August 4, 2020

Tri-State Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes Troy Burns, Buddy Burton, more

Family, friends, and guests from all over the southeast, gathered together on August 1, 2020, to be a part of the 16th Annual Tri-State Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Parkway Baptist Temple, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

The Tri-State Hall of Fame was founded by Herb Oliver to recognize people in music for the tri-state region. Will Dickerson, CEO of the Hall of Fame, and Radio Personality Ken Hicks, served as masters of ceremony.
The ceremony opened with a couple of congregation songs, followed by several scrap iron quartets made up of members of the Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony began with the first of the inductees, Troy Burns. He is a former member of the Inspirations, having sung with the quartet for 30 years. Leaving the group, he formed The Troy Burns Family group. During his career, Troy has performed at over 6000 concerts and received numerous awards.

The next inductee, was Buddy Burton, an ordained minister and past member of The Singing Americans, The Statesmen and Masters FivNationally known arranger and pianist, Tommy Fairchild, who sang with the Oak Ridge Boys, was inducted. He also sang with The Blackwood Brothers on their song “Learning To Lean,” which remained on the charts for three record breaking years.

Howard Green was also recognized. He is a master woodworker and manufacturer of the custom Greenfield Violins. As well, Howard sang with a local group out of Atlanta, which appeared on the Mulls TV program and concerts.
“Elvis has left the building,” were the famous words of Ed Hill, who unfortunately passed away July 13, 2020. This gentleman was entered into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Ed sang tenor at age 13 with a group from East Tennessee University. He formed the Prophets Quartet in 1959 and sang for 15 years with them. In 1973, he sang with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, during which time they did backup singing at Elvis concerts. Ed remained with the Stamps for 25 years.
Several more performers were inducted, including David Maddox, who had longed to sing bass with Willie Wynn and The Tennessee Quartet. David got that opportunity after he had sung with his family for 15 years, along with several other area groups including The Deep South Boys.
Peggy Parker, who passed away April 13, 2020, was inducted. Her daughter, Sherri Miller, accepted the award. Peggy and her husband formed the Kenny Parker Trio and also traveled with the Rambos from 1969-1971. When she learned of her induction before her death, Peggy began crying with joy. Kenny is also a member of the Tri-State Hall of Fame.

Marlon Pendergrass was raised in Powell, Alabama, and attended the National School of Music and later joined the faculty there. He sang with Cat Freeman and the All-Star Quartet, and later established the Cat Freeman Scholarship Fund. He also promoted gospel concerts in his area.
Willie Wynn, known as Little Willie, and commonly known in gospel music as the Man with a Million Friends, was inducted into the HOF. He began singing as a teenager. Jake Hess suggested Willie for the Wally Fowler Quartet which later became the Oak Ridge Boys. Willie sang with them for 15 years. Later, Hovie Lister invited him to sing with The Statesmen and after several albums with that group, Willie formed his own quartet.

Rounding out the awards ceremony, was Charles Yates, who is nationally known from his time singing with the Speer Family. His most requested song was “Palms Of Victory.” In 1959, Charles sang with the Foggy Mountain Boys. He has flown airplanes as a crop duster, and also gyrocopters, and arrived at the ceremony by airplane with some of his friends.
Then it was back to scrap iron quartet singing, during which time a special award was presented to the wife of the late Brian Etheridge of the Master Peace Quartet.

Also performing were The Greesons, who are all members of the HOF, and Testimony Quartet.
The evening wasn’t complete until the oldest member of the HOF, 94 year old Ray Branham, was called to the stage to sing. He was given a standing ovation for his upbeat song.