Southern Gospel Clones

In the case of today’s post, a clone is an artist that duplicates, imitates or closely resembles another artist in appearance, performance or style.

Today’s post is not meant to be a bad thing (as in the myriad of carbon copy artists in the industry), but one that will take a Southern Gospel artist from the past and match them to an artist of today that best resembles/carries on the sound of the great artist of the past.  I will continue this feature with several more posts.

  • Downings match is the Taylors
  • Florida Boys match is Freedom Quartet
  • Happy Goodmans match is the Perrys
  • Hinsons match is the Hinson Family
  • Mid South Boys match is Akins
  • Oak Ridge Boys match is Triumphant

So with the artists in today’s grouping, do you agree with my choices or do you feel other artists match closer to the great artists of the past?

Song Hall Of Fame: “Green Pastures”

Hall of Fame (350x202)The weekend is almost here.  It is time to honor another of Southern Gospel’s greatest compositions by placing it into the Southern Gospel song hall of fame.

Today’s inductee goes back to 1963.  At least that is when songwriter H.W. Van Hoose penned the song for the Stamps Quartet Music Company.

“Green Pastures” was barely heard of until the Goodmans recorded it on their 1981 recording, Goin’ Higher.  The song charted for the group and became a favorite.

Here is a recent performance of the song by bluegrass/country legend, Emmylou Harris.

Southern Gospel’s Best Songs: Happy Goodmans

Last year I started a new series that highlights the ten best songs an artist recorded during their career.  We’ve seen lists for the Steeles, Anchormen, Downings, Down East Boys and Dixie Echoes.  Today, I wanted to look at the best songs recorded by the Happy Goodmans.

1.”Had It Not Been” (Rusty Goodman; Portrait Of Excitement, 1968)

2. “What A Beautiful Day” (Eddie Crook/Aaron Wilburn; Happy Goodman Family Hour, 1974)

3. “He Pilots My Ship” (Ronny Hinson; Leave Your Sorrows And Come Along, 1972)

4. “This Is What Heaven Means To Me” (Michael Summer; This Happy House, 1969)

5. “I Believe He’s Coming Back” (Rusty Goodman; Refreshing, 1978)

6. “When Morning Sweeps The Eastern Sky” (Oren Parris; Good N Happy, 1967)

7. “Who Am I” (Rusty Goodman; What A Happy Time, 1966)

8. “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now” (Jimmie Davis/Rusty Goodman; The Best Of, 1964)

9. “How Much More” (Rusty Goodman; The Legendary Goodmans, 1973)

10. “I’m Too Near Home” (Charles Wycuff; I’m Too Near Home, 1963)

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  We are less than a week away from starting September 2016.  September has been an interesting month when it comes to single month #1 songs.  This modern era of chart history has a new #1 song every month.  That wasn’t the case decades ago when some songs would spend many consecutive months at #1.  Here are all the single month #1 songs that happened during the month of September.

  • September 1973 – “He Pilots My Ship” (Happy Goodmans)
  • September 1980 – “Better Hurry Up” (Happy Goodmans)
  • September 1982 – “Antioch Church Choir” (Dixie Melody Boys)
  • September 1984 – “Who Put The Tears” (McKameys)
  • September 1992 – “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is” (Nelons)
  • September 2001 – “That’s Why I Love To Call His Name” (Kingdom Heirs)

Top Ten Back Then

#6 (176x200)This week I am turning the clock back 34 years to February 1982.  The Happy Goodman Family was traveling with Sam, Rusty, Tanya and Johnny Cook at this time period.

Even though Howard and Vestal’s exit from the group left a void, this combination carried on and released an album in 1981 titled, Goin’ Higher.  Johnny Cook took the lead on a particular song, penned by Thomas Alexander, that found a home on the Singing News February 1982 radio chart.  Coming in at #6 on the chart that month was the song, “I’ve Already Won The War”.

1982 (200x200)Other Memorable Moments from February 1982:

  • The United States performed a nuclear test at a Nevada test site.
  • Bobby Allison won the 24th running of the Daytona 500.
  • Final episode of the Lawrence Welk Show aired on television.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

Southern Gospel Tidbits

goodmans1982chosenmaxDID YOU KNOW?:  The Goodmans 1982 album, Chosen, is regarded by this writer to be the best recording in the entire (Happy) Goodmans discography.  The vocal line-up of Rusty Goodman, Sam Goodman, Tanya Goodman Sykes and Michael English created a masterpiece.  Southern Gospel radio must have agreed because on the July 1983 Singing News top 40 chart, four songs from that album were charted in the top 40.

  • #6 – “The Cloud He’s Coming Back On”
  • #8 – “Look For Me”
  • #18 – “The Message Of His Coming”
  • #23 – “Somebody Prayed For Me”

**Speaking of radio charts; I am looking for Singing News top 40 charts for the years 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982.  Any help would be appreciated.  Email me at

Honoring Southern Gospel’s Greatest Albums – 1960’s (#10)

happyg-thishappyhouseSeveral months ago I began a series honoring the best Southern Gospel albums released by decade.  The rankings were a result of you, the readers, voting in the search for Southern Gospel’s best album series last year.  Now it is time to take a look at the top ten albums for the decade of the 1960’s.

The Happy Goodman Family released their first recording in 1963.  During the decade, they were releasing songs that would go on to become standards for the group including; “Born To Serve The Lord”, “Had It Not Been”, “I Don’t Regret A Mile”, “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, “I’m Too Near Home” and “When Morning Sweeps The Eastern Sky” to name a few.

The album that lands at #10 among the best Southern Gospel recordings released during the 1960’s is the Happy Goodman’s 1969 album; This Happy House.  The album contained such favorites as “I Found A Better Way”, “Guilty Of Love”, “Thank God I’m Free”, “The Sweetest Song I Know” and “This Is What Heaven Means To Me” among others.  The vocal line up on this recording was Sam, Howard, Vestal, Rusty and Bobby on a select number.

Here is a musical montage of the album ranked #10 among the best released in the 1960’s, This Happy House.

Enter To Win: Friday Fun Giveaway

happygoodmans1966biggernbettermaxThe South is enjoying gorgeous Spring weather this weekend, at least here in NC.  So why not go into the prize bag and pull out a CD to give away.

With the Happy Goodmans being included in my ten on ten (redux) yesterday, I thought it fitting to give away one of their ranked ten best recordings.  In 2007, Goodman Family Ministries re-released several of the classic Goodman albums on CD.  One of those was the 1967 Canaan Records album, Bigger ‘N’ Better.  The album was ranked 8th among the group’s ten best recordings as part of my original ten on ten series.

Song list on Bigger ‘N’ Better:  (1) “When It All Starts Happening”  (2) “I’ll Regret”  (3) “Point Of No Return”  (4) “Living By Faith”  (5) “I’m Building A Bridge”  (6) “Jesus Said It, I Believe It”  (7) “Not In A Million Years”  (8) “Weapon Of Prayer”  (9) “Born Again”  (10) “I Shall Be At Home With Jesus”  (11) “Poor Rich Man”.

The first person to correctly email me ( the answer to the musical montage wins.  Each of the five songs included in this musical montage is found on one of the albums I ranked among the group’s ten best.  The list was in yesterday’s post.  Once you can match the song to the correct album, email me the five album titles to win.  Good luck.


Congratulations to Todd for being the first to correctly guess the five albums that made up the musical montage.  The answers were as follows.

  1. “It’s Different Now” (I’m Too Near Home), 1963
  2. “What Heavens Means To Me” (This Happy House), 1969
  3. “He Pilots My Ship” (Leave Your Sorrows And Come Along), 1972
  4. “Somebody Prayed For Me” (Chosen), 1982
  5. “He’s Coming Again” (The Legendary Goodmans), 1973