Harold & Jean Marshall were inducted into the TGMHF on August 2011. The ceremony was held at their internationally recognized gospel music concert series LAKE COUNTRY JUBILEE, onstage of the magnificent Terrell Performing Arts Center, Terrell, Texas. In 1991,Harold and Jean began this concert series as a Sunday School class fund- raiser to help build a new church auditorium. Later, when the concerts outgrew the new facility, this dedicated couple moved them to the Greenville Civic Center, and then to the Municipal Auditorium. In 2005, Lake Country Jubilee moved to the current venue at Terrell, and continues the heritage of presenting top talent to a huge fan base, plus multiple church groups, who support this couple and their efforts. A veteran of radio promotion, Harold Marshall is highly recognized and uses all areas of technology in promoting gospel music. He pilots his own plane, and he and Jean travel to major gospel music events. In 2013 at the premier Cathedral Quartet Reunion, he was presented with the very first “Promoters Award.” The gospel music industry treasures the efforts of this great couple, and Texas is extremely proud of these prestigious inductees into the Texas Gospel Music Hall Of Fame.
Dallas grew up in Minnesota but gladly proclaims, “Like the bumper sticker says: I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could”. That fun spirit and amazing talent were on display at DBU in 2007 when Dallas and his wife, Linda were on hand for his induction into the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
The special gift that Dallas has as a singer and songwriter has blessed tens of thousands of people for over four decades. He is still considered one of the early pioneers of what became known as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). In 1970 he began working with David Wilkerson in his youth crusade ministry and during that time he formed Dallas Holm and Praise. They became the first CCM group to receive an RIAA certified Gold Album for their “live” album that contained the song: Rise Again. That band toured for eleven years and included another TGMHF inductee, Ladonna Gatlin Johnson.
Dallas has been featured on many of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Videos in recent years. His original music and arrangements are as varied as the many styles in the great State of Texas: blues, country, pop and even reggae. His musical influence on younger generations and full-time music ministry with Linda carries on even today all across the U. S. and several foreign countries.
When the Stamps Quartet began their live radio program on KRLD out of Dallas, Texas, there was a famously recognized piano arpeggio that started every show: Marion Snider rolled an ascending F7 chord that introduced “Give The World A Smile”! That opening signature song was heard all across the country for many years as southern style gospel quartet music was growing in popularity. Marion had established himself as a talented pianist in his teens and following those early days with several of the Stamps-Baxter groups in the 40’s and 50’s he continued to work with a number of nationally known quartets. He also performed with his own group on a Sunday morning television program in Dallas and has been a strong supporter and promoter of southern gospel music for his entire life.
Glenn Sessions was born in the little country town of Kerans, Texas. Like many of our Texas music heroes, his love for music began in childhood, so in his teenage years he started singing with a male quartet from Weatherford. Then around 1939 he joined the Smile A While Quartet with a man named Deacon Utley from Macon, Georgia. In 1942 he moved to Detroit, Michigan to sing in a family group with his future father-in-law, Kelly Campbell. His involvement there was short, because that same year he joined the Air Force and served until 1944.
Following his military service he married Wilma Campbell in Detroit and returned to Dallas in 1946. Soon he was asked to sing with the Stamps-Baxter Menís Quartet and also began working in the bindery for Stamps-Baxter Music Company.
In the early 1950ís Glenn formed the Big State Quartet in Dallas – a very good menís quartet that gained an early following. But, in 1953 Glenn was asked to sing lead for the Rangers Quartet, a well-established group that had become very popular all across the South. Glenn eventually returned to the Stamps Menís Quartet to finish out the 50ís.
From 1983 until his death in 2001 Glenn sang with a very popular group in the North Texas area – the Gospel Lights. Headed up by pioneer, Cecil Pollock, the group had a passion for traditional four part harmonies and sang traditional classic quartet music as well as, new songs with a classic style
J. Howard Rogers [1919 – 1999] was born and lived in the beautiful East Texas town of Paris, Texas. He was well-known in gospel music circles, as well as a Chamber of Commerce ambassador and Kiwanis Club member for many years. He was a charter member of the Southern Gospel Music Association of Texas, and was dean of the SGMA School of Music for 14 years. He sang in churches and sponsored gospel singings and promoted numerous concerts. He organized the Southernaires Quartet in 1956 and managed and sang with the group for over 40 years. His wife, Helen played the piano for the group most of those years and shared his love for gospel music, their wonderful family… and horses.
Cecil’s interest in the piano began so early in his childhood, that by the time he was 10 years old he was playing piano for his sister’s singing group. Then following his military service in the Army during the end of WWII, he moved to Dallas to study music at the Stamps-Baxter G. I. School of Music. At the completion of G. I. School he moved to Lubbock in 1950 to play piano for Otis Echols and the Melody Boys, while at the same time he played for the Tennessee Milk Company Quartet on live radio every day.
He was then called on to join the Imperial Quartet back in Dallas, and from there, played for the original Rangers Quartet with Arnold and Vernon Hyles through 1954. He also worked for the Ozark Quartet out of Wichita Falls for a while, a very popular group that had a young Glen Payne singing lead
He returned to Dallas in 1956 to work for the Stamps Quartet Music Company
where he also got to play the famous F7 arpeggio that started ‘Give The World A Smile’ for Frank Stamps and the Stamps Quartet on early morning radio. His time with Stamps continued for several years until 1961 – and following that, in the early 60’s, he played for The Watchmen Trio out of Dallas.
In 1972 Cecil formed the Gospel Lights, a mixed group that is still singing today. This name was taken from the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Dallas, where Cecil directed the music program for several years. Also during that time, he played for Calvin Wills and the Wills Family Quartet from 1979 through 1983.
Frank Stamps, one of gospel music’s foremost singers, recording artists, music publishers, broadcasters, masters of ceremony, and through the Stamps Quartet School of Music, educators. In 1936, he was a founding father of the National Singing Convention, an organization which has convened annually ever since. “Mister Frank”, as he was affectionately called, traveled the length and breadth of the United States promoting gospel music, participating in gospel singings – local, county, state, and on the national level. Truly the Lord’s ambassador whose heart and voice had wings.
Bob L. Wills was born November 24, 1938, in Hall County, Texas. Bob and his twin sister, Betty, were destined to sing gospel music as 1938 was the year Pop Wills founded the Wills Family Quartet with the older brothers and sisters – Rene, Calvin, and Lou. Bob & Betty (the twins) began singing as part of the Wills Family in 1948 with Pop, Calvin, Lou, and Bill. Baby sister, Norma Jo, joined the family in the early fifties, and the brothers and sisters became nationally known as the Singing Wills Family.
Bob L. Wills is the namesake of the famous country music fiddler, Bob Wills, first cousin to A. B. “Pop” Wills. Pop Wills chose to lead his family into gospel music, but he and his famous country fiddling cousin grew up together picking cotton in Hall County and remained loyal to each other throughout their lifetime.
In 2004, Bob was given an Honorary Doctorate Of Music/Theology by Trinity Valley Baptist Seminary in recognition for fifty-six years of singing gospel music. After his teenage years with the Singing Wills Family, Bob spent several years as owner and baritone for the Inspirationals, featured on the nationally syndicated TV series Wills Family Inspirational Time. Since 1976, Bob has been in full-time singing ministry with his wife, three sons, and daughter as the Bob Wills Family.
Inducted into the Texas Gospel Music Hall Of Fame & Museum in 1988, Bob L. Wills is a credit to gospel music – whether on a church platform or a “Southern Gospel” concert stage. Bob is extremely modest about his accomplishments and acknowledges his Christian faith for all of them–which include his wife, Betty Jo, songwriter son, Bobby Lee, Jr., Don, middle son and pastor of First Baptist Church, Ft. Worth, youngest son Ron, owner of Road Runner Bus Company, and daughter, Angel, who is helping carry on the singing tradition of “The Wills.”
Aaron Burr “Pop” Wills [1899 – 1971] was already involved in Gospel Music during the 1920’s and 30’s when he and his dear wife Leah began having children. By the time the first three siblings were old enough: Eva Rene, Calvin and Lou began to travel with A. B. and sing for Singing Conventions and churches throughout Texas.
As a first cousin to Bob, “The King of Western Swing”, A. B. had settled his young family in the cotton fields outside of Memphis, not too far from Bob’s family in Turkey, Texas. During those days of cotton picking and being a part-time auto mechanic, Aaron Burr Wills also “peddled” songbooks and promoted convention music for Stamps-Baxter Music Co.
For several years he was the President of the Oklahoma-Texas Singers Association and by the time Calvin entered the Navy during the end of W.W. II, the singing family had gained a popular following in Texas.
Although the Singing Wills Family, with just the bothers and sisters, began their extensive recording and traveling career during the 1940’s and 50’s, Pop joined up with his kids for their weekly TV program on the 60’s. He was featured every week on the Wills Family Inspirational Time, the first color television syndicated 30 minute program to originate in Texas. “Pop” inspired many through his love for his family and Gospel Music – he traveled on the family touring bus and sang with them until his death in 1971.
Ike Davis [1936-1996] was one of the best and most prolific Texas songwriters in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, is honored for his lifetime of commitment to Gospel Music as a singer and songwriter. The numerous recordings of Ike and his very popular songs will continue to bless and touch the hearts of God’s people around the world. IN THE SHELTER OF HIS ARMS, written by Ike Davis & Ray Heady, was published in 1968 by Sword & Shield Music. The recording by Jimmie Davis made it a national hit. Later, a publishing contract with Canaanland Music turned the spotlight on songs by these two men, with recordings by the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Happy Goodmans, Jimmy Swaggart, and the Sego Brothers & Naomi, The Oak Ridge Qt. and many others.
Ike Davis will be remembered for his heartfelt singing, his great spirit, and his songs which are forever a treasured part of Texas Gospel Music heritage and far beyond.
Pictured with his son, Steve and Ike’s wife; this special induction in 2007 gave an opportunity for most all of the family to participate, children and grandchildren too.