Inductees Archive

Billy Ray Hearn

Billy Ray Hearn began his career and ministry in gospel music in 1960 as a church music director. Through writing and producing innovative youth musicals he was recruited to work with Word Record Co., where he launched the Myrrh label for contemporary Christian artists. He was director of music promotion and music publishing for Word until 1976 when he founded Sparrow Records and built it into one of the fastest growing contemporary Christian communications firms in the U.S. He has been responsible for the artistry and ministry of a roster that reads like a who’s who in the contemporary and also the traditional black gospel arenas. His work as a producer of records such as “Hymns Triumphant” and “Hymns Triumphant, Vol. II” has been highly acclaimed. His innovative and visionary efforts in the field of children’s music saw the Music Machine Agapeland children’s album certified gold and platinum. As a long time member and past chairman of the Gospel Music Association board of directors, Billy Ray Hearn has brought much to the gospel music arena.


Induction Year



Publishing Company

EMI Christian Music Group


Record Labels

  • Myrrh Records
  • Sparrow Records
  • Birdwing Records

Significant Projects

  • The children’s album “Music Machine”
  • A recording of Handel’s Messiah with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
  • Andy Griffith’s I Love To Tell The Story album