It was with sadness and disbelief that many Gospel music fans received an email from Charles Waller today.
Here is a complete copy of the email:
Date: January 28, 2016 at 2:50:15 PM EST
Subject: 2016 GOGR Announcement
Reply-To: Grand Ole Gospel Reunion <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello All! Hope this finds you all doing well! As you all know, it’s that time of year when you should be receiving letters or emails about the upcoming Grand Ole Gospel Reunion. But unfortunately,due to circumstances beyond our control, we are sad to announce that there will not be a GOGR in 2016. The Hyatt hotel booked both of the weekends that we usually hold the event, to other customers.
I want to thank all of you for your support of the GOGR for the past 28 years or however long that you have been attending. I have made many friendships that I cherish. Without all of you the GOGR would not have been possible.
Please notify your friends that attend GOGR that do not have email. We are trying to reach everybody and will be mailing cards to those people.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the GOGR, let us fill you in on what this means to the Gospel music community. Dean Adkins wrote a feature for SGN Scoops magazine in September 2014 regarding the GOGR of that summer. Here are some excerpts:
The GOGR has sometimes been described as the place where the legends return and this once again, rang true. One of SGM’s most beloved characters, Little Willie Wynn, served as emcee for the evening concerts and he also thrilled the audience with his distinct tenor voice during the late night Jam Session. Bill Shaw, who sang tenor for the Blackwood Brothers for well over 20 years, once again took the stage to thunderous applause. The crowd was amazed at the vocal artistry of this 90-year-old.
…One of the more poignant moments was during a jam session when Bill Crowe, former member of the Blue Ridge Quartet, joined L.D. Young (Couriers), Charles Yates (Speer Family), Buddy Burton (Statesmen and others) and Larry Parker (Southmen) to sing “When I’ve Gone the Last Mile of the Way.” Other legends who took the stage were Sue Dodge, Les Beasley, Tommy Atwood, Derrell Stewart, Gerald Williams, Archie Watkins and Jack Clark.
…Each year an individual is added to the Piano Roll of Honor. A program featuring the pianists attending the event precedes the announcement of the honoree. This year selections were performed by Jack Clark, Derrell Stewart, Jonathan Sawrie, Ellen Marsh, L.D. Young and others. The final performance was by Jeff Stice who was named as this year’s recipient of the honor. In response to the urging by the audience, he played “Last Date” in Floyd Cramer style. Throughout the event, Jeff happily joined many of the groups and added his unique styling to their vocals.
At SGN Scoops, we trust that the GOGR will be back, bigger and better than ever, in 2017.
For more information, visit http://www.grandolegospelreunion.com/
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