Presley Among Gospel Hall Honorees

Although he is best known as the king of rock'n'roll, Elvis Presley will be honored in the music genre he loved first and best -- gospel. The Gospel Music Association (GMA) will induct Presley into it

Although he is best known as the king of rock'n'roll, Elvis Presley will be honored in the music genre he loved first and best -- gospel. The Gospel Music Association (GMA) will induct Presley into its Hall of Fame Nov. 27 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Honored along with Presley will be singer/songwriter/arranger/choir director Doris Akers, late singer Wendy Bagwell and her group the Sunliters, late missionary/singer/songwriter Keith Green, songwriter/producer Kurt Kaiser, Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman, family act the Rambos, and singer Albertina Walker, whose career has spanned six decades.

"This year's class of inductees is outstanding and represents the wide diversity and musical heritage of Christian and gospel music," GMA President Frank Breeden said.

With the honor, Presley, who died in 1977 at 42, will become the first hall of famer in three genres -- country, rock, and gospel. Mahalia Jackson is a member of the rock and gospel halls, and Jimmie Davis and Tennessee Ernie Ford are members of the country and gospel halls.

Presley usually worked with gospel quartets, starting with the Jordanaires, and incorporated gospel music into his shows. He won three Grammys for gospel music recordings, and released more than 50 gospel songs during his career. Among them: "He Touched Me," "How Great Thou Art," and "Peace in the Valley," which he performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Established in 1971, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame has inducted 122 members since its inception, including Andrae Crouch, the Oak Ridge Boys, Thomas A. Dorsey, the Fairfield Four, Billy Graham, and the Jordanaires. For more information, visit the official GMA Web site.


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