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Alabama Music Achievers


Alphabetical Achievers Listing

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z


DR. TED GALLOWAY - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Served as President of the Alabama Bandmasters Association and two terms as President of the Alabama Chapter of IAJE
- He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988 and named "Outstanding Music Educator of the Year" in 1991 by the Alabama Music Educators Association. He has been a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician throughout the Southeast United States and Western Europe.
- Inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1991.

GANUS BROTHERS - Searles, Alabama
- Sons of gospel composer Walter Powell Ganus and his wife, Ada.
- Clarence and Claude also joined with brothers Clyde and Cecil as the gospel-singing Ganus Brothers Quartet.
- The Ganuses recorded twenty-eight country/gospel sides for Columbia and Brunswick/Vocalion, from October 1928 to November 1930.
- Clarence Ganus wrote and recorded "Take a 'Tater and Wait" in 1929

WALTER GANUS - Walker County, Alabama
- One of two or three most important figures in Alabama gospel music.
- After being a part owner of the A.J. Showalter publishing company, he started his own company in 1914 and became one of the most active publishers in the 1920s.
- He trained many of the early commercial quartets, including the MacDonald Brothers.
- The family also ran a music instrument store in Birmingham for many years.

SMITTY GATLIN - Killen, Alabama
-Singer/songwriter, was focal point of gospel groups The Oak Ridge Boys and the Smitty Gatlin Trio
-Best known as singer of "Gloryland" and "You'll Never Walk Alone"
- As a songwriter, Gatlin penned "He's Living In My Heart", "I'd Rather See A Smile", and "I'd Like To Tell You Of Jesus".

TEDDY GENTRY - Fort Payne, Alabama
-Bass player/vocalist/songwriter for the group Alabama
-Voted Country Artists of the Decade - 1980's
- Gentry's song "My Home's In Alabama" in 1980 was the first top 20 hit by the group.
- His "Fallin' Again", was awarded BMI's Most Performed Country Song of 1989.
- Teddy wrote the Top 10 hit "I Got You" for the group Shenandoah in 1991.
- Alabama was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993.

LLOYD L. GEORGE - Haleyville, Alabama
-Original "Lonzo" of the Grand Ole Opry comedy team of Lonzo & Oscar, 1940's-1950
- In 1948 they scored their biggest hit with "I'm My Own Grandpa" for RCA Victor.
- In 1950 Lloyd George left for a solo career under the name Ken Marvin.
- He has played music and sung before President Harry S. Truman, and other top national figures.

JOE GIATTINA - Birmingham, Alabama
- His band, the Bama Cardinals, made their debut in 1925 at WBRC Radio in Birmingham broadcasting every Sunday night from 9:00 to 9:30, from 1925 1931.
- The band reunited in 1978 and were regarded as one of Birmingham's most popular big bands.
- Giattina is credited with reviving big band swing music in Alabama.
- Inductee into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

JERRY GILLESPIE - Decatur, Alabama
- Wrote "Do You Love As Good As You Look" #1 song recorded by the Bellamy Brothers
- Wrote "Somebody's Knockin'" #3 by Terri Gibbs, "Gwen" #5 by Tommy Overstreet, and "I Just Can't Stay Married To You" #5 by Christy Lane.

T. L. GILLEY - Fyffe, Alabama
- Had his first song published with Vaughn Music Company in 1936.
- One of his songs, "Be Not Afraid," is in the Australian Church of God songbook.
- He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the prestigious Pathway Music Company. T.L. also wrote a song popularized by The Florida Boys, "It's Gonna Be Wonderful."
- He has over 500 songs published and another 200 songs unpublished.

DAVID GILLION - Birmingham, Alabama
- Songwriter, musician, and recording artist promoting his honky tonk styled music.
- His songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Delbert McClinton, Lari White, and Kenny Rogers, among others.
- He has had songs in several TV movies and in the Kevin Costner movie "Tin Cup".
- Gillon has toured with Willie Nelson, Freddy Fender, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Jeff Walker.

DR. MORT GLOSSER - Gadsden, Alabama
- Band director at Gadsden High School from 1936 to 1959.
- He became Director of Instruction for the Gadsden City School in 1959 and remained in the position until July 1, 1965 when he became Superintendent of the Gadsden City School System He served as Superintendent until his retirement in 1975.
- Inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1976.

DONNA THATCHER GODCHAUX - Sheffield, Alabama
-Began her career as a background vocalist while still in high school
-- Background vocalist on a number of hit records that came out of Muscle Shoals and Memphis, for such artists as Percy Sledge ("When a Man Loves A Woman"), R.B. Greaves ("Take A Letter, Maria"), Neil Diamond ("Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"), Elvis Presley ("Suspicious Minds" and "In The Ghetto"). She also worked on the first solo album by Cher.
- Female vocalist with The Grateful Dead from 1972 - 1979 in concert and on records. She was also a singer in the Jerry Garcia Band in the 70's.
- As a former member of The Grateful Dead, Donna Jean has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

TOMMY GOFF - Mobile, Alabama
- Served as band director at Auburn High school, Auburn, Alabama from 1956 until his retirement in 1989.
- The Jazz Band was included in the NAJE Phase II album of "The Nation's Most Outstanding Jazz Bands" in 1978. The Jazz Band was selected to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1981.
- Many professional musicians were graduates during Mr. Goff's tenure as band director
- In 1989 the Auburn High School Band and Tommy Goff received the "Sudler Flag of Honor" for one of the "Nation's Most Outstanding Concert Bands".

GOLD CITY- Gadsden, Alabama
-Pacesetter in Southern Gospel music
-Winners of almost every award in Gospel music
- Has an unprecedented six consecutive Singing News Magazine Group of the Year Awards.
- They have been nominated for Dove awards for Album of the Year four times. Other dove nominations and awards for Song of the Year.
- Gold City has also had dozens of Singing News Magazine Fan nominations and awards.
- Named Cash Box Magazine's Southern Gospel Group of the Year twice.

WILLIAM LEE GOLDEN - Brewton, Alabama
- As a member of the Oak Ridge Boys, Golden has won 15 Dove awards and 3 Grammys for gospel performances.
- In the field of country music the group was awarded Country Music Association Vocal and Instrumental Group of the Year and Best Country Crossover Group of the Year.
- Had 11 number one country hits plus nine gold and two platinum albums
- Lead singer on such hits as: "I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head And Left my Heart Alone", "Trying To Love Two Women", "Ozark Mountain Jubilee", and everyone's favorite "Thank God For Kids".
- Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

THE GOLDENS - Brewton, Alabama
- Rusty and Chris Golden, sons of Oak Ridge Boy, William Lee Golden, began their musical career almost as soon as they could walk.
- Rusty first played drums for the Oak Ridge Boys on weekends when he was 8 years old. By the time he was 15, Rusty was playing drums, keyboards and rhythm guitar on an on-and-off basis for the Oaks. At 18 he began performing with Larry Gatlin and continued for several years, both on tour and in the studio,
- At 15 Chris began playing piano for a group, At 19 Chris stepped out from behind the drums and made his debut as lead vocalist on the Hee Haw TV show.
- In 1987, the two brothers began recording as the Goldens, charting with a couple of singles

BOBBY GOLDSBORO - Dothan, Alabama
-Attended Auburn University
- Began career touring with Roy Orbison
- His song "Honey" went number 1 on both the Country and Pop charts and was the largest selling single in 1968 with 6 million sales worldwide
- His compositions have been recorded by hundreds of artists such as John Denver, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin and Roger Miller. He has received 27 BMI songwriter awards.
- Served as musical director for the TV series AEvening Shade" where he garnered six Grammy nominations.
- He has written six best selling children's books and is the creator, writer, and performer for an animated children's series titled "Swamp Critters of the Lost Lagoon."
- Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

LILLIAN GOODHUE - Montgomery, Alabama
- From the 1920's to the mid-1950's, Lillian "Biddie" Paige appeared under the stage name of Lillian Goodhue
- She was a regular at a Chicago State Street Club as a singer and dancer. She appeared solo and with Annie Mae Crowder (Johnson) as The Creole Girls.
- She worked with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong and Count Basie and performed, occasionally, for Big Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Joe Lewis, Judy Garland and performed for Al Capone.

HAPPY GOODMAN FAMILY - Albertville, Alabama
-From 1969-1978, won 3 Dove Awards and 2 Grammy Awards
-Since 1970, charted 28 Top 10's and 5 #1's in Gospel music

VESTAL GOODMAN - Fyffe, Alabama
- Undisputed Queen of Gospel music
- The Happy Goodmans became musical pioneers bridging the gap between country and gospel music.
- Winner of the first Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year
- 1998 Inductee to the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame

AMOS GORDON - Birmingham, Alabama
- Great all-around musician.
- Lead Saxophonist with Louis Armstrong's big band of the late forties.
- Played with Erskine Hawkins, Lucky Millender, Andy Kirk, and others.
- Won many awards as bandmaster at Council and Jackson-Olin High Schools.

CURTIS GORDON - Fairhope, Alabama
- In 1954 he signed with Mercury, where he recorded some great rock a billy songs like: "Draggin'" and "Mobile, Alabama".
- He played with the best musicians around: guitar pickers Chet Atkins, Hank Garland, and Eddie Hill and steel guitar players Noel Boggs, Al Murray, Bud Isaacs, Jerry Byrd and the young Buddy Emmons.
- His songs were recorded by Fats Domino and George Jones.

TONY GORE - Birmingham, Alabama
- As lead vocalist with The Wilburns several of his songs became number one on the national Southern Gospel charts.
- In 1995, Tony Gore and his group, Majesty received the Gospel Voice Sunrise Award and were nominated in 1994 for the Singing News Horizon Group Award.
- In 1996 Tony was nominated in the Singing News Magazine Fan Awards for his individual accomplishments in three categories, favorite male vocalist, favorite young artist, and favorite lead.

REX GOSDIN - Woodland, Alabama
- Rex Gosdin and his brother Vern Gosdin grew up singing gospel music in The Gosdin Family Gospel group, with their own radio show on KVOX in Birmingham.
- In 1961 moved to California and joined the Golden State Boys, a Bluegrass group.
- Joined with Chris Hillman to form the Hillmen band.
- Rex and formed the Gosdin Brothers band in the mid 1960s and opened shows for the Byrds. Rex had several songs in the Hot 100 Country Charts in the early 1980s before his death at age 45 in 1983.

VERN GOSDIN - Woodland, Alabama
- Country singer/songwriter
- Known as "The Voice" for his quality vocals
- Hit the charts 25 times with hits such as his first number one single "I Can Tell By The Way You Dance", "Slow Burnin' Memories", "What Would Your Memory Do", "Dim Lights" and "Chiseled In Stone" (voted the 1989 CMA Song of the Year).
- His songs have been recorded by Merle Haggard, George Jones, George Strait, Dean Dillon, and Tracy Byrd

GOSPEL HARMONETTES - Birmingham, Alabama
- Originally formed in the early 1940s
- They traveled to New York and signed with RCA.
- The group later signed with Specialty Records and added Dorothy Love Coates.
- They were one of the first gospel groups to appear at Carnegie Hall, where they performed with Mahalia Jackson.
- From 1959 to 1961 the Harmonettes were inactive.
- Re formed in 1961, they had a hit with "Come On in My House."

TEDDY GRACE - Montgomery, Alabama
- In 1934 she signed with Mal Hallett's Orchestra.
- She was featured on the cover of the June 1934 issue of Orchestra World - one of the few times, in that era, that a woman was on the cover of that publication.
- Her rhythmic understanding of the blues idiom led many jukebox players and radio fans to believe that Miss Teddy Grace was black.
- Teddy recorded some with the Bob Crosby Orchestra and with Bud Freeman and His Orchestra, including Max Kaminsky, Pee Wee Russell and Eddie Condon.

ANNA LISA GRAHAM - Tuscumbia, Alabama
- Has written hits for George Strait #1, "You Know Me Better Than That,"
- McBride & The Ride #3, "Love On The Loose, Heart On The Run"
- Steve Wariner #17"There For A While"

LEOLA B. "COOT" GRANT- Birmingham, Alabama
- Between the ages of 8 and 17 she was part of Mayme Remington's Pickaninnies and toured Europe and South Africa.
- She recorded with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra on Paramount in 1925.
- She recorded with Blind Blake in 1926.
- Recorded extensively with Wesley Wilson on Columbia/QRS/Okeh and other labels from 1928 through 1933.
- She and Wesley appeared in the Back Home Again Revue at Lincoln Theater and the Holiday In Harlem Revue in 1934 at the Apollo Theater.

EARL GREEN - Jasper, Alabama
- Composer of such truck driver favorites as "Six Days On The Road" and "Give Me Forty Acres" started the whole tradition of truck-driving songs.
- ASix Days On The Road" has been released a total of 334 times, beginning with Dave Dudley in 1963 and Sawyer Brown in 1997.
- Others recording the song include, George Jones, Taj Mahal, Charley Pride, Emmylou Harris, Hank Snow, Commander Cody, George Thorogood and Steve Earle.

LLOYD GREEN - Mobile, Alabama
- Recorded fifteen instrumental albums
- First instrumentalist to play at the prestigious Wembley Festival in London, 1976. Recipient of Record Worlds's "Most Promising Instrumentalist" award, 1967.
- Recipient of Cashbox's "Most Promising Instrumentalist" award, 1967.
- Received "Most Valuable Player" award by National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (N.A.R.A.S.) 1978 and 1979. This award voted only by recording musicians and record producers who comprise the Nashville recording community.
- Member of "Superpicker Band" award by (N.A.R.A.S.) 1975 and 1978. this award voted by members for having played steel guitar on the most #1 records during those years.
- Has played steel guitar and dobro on more than 10,000 record sessions. This means, on about 15,000 singles and thousands of albums; perhaps the most recorded steel guitarist in the history of the instrument.
- Lloyd is a member of the "Steel Guitar Hall of Fame".

URBIE GREEN - Mobile, Alabama
- Known as the "trombonist's trombonist," is one of the true greats of jazz, among the elite of the world's trombone players.
- Toured with Woody Herman, Gene Krupa and Frankie Carle.
- Cited numerous times in Down Beat magazine's annual critics awards.
- Freelance trombonist for recording artists such as Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey and others.
- He has approximately 30 albums under his own name, appeared in the film version of The Benny Goodman Story and appears at major jazz festivals.

JEANNIE GREENE - Muscle Shoals, Alabama
- Background vocalist for studios in the Shoals area as well as Memphis.
- Sang background at "The Concert for Bangladesh".
- Member of "The Alabama State Troopers" band during the early 1970s.
- Released a solo album in 1971 on Elektra label produced by Don Nix at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

MARLON GREENE - Town Creek, Alabama
- Musician, songwriter, engineer, and producer during the early days of the Muscle Shoals music scene.
- One of the principles involved in the recording of "When A Man Loves A Woman" by Percy Sledge.
- Co-writer of "Cover Me" recorded by Percy Sledge.

ROBERT B. GREENLEAF - Auburn, Alabama
- Composer and educator
- Earned particular recognition for his opera Under the Arbor in 1992.
- A film of that production, shown on television throughout the United States, was the only American entry to make the final round in the performing arts category of the International Film and Television Festival of New York for 1994.

LIL GREENWOOD - Prichard, Alabama
- Band leader Duke Ellington discovered her in 1958 and worked with him until his death in 1974.
- Ellington introduced her to some of the era's biggest stars, including Sarah Vaughan, Eartha Kitt, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday.
- She starred in "Hello Dolly" with the late Pearl Bailey and won "The Gong Show" twice.

DAN GRIFFIN - Albertville, Alabama
- Record producer, concert promoter, and manager
- Executive Producer of "All the Kings Men" (with Scotty Moore & DJ Fontana)
- Album of the Year 1998 award by Nashville Music Awards for v"All the Kings Men"
- Grammy Nomination - Best Instrumental 1998 "All the Kings Men"
- Concert promotions and tour management for some of the biggest names in Rock music

GENE GRIFFIN - Phoenix City, Alabama
- Has written and produced for some of the top R&B acts of the 1980's & 90's.
- He has produced such artists as Bobby Brown, Babyface, Boy George, Stephanie Mills, and Heavy D & the Boyz.
- As a songwriter he has a dozen Top Ten hits and five #1's to his credit including "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown.

REX GRIFFIN - Gadsden, Alabama
-Wrote over 100 songs, first honky tonk song, "The Last Letter" . It has been recorded by hundreds of artists including Ernie Ford, The Carter Family, Ray Price, Willie Nelson and Asleep At The Wheel.
- Also wrote "Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby," covered by numerous artists including Carl Perkins and the Beatles.
- Recorded "Lovesick Blues" 10 years before Hank Williams
- Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970

JOHN GRIMES - Birmingham, Alabama
- Trumpet player
- Phenomenal career as a studio session player.
- He was a mainstay with the Apollo Theater band and Broadway show pit bands.

SIDNEY "HARDROCK" GUNTER - Birmingham, Alabama
-- Singer, songwriter, guitarist, booking agent, artist manager and DJ.
- Best remembered for writing "Birmingham Bounce" a #1 song for Red Foley
- Member of the Golden River Boys
- He spent most of the 1950's with the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia.
- He continued to record his idiosyncratic records for Decca and Sun Records.

EDNA GOCKEL GUSSEN - Birmingham, Alabama
- Studied in Berlin under Xavier Scharwenka. She also took ensemble classes with the celebrated cellist, Van Leer, and composition and orchestration with Phillip Scharwenka. - Served as the director of the Birmingham Conservatory of Music during the early 1900's.
- Gave piano recitals in many cities of the U.S. accompanying many of America's leading concert violinists and singers.
- She appeared as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Festival Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and appeared 3 times as soloist with the Birmingham Civic Symphony.
- She was active in the Birmingham Music Study Club, serving for many years as director of the club's Treble Clef Chorus.
- In 1917 Mrs. Gussen won the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs competition for her composition setting Julia Tutwiler's poem "Alabama" to music. The song was later established by the state legislature as the State Song of Alabama.

JOE GUY - Birmingham, Alabama
-Trumpet with big bands by Teddy Hill & Coleman Hawkins in the 1930's
-Involved in the early development of bebop playing with Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell
In 1945 had a brief personal & professional relationship with Billie Holliday


Alphabetical Achievers Listing

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z


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