SGMA announces 2008 Hall of Fame Inductees
The Southern Gospel Music Association announced its 2008 inductees to the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. They are:
- Fred Daniel (Sunshine Boys/Blue Ridge Quartet). While I don’t know whether he was of Irish descent, his voice was reminiscent of an Irish Tenor’s voice, along the lines of Larry Ford. His vocal abilities made him a strong contributor to the groups with which he performed.
- Polly Grimes (Concert Promoter).
- Herschel Lester (Lesters). I believe Lester founded the Lesters, a family group still continuing today, decades (and several generations) later.
- Squire Parsons (Songwriter/Kingsmen/Squire Parsons Trio). The longevity of both the singer (a 30+-year-career in the genre) and his most famous song (“Sweet Beulah Land”) make this a good selection.
- Luther Presley (Songwriter). Author of numerous Southern Gospel classics, including “I’ll Have a New Life,” “Getting Ready to Leave This World,” “Crown Him King,” “Rocked on the Deep” (co-author), and “I’d Rather Have Jesus,”* Presley’s songs have definitely earned him this spot. (*This is not George Beverly Shea’s “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” as most recently done by the Crabb Family; this is a quartet song recorded by the Cathedrals in 1982, the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Gaither Homecoming choir, and other artists.)
- Ray Dean Reese (Kingsmen). Anyone who has remained in a high-profile national group for as many years as Reese has–42 years (since about 1966)–has certainly earned their Hall of Fame induction.