Howard Goodman (November 7, 1921 - November 30, 2002)

Howard Goodman

The Goodmans

Vestal & Howard Goodman

Find a Grave link

SMGA Hall of Fame link


Howard Goodman was born in the poverty-stricken coal mining hills of north Alabama. Howard worked as an evangelist during the 1930's and into the 1940's. In 1938 he 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 1949, Howard met Vestal Freeman, an aspiring Opera singer and sister of gospel tenor singer Cat Freeman. They began singing and traveling together and spent the rest of their lives singing and promoting Southern Gospel Music. They were married for 53 years. Howard and Vestal Goodman, along with Howard's brothers Sam Goodman and Rusty Goodman, became known as the "Happy Goodman Family". They were regulars on the Sunday Morning broadcast of the Gospel Singing Jubilee.

Howard was known for his unique "bouncing off the ivories" on the piano. When he would play, his hands would fly up over his head. He also wrote several Southern Gospel songs. The Happy Goodmans recorded numerous hit songs and received three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and two Grammy Awards.

Howard was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame in 2003. He is buried in Christ Church Memorial Gardens in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA.


SGMA Hall Of Fame (2003)

Singing News Fan Awards:
Favorite Musician (1971, 1972)

Songwriter's Résumé

(Partial List)

Give Up
The Old Gospel Ship

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