The Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame mailed out nomination ballots for the class of 2019 this past week. Voters will submit their nominations by March 15. An SGMA committee will then whittle the list down to determine the final group of 2019 inductees. The 2019 class will be formally inducted during a showcase segment at the National Quartet Convention this fall.
Over the past few years, the process has resulted in two living and two deceased individuals being added to the Hall Of Fame. The limit to four total has been the norm since the the annual induction ceremony became part of NQC week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In previous years, more (or less) than four could be inducted per year.
If the number of inductees per year is going to remain at four for the foreseeable future, I wish the SGMA would stop requiring that two be deceased. This restriction limits the SGMA’s ability to honor deserving individuals while they are still alive.
The SGMA’s criteria requires that voters consider each person’s scope of activity, their span of influence, their influence on others, both the quality AND quantity of their output, their devotion to others, and their overall professionalism. One interesting line clarifies that voters should not necessarily rule someone out if their conduct is entirely self-promoting, assuming they meet all other criteria and possess the requisite level of fame to be considered.
With this in mind, my process in determining who to nominate is to create a list of those who aren’t yet in, and then I recommend the four who I consider to be the most famous. After all, the word “fame” is right there in the name.
The names I am considering this year include Conrad Cook, William Lee Golden, Roy McNeal, Duane Allen, Jim Murray, Michael English, Mark Lowry, John W. Peterson, Marvin P. Dalton, Dianne Wilkinson, and Don Butler. These are in no particular order.
Are there others I should consider? If so, please leave a comment and let me know!