2007 SGMA Hall of Fame Inductees announced

The Southern Gospel Music Association announced their 2007 Inductees:

  • Roger Bennett (The Cathedrals / Legacy Five)
  • Anthony Burger (The Kingsmen / Soloist)
  • Joel Hemphill (The Hemphills)
  • Lou Wills-Hildreth (The Wills Family)
  • Jimmy Jones (Rangers Quartet / Deep South Quartet / LeFevres / Sunshine Boys)
  • David Reece (Rangers Quartet / Harvesters / Rangers Trio)
  • James Sego (Sego Brothers & Naomi)
  • Archie Watkins (The Inspirations)

This is a good mixture of retired and current performers. Of current performers, probably the most overdue is Archie Watkins. Sure, his voice may not be everything it was thirty years ago, but he’s set a record for tenor longevity with a full-time pro group, and there’s no question he’s a fan favorite.

A sharp reader over at the Singing News Forums notices that Roger Bennett appears to be the youngest living person to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. Several people who may have died younger have been inducted, but he appears to be the youngest living. [EDIT, 11/7/10: Regrettably, the link is broken, so it has been removed.]

I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision to vote both Roger Bennett and Anthony Burger in (in the same year) was prompted by Anthony’s sudden death. Of the two–the top two fan favorite artists over the past quarter-century–Burger appeared to be in far better health, with Roger Bennett struggling with a serious case of cancer. But Burger died suddenly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the push to put them both in the Hall of Fame, with Bennett’s induction while he is still here to accept it.


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2 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I wonder when Ernie Haase is going to be inducted… maybe in ten more years?

  2. I had many great years singing with David Reese and Bill Nelson with the Rangers Trio. One of our last performance was at The Grand Old Gospel Reunion and we recorded a special video with Charlie Waller that was played live call “Moments to Remember”. I am so grateful to see David in the hall of fame. I think its time for Bill Nelson? Maybe one day me? Thanks for your great words about some great folks!!

    Greg Harelson – Tenor The Rangers Trio