The Hinsons, Doug Oldham and Richard Smallwood Welcomed to GMA Hall of Fame

Posted in News on December 8, 2006

The Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame inducted its four newest members Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Nashville. The ceremony, held at the Richland Country Club, honored an elite group of inductees that included BMI artists The Hinsons, Doug Oldham and Richard Smallwood.

Pictured are (l-r): Weston Hinson (son of the late Kenny Hinson), Hinsons member Chris Hawkins Freeman, Hinsons co-founders Larry Hinson and Ronny Hinson, Hinsons member Eric Hinson, Hinsons co-founder Yvonne Hinson-Johnson, Hinsons member Bo Hinson, BMI's Beth Mason, Richard Smallwood, and BMI's Thomas Cain and Jody Williams.

Southern gospel family The Hinsons, formed by brothers Ronny, Kenny and Larry, along with their sister Yvonne, performed together throughout the 1970s and 80s. Universally recognized as premier gospel songwriters as well as vocalists, the group penned oft-recorded favorites including "Mercy Built a Bridge" and "He Pilots My Ship."

BMI staffers congratulated some of the newest members of the GMA Hall of Fame. Pictured are (l-r): BMI's Jody Williams and Beth Mason, gospel music industry veteran and Hall of Fame inductee John T. Benson III, Hall of Fame inductee Richard Smallwood and BMI's Thomas Cain with Hall of Fame inductee Doug Oldham (seated). 

Beloved gospel artist Doug Oldham has performed for heads of state, presidents and thousands of worshipers. His longtime friendship with songwriter Bill Gaither led to his early performance of countless Gaither-penned classics. Over the years, Oldham's gripping and impassioned delivery inspired audiences throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as the United States.

Grammy Award-winning artist, pianist and composer Richard Smallwood's classically infused brand of gospel revolutionized the genre. As an artist, he recorded eight albums with the Richard Smallwood Singers and now performs with the group Vision, while his compositions have been covered by mainstream superstars including Whitney Houston and Destiny's Child, as well as giants of the gospel world including Yolanda Adams and Karen Clark-Sheard.

The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971 and has inducted more than 140 members since its inception, including Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Amy Grant, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Andraé Crouch, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Petra, Bill and Gloria Gaither, The Rambos, Thomas A. Dorsey, The Fairfield Four, Billy Graham and The Jordanaires. Last year, Walter Hawkins, Mylon LeFevre, Evie and The Lewis Family were inducted.

Photos by Aaron Crisler