Wallace "Happy" Edwards
Wallace “Happy” Edwards (1926 – 2001)
Inducted in 2006
Born May 26, 1926, “Happy” Edwards spent his entire professional career singing tenor with the famous Harmoneers Quartet. This jovial character was always the center of attention in the Harmoneers. His humor and personality was a staple of any Harmoneers program. “Happy” was always the jokester, yet he also had a great knack for singing old time spirituals that were featured prominently in a Harmoneers concert.
His career began with the Happy Four (1939) from Covington, Georgia, but he soon joined the professional ranks with the Harmoneers from Knoxville, TN in 1948. The Harmoneers were the first white male quartet to record under the RCA Victor label. They worked on WROL radio, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville. The Harmoneers became one of the top gospel quartets in the nation.
“Happy” remained with the Harmoneers until their retirement in the mid 1960s. Happy received the Gospel Singer of the Year award in 1955, he received the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion Living Legend Award in 1995, and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2002.
Vernon Ross Hyles
Vernon Ross Hyles (1910 – 1972)
Inducted in 2006
Vernon Hyles (March 28, 1910) was the lead singer and manager of the most creative quartet of the 1940s: The Rangers Quartet. Time has proven the Rangers to be one of the most revered quartets in the history of Southern Gospel Music.
Under Vernon’s leadership, the Rangers Quartet became one of the first quartets to travel the country without being associated and underwritten by a specific music company. The Rangers did not supplement their income from song book sales or part-time jobs. They were one of the first professional quartets that made their living only through their performances. They also became one of the first quartets to have a commercially sponsored syndicated radio program.
Vernon’s innovative promotional skills were second to none, as he placed the Rangers in many situations that normal quartets would never attempt to embrace. He also had a very pleasing singing voice. Vernon Hyles and the Rangers Quartet were never satisfied with less than their best. Vernon died November 1, 1972.
Bob Jones Sr.
Bob Jones Sr. (1914 – 2007)
Inducted in 2006
Born June 18, 1914, Bob Jones is one of the pioneers responsible for bringing Southern Gospel Music to the West Coast. At the age of 13, Bob attended the Stamps-Baxter School of Music and decided to devote his life to singing Gospel Music. After his move from Texas to California, Bob organized the California State Singing Convention, and soon many counties in California had a local chapter and held monthly Singing Conventions.
During his early days in gospel music, Jones helped to organize the Stamps Harmony Boys Quartet in Fresno, California. This group had a program on KARM radio, but soon moved the program to the 5,000 watt, KMJ. Soon after forming this quartet, Jones moved to Dallas, Texas to sing lead with the Stamps Quartet.
In the mid 1950s, Bob again moved to California where he began the Songfellows Quartet. The Songfellows are the most famous quartet to come from the west coast, and they have brought quality gospel music to the west coast for over five decades.
At the time of his induction into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Bob continues to promote the gospel in song as baritone singer for this fine quartet that he formed over fifty years ago.