Jim Hamill

Jim Hamill (1934 – 2007)
Inducted in 2004

Jim Hamill, one of Southern Gospel’s all-time great lead singers, sang professionally for over 50 years and  until shortly before his death, was still going strong.

A native of Memphis, son of Rev. James E. Hamill, for many years pastor of First Assembly of God in Memphis, Jim joined the Weatherfords in the early 1950's.  And then came times with the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Rebels, the Oak Ridge Quartet, the Rebels again, and finally, for almost 28 years he sang the lead for the Kingsmen.

He and the late Eldridge Fox split duties with the Kingsmen, Eldridge handling the business, and Jim directing their stage performances. He also arranged their music and chose the songs they sang in concert.

Hamill was an extremely funny man, entertaining audiences not only with a wide-ranging, clear voice in song but also with much humor as the emcee of the Kingsmen.

Kenny Hinson

Kenny Hinson (1953 – 1995)
Inducted in 2004

Considered to be one of Southern Gospel Music’s most gifted vocalists, Kenny Hinson has become an icon to the genre’s followers. His trademark vocal stylings have prompted countless imitators, supplying evidence that Hinson was a major influence on rising singers.

Featured on the classic song, “The Lighthouse” and many other top charting songs, Kenny Hinson was a dominating vocal force in Southern Gospel Music for over 20 years as he, his brothers and sister would travel the country as one of Southern Gospel Music’s favorite groups.

Kenny was named Singing News Fan Awards Lead Singer of the Year in 1976, 1978 and 1980. The Hinsons were named Singing News Fan Awards Group of the Year in 1979.

After the group disbanded in 1988, Hinson pastored a church in Houston, TX, and continued to make an occasional singing appearance as time permitted. In 1993, as the Hinsons were embarking on a reunion tour, Hinson was diagnosed with the cancer that would claim his life in 1995 at the age of 41.

Arnold Hyles

Arnold Olif Hyles (1906 – 1979)
Inducted in 2004

Arnold Hyles, an original member of the famous Rangers Quartet, had a bass voice that has never been duplicated. His loud, gruff voice was the foundation of one of the most famous quartets in the history of Gospel Music.

The Rangers Quartet made its mark in Gospel Music by spotlighting their “basso-profundo” Arnold Hyles. This group made inroads where no gospel quartet had been before.

A tragic automobile accident in 1951 crippled Mr. Hyles, but his voice continued to thrill the audiences for many years thereafter. Arnold Hyles died March 15th 1979. A tragic footnote: immediately after the funeral Mr. Hyles’s son Gene and his wife were taking the preacher and his wife to the Dallas airport, when they were struck by another vehicle and all four were killed.

Lillian Little Soldier Klaudt

Lillian Little Soldier Klaudt (1906 – 2001)
Inducted in 2004

Lillian Little Soldier Klaudt, matriarch of the famous Klaudt Indian Family, had a heart for missions.

She was born June 29, 1906 on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Beaver Creek, North Dakota. Her life was spent spreading the word of God all over the country. The Klaudt Indian Family moved from the Dakota Badlands so that her children could attend the Church of God’s Bible Training School in Cleveland, Tennessee.

This talented family often appeared in full Indian regalia and featured a vast array of instruments in their programs. They were one of the best loved groups on the Wally Fowler All Night Singings. The popularity of the group continued through the 60s as they were fixtures on the Bob Poole Show as well as other Gospel Music programs.

At the age of 90, “Mom” Klaudt made her last stage appearance at 1996 Grand Ole Gospel Reunion with her family. She passed away March 3, 2001. “Mom” Klaudt was always a crowd favorite with her heartfelt rendition of “Blessed Assurance”.

Harvey Bryant Lester

Harvey Bryant Lester (1902 – 1982)
Inducted in 2004

Harvey Lester has been credited for the expansion of Southern Gospel Music west of the Mississippi through the avenue of concerts.

He and his family owned the Kingsland Theater in St. Louis, Missouri. In the early 1950’s this venue became a favorite place for the groups of that day to appear including the Blackwood Brothers, Statesmen, Speer Family, and others.

Radio and television also played an important role in the promotion of Gospel Music in the mid-west. The Lesters were one of the first groups to have a weekly radio and TV show. Their TV show, “The Lester Family Sings” aired on the St. Louis NBC affiliate for an unprecedented 27 years, helping to introduce Southern Gospel Music to a whole new audience.

Harvey Lester was a kind, gentle man who had no enemies. As patriarch of The Lester Family you can still see his influence on the family’s singing career that spans more than 8 decades.

Ed O’Neal

Conley “London” Parris

Derrell Stewart

James D. Walbert

Charles Vaughan

B.C. Unseld