Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame
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The Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame is a site operated at Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, by the Southern Gospel Music Association. It was established in 1997. The Hall of Fame is composed of pioneers in the field of Southern gospel music; members are selected by the SGMA annually, and are honored by a descriptive plaque and portrait in the Hall itself. The Museum contains thousands of items of memorabilia and a gift shop. An animatronic quartet, sponsored by Bill Gaither, sings "Give the World a Smile." Other interesting items on display include a replica of the Blackwood Brothers first bus, interactive video and sound clips, and bronze plaques of Hall of Fame inductees. Over one million people visit the facility annually.
Beginning in 2004, the Hall of Fame began holding their popular annual induction ceremonies. Dollywood closes its doors to the public, and the all-day event is filled with musical performances.
The Hall of Fame is currently under the leadership of Executive Director Charles Waller, who is also producer of the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion in Knoxville, TN. Waller has done much to bring the legends of gospel music before a new, younger audience, and is credited by many as Bill Gaither's direct inspiration for his homecoming videos. Waller's contributions to the Hall of Fame have proven beneficial in honoring the heritage of southern gospel music.
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James D. Vaughan Impact Award Recipients
- 1999 Bill Gaither
- 2000 The Cathedrals
- 2001 James Blackwood
- 2002 J. G. Whitfield
- 2003 Les Beasley
- 2004 Paul Heil
- 2005 Mosie Lister
- 2006 Bob Brumley
- 2007 Eva Mae LeFevre
- 2008 Lari Goss
- 2009 Barbara Mandrell
- 2010 Dolly Parton
- 2011 Statler Brothers
- 2012 The Oak Ridge Boys
- 2013 Louise Mandrell
Dress belonging to Dottie Rambo
Suit belonging to the late Howard Goodman of The Happy Goodman Family