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The Happy Goodman Family


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Happy Goodman Family was a Southern The Happy Goodman Family
Gospel group founded in the 1940s by Howard
"Happy" Goodman.

The Happy Goodman Family began to be known


for their singing around 1950. During the 1940s
and 1950s there were various combinations of all
eight brothers and sisters, with Howard being
constant. Brother Sam pulled a stint in the Air
Force while Brother Bobby was a truck driver and
played for some rock and roll bands. Brother
Rusty pulled a stint in service as well as singing Background information
with the Plainsmen Quartet afterwards. Howard Origin United States
married, and soon his wife Vestal joined the Genre(s) Southern Gospel
group as well. After all the sisters married,
Years active 1950s–2002
Howard and Vestal went into evangelistic work.
Soon Sam joined them again followed by Rusty in Label(s) SIMS
1962 and Bobby on bass guitar not long Canaan Records
afterwards. Spring Hill
Pamplin Music
Crowne Music
Website www.vestalandfriends.com
Contents
(http://www.vestalandfriends.com)
1 History Former members
1.1 Separate paths Howard Goodman
1.2 Reunion Vestal Goodman
1.3 The final stand Sam Goodman
2 Discography
Rusty Goodman
2.1 On Sims
Bobby Goodman
2.2 On Canaan
Johnny Cook
2.3 On Spring Hill
2.4 On Pamplin Johnny Minick
2.5 On Crowne Music Tanya Goodman Sykes
2.6 Compilations Ricky Goodman
3 Complete list of group members Steve Easter
3.1 Band Members (By Category) Eddie Crook (singer)
4 External links Michael English

History
The fame of the Happy Goodmans grew considerably in the early-1960s. Appearances at the National
Quartet Convention got them in front of promoters who in turn booked them across the country. In
1964, they were asked to become one of the flagship groups for a new Southern Gospel program called
The Gospel Singing Jubilee along with The Florida Boys, Dixie Echoes, and The Couriers. This

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The Happy Goodman Family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Happy_Goodman_Family

program soon became one of the most popular gospel music programs and would run for over twenty
years. The Goodmans would soon become one of the most popular groups on the program, and would
remain so for ten years till they left to start their own TV program the Happy Goodman Family Hour.
The weekly TV exposure allowed The Happy Goodman Family to take the nation by storm. They
quickly became America's favorite singing family.

Their first full length recording was I’m Too Near Home, initially released in 1963 and later re-released
on Canaan/Word in 1965. In 1968, they were honored with a Grammy award for their 1967 album The
Happy Gospel of the Happy Goodmans. Ten years later, they received another Grammy for Refreshing.

The Goodmans had a list of hit songs a mile wide. Many of the songs they introduced to gospel music
are now considered classics. Songs such as I Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now, Who Am I,
God Walks The Dark Hills, Had It Not Been, What A Beautiful Day For The Lord To Come Again, and
many others will forever be part of gospel music and synonymous with the Happy Goodman Family.

The Goodmans broke new ground in gospel music during the 1960s and 1970s by implementing a live
band and creating their own unique sound. It was during these years that they developed their now
classic "grab a note and hang on" endings. Sam's humorous emcee work, Howard's showmanship at the
piano, Rusty's songwriting, and Vestal's hairdos,white handkerchiefs, and poweful singing voice all rose
to a new prominence. Tenor Johnny Cook joined the group for a while in 1974 and Rusty's daughter
Tanya was added in 1976.

Separate paths

Around 1980, creative differences about musical style caused a division in the family. The musical
landscape of Christian music was expanding considerably at this time, and Howard and Vestal wanted
to maintain their traditional sound. Rusty, Sam, and Tanya wanted to take the group in a more
contemporary direction. Ultimately, Howard and Vestal decided to leave the group. making what would
become one of their best albums. Rusty, Sam, and Tanya carried on with Johnny Cook returning at
tenor. Michael English joined them a couple of years later singing lead. Michael left his family group
"THE SINGING SAMARITANS" his brother Biney sang bass, his dad Albine sang baritone, and
Vernon Adams sang Lead and played the Piano.

Mike would soon leave The Goodman's to return to sing with his family.

Reunion

Aside from a one time performance at the 1984 National Quartet Convention by Sam, Rusty, Howard
and Vestal, the Happy Goodmans did not sing together from 1984 to 1990. In 1990, news that Rusty
had been diagnosed with cancer prompted the family to record a project together called The Reunion.
Although they initially planned to tour in support of the project, Rusty's health deteriorated rapidly. He
died in November of 1990. Sam followed his brother in death the next year.

The final stand

In 1996, Howard and Vestal were joined on vocals by former Happy Goodman band member Johnny
Minick. As a trio, they brought back the Happy Goodman name to the delight of fans. Several projects
were released over the next five years and they were regular fixtures at Gaither Homecoming events.
Their last project was appropriately titled The Final Stand (2001). In 2002, a biographical video titled
More Than The Music...Life Story chronicled the history of the Happy Goodmans. Vestal wrote her
autobiography and released a number of solo projects before her death in 2003, including two Vestal
and Friends CDs featuring duets with a diverse array of vocalists.

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The group recorded 15 number-one singles and played over 3,500 shows. They were inducted into the
Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Discography
On Sims

Year Album Featuring Notes


1963 I’m Too Near Home Howard, Sam, Rusty, & Vestal 1965 reissue on CANAAN
1964 The Best of… Howard, Sam, Rusty, & Vestal 1965 reissue on CANAAN
1964 It’s A Wonderful Feelin’ Howard, Sam, Rusty, & Vestal 1965 reissue on CANAAN

On Canaan

Year Album Featuring Notes


Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1965 What a Happy Time!
Vestal & Bobby
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1965 Bigger ‘N Better
Vestal & Bobby
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1966 Good ‘N Happy
Vestal & Bobby
The Happy Gospel of the Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1967 1968 Grammy Award Winner
Happy Goodmans Vestal & Bobby
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1968 Portrait of Excitement
Vestal & Bobby
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1969 This Happy House
Vestal & Bobby
Good Times with the Happy Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1970
Goodmans Vestal & Bobby
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1971 Wanted Live
Vestal & Bobby
Leave Your Sorrows and Come Howard, Sam, Rusty &
1972
Along Vestal

Johnny Cook provides the tenor on


Howard, Sam, Rusty &
1973 The Legendary Goodmans "What A Lovely Name" though not
Vestal
credited.

Though Vestal is pictured on the


The Happy Goodman Family Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1974 cover, she does not sing on this
Hour Vestal & Johnny Cook
album.

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Howard, Sam, Rusty,


1975 Covered in Warmth
Vestal & Johnny Cook
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1976 99 44/100%
Vestal & Tanya
The Very Best of the Happy Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1977
Goodmans-In Concert…Live Vestal & Tanya
Howard, Sam, Rusty,
1978 Refreshing 1978 Grammy Award Winner
Vestal & Johnny Cook
Howard, Sam, Rusty &
1979 Better Hurry Up
Vestal
Sam, Rusty, Tanya &
1981 Goin’ Higher
Johnny Cook
Sam, Rusty, Tanya,
1982 Goodman Greats Johnny Cook & Mike
English)
Sam, Rusty, Tanya &
1982 Chosen
Mike English
Howard, Sam, Rusty &
1984 Their Greatest Hits
Vestal)
Howard, Sam, Rusty &
1990 The Reunion
Vestal

On Spring Hill

Year Album Featuring


1996 Always Howard, Vestal & Johnny Minick
1998 Joy for the Journey Howard, Vestal & Johnny Minick
2000 50 Years (Gaither) Howard, Vestal & Johnny Minick

On Pamplin

Year Album Featuring


2000 Set Your Sails Howard, Vestal & Johnny Minick

On Crowne Music

Year Album Featuring


2001 The Final Stand Howard, Vestal & Johnny Minick

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Compilations

Year Album Notes


The Original Happy Goodman
1994 On ARRIVAL/K-TEL
Family
On CROWN MUSIC GROUP. Digitally remastered double
1996 The Collection, Vol. 1
CD.
On CROWN MUSIC GROUP. Digitally remastered double
1996 The Collection, Vol. 2
CD.
2000 Southern Gospel Treasury Series On WORD
2003 Greatest Hits On NEW HAVEN RECORDS

Complete list of group members


This list begins with the date of their first full length recording.

Howard Goodman 1963-1980, 1990, 1996-2002


Vestal Goodman 1963-1980, 1990, 1996-2002
Sam Goodman 1963-1983, 1990
Rusty Goodman 1963-1983, 1990
Bobby Goodman 1965-1971
Johnny Cook 1974-1975, 1978, 1980-1983
Johnny Minick 1975-1977 (pianist/BGVs), 1996-2002 (vocalist)
Tanya Goodman Sykes 1976-1977, 1980-1983
Michael English 1982-1983

Band Members (By Category)

Howard Goodman 1963-1971 (pianist, vocalist)


Eddie Crook 1971-1975, 1978-1982 (pianist)
Johnny Minick 1975-1977 (pianist)
Aaron Wilburn 1972-1974 (rhythm guitar, soloist)
Jack Smith 1971-1974 (steel guitar)
Gary Dee 1975-1976 (steel guitar)
Steve "Rabbit" Easter 1977-1979, 1981-1982 (steel guitar,banjo,and dobro)
Benny Johnson 1980 (steel guitar)
Ricky Goodman 1970s-1980(drummer)
Bruce Droit 1980-1982 (drummer)
Dwayne Friend 1965 (guitarist)
Ernie Maxwell 1966-1970 (guitarist)
Jim "Duke" Dumas 1972-1974 (guitarist)
Jeff Chambers 1975-1977 (guitarist)
Bobby Goodman 1965-1971 (bass guitar, soloist)
Larry Strzelecki 1972-1977 (bass guitar)
Joey Maxwell 1977-1978 (bass guitar)
Keith Moore 1978 (bass guitar)
Jeff Ross 1980 (bass guitar)
James Gordon Freeze 1980-1982 (bass guitar)

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External links
Official Website (http://www.vestalandfriends.com)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Happy_Goodman_Family"


Categories: Southern gospel performers | Grammy Award winners
Hidden categories: Articles lacking sources from March 2008 | All articles lacking sources

This page was last modified on 12 June 2008, at 01:58.


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