1917 - 1994
Although his contributions to Southern Gospel Music are many-including those of songwriter, promoter and vocalist-Wally Fowler is best remembered as the founder of the legendary Oak Ridge Quartet and as the innovator who popularized all-night gospel sings.
Hailing from Rome, Georgia, Fowler began his professional singing career at age 18. After apprenticing with the popular John Daniel Quartet, he struck out on his own, forming a country music group, Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers, and, in 1945, the inaugural edition of the Oak Ridge Quartet.
Three years later, he launched his first all-night gospel sing, popularizing a format that would blanket the South over the next two decades. Originating from Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium and later taken to other major cities across the region, each show featured many of the day's premier Southern Gospel quartets. Fowler's innate promotional genius took gospel music to a much larger audience than ever before.
An accomplished songwriter in both the country music and gospel fields, Wally's composition "Wasted Years" became a gospel music standard.
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