Eugene Monroe Bartlett

Eugene Monroe Bartlett (1884 – 1941)
Inducted in 2000

Born December 24, 1884 in Waynesville, Missouri, E. M. Bartlett became one of the founding fathers of Southern Gospel Music.

As a young man, he secured work with the Central Music Company headquartered in Hartford, Arkansas. When that company relocated to Little Rock, Bartlett partnered with J. A. McClung and David Moore in the founding of the Hartford Music Company in 1918. Over the next few years, Bartlett and the Hartford Company became extremely influential in the growing world of Southern Gospel, founding the Hartford Musical Institute, publishing the monthly journal, The Herald of Song, and sponsoring several traveling quartets. Among those influenced directly by Bartlett’s work was legendary songwriter Albert E. Brumley.

Bartlett was himself an important composer of gospel songs. Among his best-known contributions were “Victory in Jesus,” “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” and “Just a Little While to Stay Here.”

James Roy “Pop” Lewis

James Roy “Pop” Lewis (1905 – 2004)
Inducted in 2000

The patriarch of the famous “First Family of Bluegrass Gospel Music,” Pop Lewis led the Lewis Family from relative obscurity in their north Georgia hometown groups in Southern Gospel.

Beginning in the early 1950s, Pop began promoting his talented sons and daughters traveling and singing with them at gospel and bluegrass concerts across the nation. Versatile stage performers, the Lewises chose to sing and play an all-gospel repertoire of songs. Their sincere presentation and down-home humor won them legions of fans. Under Pop’s leadership, the family achieved success and established and identity that would endure into the next century.

Among his many accomplishments was oversight of the Family’s incredible run on Augusta television station WJBF, where the “Lewis Family Television Show” ran for 38 years and was ultimately syndicated in 25 separate markets.

Doy Willis Ott

Doy Willis Ott (1919 – 1986)
Inducted in 2000

Influenced in his youth by the Virgil Stamps Quartet broadcasts on Dallas radio KRLD, Doy Ott fell in love with the sound and message of Southern Gospel and transferred that love into an influential career as a musician, singer, and vocal arranger.

By the late 1930s, he was playing piano for Southern Gospel groups, ultimately serving as an accompanist for the Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys, the Hartford Quartet, the Rangers, and the Homeland Harmony.

In 1951, he took a job with the relatively new Statesmen Quartet, filling in for pianist and manager Hovie Lister who was serving a stint in the military. When Lister returned the following year, Ott stayed becoming the group’s baritone singer upon the departure of Bervin Kendrick.

A Statesman for the next 25 years, Doy Ott became one of the best-known figures in Southern Gospel. His smooth voice and talented arrangements helped propel the group into what many consider to be the best overall quartet combination in Southern Gospel history.

Anthony Johnson Showalter

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