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Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Written by Staff on August 3, 2020 – 9:52 am -

Tri-State Hall of Fame ceremonies. Photo by Robert York

Family, friends, and guests from all over the southeast, gathered together on August 1, 2020, to be a part of the 16th Annual Tri-State Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Parkway Baptist Temple, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

The Tri-State Hall of Fame was founded by Herb Oliver to recognize people in music for the tri-state region. Will Dickerson, CEO of the Hall of Fame, and Radio Personality Ken Hicks, served as masters of ceremony.
The ceremony opened with a couple of congregation songs, followed by several scrap iron quartets made up of members of the Hall of Fame.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Troy Burns inducted into the Tri-State Hall of Fame. Photo by Robert York

The induction ceremony began with the first of the inductees, Troy Burns. He is a former member of the Inspirations, having sung with the quartet for 30 years. Leaving the group, he formed The Troy Burns Family group. During his career, Troy has performed at over 6000 concerts and received numerous awards.

The next inductee, was Buddy Burton, an ordained minister and past member of The Singing Americans, The Statesmen and Masters Five.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Buddy Burton inducted into the Tri-State Hall of Fame. Photo by Robert York

Nationally known arranger and pianist, Tommy Fairchild, who sang with the Oak Ridge Boys, was inducted. He also sang with The Blackwood Brothers on their song “Learning To Lean,” which remained on the charts for three record breaking years.

Howard Green was also recognized. He is a master woodworker and manufacturer of the custom Greenfield Violins. As well, Howard sang with a local group out of Atlanta, which appeared on the Mulls TV program and concerts.
“Elvis has left the building,” were the famous words of Ed Hill, who unfortunately passed away July 13, 2020. This gentleman was entered into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Ed sang tenor at age 13 with a group from East Tennessee University. He formed the Prophets Quartet in 1959 and sang for 15 years with them. In 1973, he sang with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, during which time they did backup singing at Elvis concerts. Ed remained with the Stamps for 25 years.
Several more performers were inducted, including David Maddox, who had longed to sing bass with Willie Wynn and The Tennessee Quartet. David got that opportunity after he had sung with his family for 15 years, along with several other area groups including The Deep South Boys.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Peggy Parker inducted into the Tri-State Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of Randy and Sherri Miller

Peggy Parker, who passed away April 13, 2020, was inducted. Her daughter, Sherri Miller, accepted the award. Peggy and her husband formed the Kenny Parker Trio and also traveled with the Rambos from 1969-1971. When she learned of her induction before her death, Peggy began crying with joy. Kenny is also a member of the Tri-State Hall of Fame.

Marlon Pendergrass was raised in Powell, Alabama, and attended the National School of Music and later joined the faculty there. He sang with Cat Freeman and the All-Star Quartet, and later established the Cat Freeman Scholarship Fund. He also promoted gospel concerts in his area.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

The Greesons. Photo by Robert York

Willie Wynn, known as Little Willie, and commonly known in gospel music as the Man with a Million Friends, was inducted into the HOF. He began singing as a teenager. Jake Hess suggested Willie for the Wally Fowler Quartet which later became the Oak Ridge Boys. Willie sang with them for 15 years. Later, Hovie Lister invited him to sing with The Statesmen and after several albums with that group, Willie formed his own quartet.

Rounding out the awards ceremony, was Charles Yates, who is nationally known from his time singing with the Speer Family. His most requested song was “Palms Of Victory.” In 1959, Charles sang with the Foggy Mountain Boys. He has flown airplanes as a crop duster, and also gyrocopters, and arrived at the ceremony by airplane with some of his friends.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Photo by Robert York

Then it was back to scrap iron quartet singing, during which time a special award was presented to the wife of the late Brian Etheridge of the Master Peace Quartet.

Also performing were The Greesons, who are all members of the HOF, and Testimony Quartet.
The evening wasn’t complete until the oldest member of the HOF, 94 year old Ray Branham, was called to the stage to sing. He was given a standing ovation for his upbeat song.
Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, moreThe evening ended with the recognition of the 2019-20 members who have passed away, and everyone singing, “What A Day That Will Be,” and “What A Meeting In The Air.”
What a day and a meeting that will be when we .gather, with all of the music makers who have gone before us, beneath the throne of Jesus Christ, to sing his praise forever.

For more information on the Tri-state Hall of Fame, please contact Will Dickerson at.


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Story by Robert York

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Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame

Written by Staff on September 13, 2019 – 5:33 pm -

Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameStarted by Herb Oliver, the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame came into being to recognize, honor and celebrate gospel music musicians who had made outstanding contributions to gospel music. Members from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia could be nominated for the honor. From all those nominated, the board members would make the selection based on their contribution and ministry to gospel music, and then hold an induction ceremony.


The first inductees were installed in 2005 at Ridgeview Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tenn.  Over the years, well-known inductees have included Vestal Goodman, Cat Freeman, LeRoy Abernathy, Shorty Bradford and Calvin Newton.  More recently, Mike Holcomb, Melvin Klaudt, Tracy Stuffle, Anthony Burger, Phil Cross and Tim Duncan have been honored. Parkway Baptist Temple in Fort Oglethrope, Georgia, has hosted the ceremony during the past five years because of the size of attendees. Dr. David Sampson, pastor, and Jerry Pilfrey, minister of music, host the ceremony, as both are members of the Hall of Fame.


Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameThe 2019 induction ceremony held at Parkway Baptist Temple was planned and set up with Will Dickerson, CEO/Chairman. The program included the Tri-state Hall of Fame Choir, numerous quartets and the induction ceremony. The choir contained all former and new members, singing several songs throughout the evening. Four men, who had never sung together, joined together as scrap iron quartets, and were enjoyed immensely during the ceremony. Each scrap iron quartet included were given such names as The Carpenters On Noah’s Ark, Ex-Walmart Greeters and Nashville Cats, as well as many others. Hall of Fame member Ken Hicks, co-host of the Ken and Daniel morning show in WUSY in Chattanooga, Tenn., emceed the ceremony. 


Ten new members were inducted bringing the total members of the Hall of Fame to 202. Inducted were Carol Cross, an award-winning songwriter; Milford Cushen, an attorney in Fort Payne, Alabama, who has sung with several quartets throughout his career and currently sings with the Bradford Quartet; Rick Fair, who was the final baritone singer for the legendary Statesmen quartet and has been with many other nationally known quartets. Rick’s son David accepted the award as Rick was unable to attend the ceremony that evening.


Jay Parrack, tenor singer with Vocal Event, was inducted as a new member. His wife Kaylyn and children Keri and L.J. attended to support him.  


Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame

Formerly with Gold City Quartet from 1994 to 2004, Parrack, referring to Vocal Event, stated, “We are in the process of doing new recording as it has been some time since the group has had one.” He also serves as minister of music at Hill Crest Baptist Church in Anniston, Ala.


Debbie Epperson, whose family is known as the Singing Echoes from Cleveland, Tenn., was newly inducted. Many of her family are also members. 


Also inducted was Roger Horne who began his career singing tenor with The Gospel Harmony Boys and later with The Cathedral  Quartet, and Jerry and The Singing Goffs. Mike Leath, lead singer for more than a decade with Alabama’s favorite groups The Sharps was also honoured. 


Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of FameDr. Jerry Goff and his wife, ‘Little’ Jan Buckner-Goff, were both honoured as new inductees. 


Jan is nationally known for her performances with Wendy Bagwell and The Sunlighters for 38 years. She has received a Grammy award for the song “Tell It Again.” Throughout her lifetime, Jan has devoted her life to gospel music. Like one of her songs she sings, “I’ve Been Everywhere,” she has performed in numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall (New York) and all across America. Dr. Goff and Jan were married for many years, making a great impact as a duet and sometimes adding a third member to be a trio. 


Jerry Goff passed away July 12, 2019. He was known as Mr. Trumpet and had his own group Jerry and the Singing Goffs for many years. He had 56 albums to his credit, received the Dove Award, and Poet Voice Award just to name a few. He had written numerous songs during his lifetime, been on the board of directors and served as president of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.


Closing out the evening Ronnie McJunkin and the choir sang as an honor to Dr. Goff, “I’ll Meet You In The Rapture,” followed by, “What A Meeting In The Air.”


If you would like to know more about the Tri-State Hall of Fame, you can reach them at their website Donations are accepted through the website, to help with the organization’s expenses. Special thanks to Will Dickerson, Chairman, for his input and information for this article.

By Robert York

Robert York is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.


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