Sam Goodman,

Gospel Baritone Vocals Happy Goodman Family

Born: 1931  Bremen, AL

Died: 1991

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame











Sam Goodman was born in the poverty-stricken coal mining hills of Bremen, Cullman County, north Alabama. Sam's brother, Howard Goodman formed his family singing group, putting together versions of the Goodmans featuring various combinations of his brothers and sisters, Sam, Charles (Rusty), Bobby, Ruth, Eloise, Stella and Gussie Mae, in 1938.

Howard Goodman and Vestal Goodman along with his brothers Sam and Rusty Goodman, became known as the "Happy Goodmans". They were regulars on the Sunday Morning broadcast of the Gospel Singing Jubilee?.

The Happy Goodmans recorded numerous hit songs and received three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and two Grammy Awards. Sam is buried in Bay Minette Cemetery in Bay Minette, Baldwin County, Alabama, USA



MADISONVILLE, KY - Drew and Kris Goodman of Madisonville, Ky. attended the induction of their late father Sam Goodman of Madisonville, Ky. and formally of Bremen, Ala. into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame at Dollywood recently in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.


“Sam Goodman was born in Bremen, Ala., on March 19, 1931, followed soon after by brothers, Rusty and Bobby,” said Charlie Waller, SGMA executive director. “When Sam’s brother, Howard began traveling as an evangelist all the siblings were recruited through the late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to sing, thus forming the many variations of the early Happy Goodman Family.

He said from the groups earliest days, Sam became known as the spokesperson for the group, introducing the songs and group members onstage, often telling funny stories and including moving recitations such as “The Goodman Family Story,” “Beauty of a Child” and “The Pledge of Allegiance” on many albums.

“Sam sang with the Happy Goodman Family in churches, camp meetings, all night sings in auditoriums and on radio and television around the nation, from the 1940’s through the 1980’s,” he said. “Sam received minister’s credentials in 1982 with the Assemblies of God and continued to travel, sing, record solo albums and also preach in churches and on Christian television across the nation until his death in 1991.

“Sam reunited with Howard, Vestal and Rusty in 1990 to record what would be their final album, ‘The Reunion,’ which received a Grammy nomination that year,” he said. “Spanning seven decades, the Happy Goodman Family received many Grammy nominations, two Grammy awards, and sang at the White House for President Jimmy Carter.  In 1974, Sam was awarded the Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Baritone. In 1998, the Happy Goodman Family was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.”


Triumphant Quartet performed “When the Trumpet Sounds” in honor of Sam Goodman.

Hall of Fame member Ed O’Neal presented the induction accepted by Drew and Kris Goodman.

“Paul said ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation,’” Kris Goodman said. “Gospel music is a powerful music. It is a saving music. It is a music that has eternal impact. If you knew my dad. He was a fun man to be around. He loved the Lord. He loved his family and he loved gospel music. It’s an honor for us to accept this tonight on his behalf and to be a part of the gospel music community. Thank you very much.

The other 2010 SGMA class of inductees are Danny Gaither, Little Jan Buckner-Goff, Bill Hefner, Connie Hopper and Arthur Smith.

Country Music Hall of Famer Dolly Parton received the James D. Vaughn Impact Award at the event.

The Southern Gospel Music Association is a non-profit organization that maintains the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, the only facility honoring this genre of music, for the historic preservation of the accomplishments of the music and its people. Museum hours match those of Dollywood. Donations are tax-deductible. Individuals and businesses may donate to assist with honoring inductees with special bronze plaques that are displayed in the Hall of Fame. For more information about the museum or its inductees, visit