place National Mandolin championships. John Cockman Jr. Teaches fiddle online at BluegrassDaddy. com, the Cockman Family has developed a distinct bluegrass gospel style that has gained audiences throughout the Southeast. Their arrangements of old songs have been very popular. Their tight harmonies and original songs have been applauded for their unique sounds, the Cockman Family has recorded multiple records. Eleven of their songs have been released as singles to bluegrass and their newest album, Dedicated, was released in 2011 and features original songs as well as favorite hymns. Official site - www. cockmanfamily. com John Cockman, Jr - www. bluegrassdaddy. com
9. Jimmie Davis – James Houston Jimmie Davis was a singer and songwriter of both sacred and popular songs who served for two nonconsecutive terms from 1944–48 and from 1960–64 as the governor of his native Louisiana. Davis was a popular country music and gospel singer from the 1930s into the 1960s. He was inducted into six halls of fame, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Davis was born to a couple, the former Sarah Elizabeth Works and Samuel Jones Davis. The family was so poor that young Jimmie did not have a bed in which to sleep until he was nine years old. Davis was not sure of his date of birth, according to the New York Times, Various newspaper, according to the Los Angeles Times, Davis was not sure exactly how old he was, noting only that he was born around the turn of the last century. The birth date listed on his Country Music Hall of Fame plaque is September 11,1902, however, the 1900 US Census attests to his being born in September 1899. He graduated from Beech Springs High School and the New Orleans campus of Soule Business College, Davis received his bachelors degree in history from the Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville in Rapides Parish. He received a degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His 1927 masters thesis, which examines the intelligence levels of different races, is titled Comparative Intelligence of Whites, Blacks, during the late 1920s, Davis taught history for a year at the former Dodd College for Girls in Shreveport. The college president, Monroe E. Dodd, who was also the pastor of the large First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Davis became a commercially successful singer of rural music before he entered politics. His early work was in the style of country music luminary Jimmie Rodgers. Some of these records included slide guitar accompaniment by black bluesman Oscar Buddy Woods, during his first run for governor, opponents reprinted the lyrics of some of these songs in order to undermine Daviss campaign. In one case, anti-Davis forces played some records over a sound system only to give up after the crowds started dancing, ignoring the double-entendre lyrics. Until the end of his life, Davis never denied or repudiated those records, in 1999, You Are My Sunshine was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and the Recording Industry Association of America named it one of the Songs of the Century. You Are My Sunshine was ranked in 2003 as No.73 on CMTs 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music, until his death, Davis insisted that he wrote the song. In any case, it forever be associated with him. Virginia Shehee, the Shreveport businesswoman, philanthropist, and state senator, Davis became the popular singing governor of Louisiana who often performed during his campaign stops
10. Florida Boys – The Florida Boys Quartet is a male vocal quartet in Southern gospel music. The group was founded in about 1946 by J. G. Whitfield, originally named The Gospel Melody Quartet, the group was renamed in 1954. Roy Howard, the original lead singer, had a heart attack in 1951. Doyle Wiggins sang lead for about a year, when he left in 1953, he was replaced by Les Beasley. Beasley remained at the position through 1999, when he stepped aside. Beasley continued to play guitar and act as the groups master of ceremonies. Glen Allred joined as baritone in 1952, Derrell Stewart became the groups pianist in 1956, Allred, Stewart, and Les Beasley remained at their respective positions for over four decades. During this time, various tenors and basses sang with the group, billy Todd joined the group as bass singer in the late 1950s, and stayed with the group until 1972. He was replaced by Buddy Liles, who had sung with The Orrell Quartet, The Rhythm Masters Quartet, The Landmark Quartet, Liles stayed with the group for over two decades. In 1999, the Florida Boys were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, mcDonald was replaced by Butch Owens, and lead singer Josh Garner moved up to the tenor position, with Les once again singing lead for the group. Then, in June 2007, Les Beasley announced that the quartet would be disbanding the following month. However, he announced that they would come back together once more for a farewell appearance at the National Quartet Convention in September 2007. The Florida Boys cover of the song Love Lifted Me was used in Richard Linklaters 2011 Film Bernie and was covered in the soundtrack by actor-musician Jack Black. G. Glen Allred, the baritone singer for The Florida Boys, is also the baritone singer for The 3 Generations. Randy Allred, the bass singer for The Dixie Echoes reprises this role. The alto is Cindy Dunn and the soprano is Brandy Allred, shayne Dunn and Shirley Allred were also featured on the latest album. Discography, I Shall Sing Time To Sing More Singing Please Retired Florida Boys Official Website The New Florida Boys Official Website
11. Tennessee Ernie Ford – Ernest Jennings Ford, known professionally as Tennessee Ernie Ford, was an American recording artist and television host who enjoyed success in the country and Western, pop, and gospel musical genres. Noted for his rich voice and down-home humor, he is remembered for his hit recordings of The Shotgun Boogie. Born in Bristol, Tennessee to Maud and Clarence Thomas Ford, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at WOPI-AM in Bristol. In 1939, the young left the station to study classical singing at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio. As First Lieutenant, he served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan and he was also a bombing instructor at George Air Force Base, located in Victorville, California. After the war, Ford worked at stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena. At KFXM in San Bernardino, Ford was hired as a radio announcer and he was assigned to host an early morning country music disc jockey program, Bar Nothin Ranch Time. To differentiate himself, he created the personality of Tennessee Ernie and he became popular in the area and was soon hired away by Pasadenas KXLA radio. At KXLA, Ford continued doing the show and also joined the cast of Cliffie Stones popular live KXLA country show Dinner Bell Roundup as a vocalist while still doing the early morning broadcast. Cliffie Stone, a talent scout for Capitol Records, brought him to the attention of the label. In 1949, while doing his morning show, he signed a contract with Capitol. He became a local TV star as the star of Stones popular Southern California Hometown Jamboree show, radiOzark produced 260 15-minute episodes of The Tennessee Ernie Show on transcription disks for national radio syndication. He released almost 50 country singles through the early 1950s, several of which made the charts, ill Never Be Free, a duet pairing Ford with Capitol Records pop singer Kay Starr, became a huge country and pop crossover hit in 1950. A duet with Ella Mae Morse, False Hearted Girl was a top seller for the Capitol Country and Hillbilly division, Ford eventually ended his KXLA morning show and in the early 1950s, moved on from Hometown Jamboree. He took over from band-leader Kay Kyser as host of the TV version of NBC quiz show Kollege of Musical Knowledge when it returned briefly in 1954 after a four-year hiatus. He became a name in the U. S. largely as a result of his portrayal in 1954 of the country bumpkin, Cousin Ernie on three episodes of I Love Lucy. In 1955, Ford recorded Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier with Farewell to the Mountains on side B. The songs authorship has been claimed by both Travis and George S. Davis, although Travis is recognized as the author on the recording itself, by BMI
12. Gaither Vocal Band – The Gaither Vocal Band is an American southern gospel vocal group, named after its founder and leader Bill Gaither. On March 1,2017, it was announced that the Gaither Vocal Band lineup will consist of Reggie Smith, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, Todd Suttles, and Bill Gaither, beginning April 1,2017. Although the group started out recording contemporary Christian music in the 1980s, the lineup of the band changes often, with artists leaving to work on solo careers, and new and old ones coming to replace them. Besides Bill Gaither, singers with the longest tenure in the band include Guy Penrod, Mark Lowry, Michael English, David Phelps, the band has released 29 albums, at least 19 of which have charted. The band has also released 10 DVDs, which many other Christian artists as well. The Gaither Vocal Band has been honored with 2 Grammys, and 17 Dove Awards, the Gaither Vocal Band is named after gospel legend and leader, Bill Gaither. It was the successor-group of the Bill Gaither Trio, by the 1980s, Bill Gaither, along with wife Gloria Gaither, were both very successful songwriters. For example, their song, He Touched Me was covered by Elvis Presley, Presley won a Grammy for the album. Bill Gaither felt that his trio had reached its peak in the mid-1980s, the original Vocal Band was formed spontaneously, backstage of a Gaither Trio concert. It consisted of Bill Gaither and Gary McSpadden of the trio, the quartet sang Your First Day in Heaven on stage that night. Their debut album, the self-titled The New Gaither Vocal Band, debuted in 1981. According to the notes of the CD compilation, The Best of the GVB. According to Steve Green on the Gaither Vocal Band Reunion video, he came up with the name and convinced Gaither to use it because he, at the time, Lee Young left the group in 1982, and Jon Mohr was hired as the new bass singer. They then recorded the album, Passin The Faith Along, later, tenor Steve Green left and Larnelle Harris was hired. This group cut the New Point Of View album before Mohr left, Michael English was hired as the new lead singer, so McSpadden was moved down to baritone, and Gaither dropped to the lowest part. At this point the group dropped the new part of their name, although the previous album had been more contemporary than its predecessors, the album with this version of the group took it even further. After this album, Larnelle left and was replaced by Lemuel Miller, the group did not record an album with Lemuel before he too left. He was replaced by Imperials alumnus, Jim Murray and this line up cut one album before Gary McSpadden left to start his solo career
13. Bill Gaither (gospel singer) – William J. Bill Gaither is an American singer and songwriter of Southern gospel and Contemporary Christian music. He has written numerous popular Christian songs with his wife Gloria, he is known for performing as part of the Bill Gaither Trio. In the 1990s, his gained a resurgence, as popularity grew for the Gaither Homecoming series. Bill Gaither was born in Alexandria, Indiana in 1936 to George and he formed his first group the Bill Gaither Trio in 1956 while a college student at Anderson College, to which he had transferred after one year at Taylor University. He graduated from Anderson in 1959 with a major in English and he married the former Gloria Sickal in 1962. He tried for a few years to both a music career and his full-time teaching job, but he quit his teaching job in 1967. He recorded his breakthrough song He Touched Me in 1964, Gaither was influenced by southern gospel singers such as Jake Hess and Hovie Lister and by groups such as the Speers, the Statesmen, and the Happy Goodmans. His songs have been performed by Christian artists, country singers, Gloria Gaither often writes the lyrics while Bill writes the music, although composing is usually a collaborative project between the two. As of 2005, they had composed 600 songs and by 2012 that number had increased to over 700, since Gaither first began singing with the Bill Gaither Trio in the 1950s, he has constantly been performing. The Bill Gaither Trio originally consisted of Bill, his brother Danny Gaither, in about 1964 Bills wife, Gloria, took the place of Mary Ann. The trio sang traditional songs along with original compositions by the Gaithers that gave them a more contemporary feel. Gaither has a bass voice, and would often sing while playing piano with the Bill Gaither Trio. Gaither also runs a center called Gaither Family Resources. Included as part of the company is Live Bait Productions, which is a company run by Benjy Gaither. In the 1980s, Gaither was involved with Paragon Associates, which formed a partnership with Zondervan to buy Benson Records, in 1994, Gaither and entrepreneur Leland Boren founded the Brentwood, Tennessee-based Chapel Hill Music Group, which later changed its name to Spring Hill Music Group. It was created as part of the Gaither Music Company to handle in-house productions, Gaither has been a father figure to many younger performers in the Contemporary Christian music industry, while helping to prolong the careers of those who came before him. Mark Lowry, Michael W. Guy Penrod and Mark Lowry were the members of the Gaither Vocal Band with the longest tenure besides Bill Gaither himself, Guy Penrod was with the group from 1995–2008 and Mark Lowry from 1988-2001. Gaithers Homecoming tours, which started in 1991, brought together major stars of the gospel and CCM industry
14. Vestal Goodman – Vestal Goodman was a singer who performed in the Southern gospel genre for more than half a century. She is known both as a performer and as a member of The Happy Goodman Family—which originated with her husband and his brothers. Goodman was the fourth of six children and she began singing in her home church. Her original intent was to study for the Metropolitan Opera, and she married Howard Goodman, a preacher nine years her senior, on November 7,1949. They had a son Rick, and a daughter Vicki and they pastored churches and sang for congregations across the country. Along with Howards two brothers Sam and Rusty, they known as The Happy Goodman Family, helping pave the way for Southern gospel music during the 1960s. With the formation of Word Records in the early 1960s, Vestal, in 1969, she won the first ever Female Vocalist of the Year Dove Award. As a natural step in her career, Vestal Goodman released her first solo album, Hallelujah. in 1971, from which came the well-known single, Itll All Be Over But the Shoutin. Lord I Wouldnt Take Nothin For My Journey Now, details her life in Southern gospel music, her heart problems, her subsequent bout with cancer and her struggle with prescription drug addiction. Goodman was honored by being named The Queen of Southern Gospel Music, which was proclaimed in an array of magazines, from Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Time, People. She was also known for her trademark handkerchief, which she held in her hand during virtually every performance, comedian/singer Mark Lowry used to joke, The anointings in the hanky, during their Gaither Homecoming concert appearances. She and Howard worked with many musicians on the Gaither Homecoming music projects in the 1990s. Her autobiography was released in 1999, and she was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2004. The Happy Goodmans group was inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame in 1998, Howard Goodman died on November 30,2002, after the couple made a farewell recording and singing tour dubbed The Final Stand. Vestal Goodman died at the age 74 of complications from influenza while on Christmas vacation in Florida with her family and she died in the ambulance on the way to Celebration Hospital in Celebration, Florida. Her son Rick said it was appropriate for her death that it would happen in a place called Celebration. Worthington Music Group and Goodman Family Ministries partnered to release a collection of recordings from the family archive entitled Unsurpassed Masters Vol.1 in 2008, the critically acclaimed album gives listeners a behind the scenes glimpse into ministry of Howard and Vestal Goodman. Vestal Freeman Goodman Find A Grave Memorial Official Website