Inductees Archive

Happy Goodman Family

In 1933 a 12-year-old boy arrived early for church every Sunday. Using only two fingers, he would pick out the notes to “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” on the old piano. A flame began in the soul of that young boy that year, one that would lead Howard Goodman to teach his seven younger siblings to sing the Gospel to audiences across America. Known thereafter as the Happy Goodman Family, the total commitment from each family member to do whatever it takes to share the message of God’s love with others has brought the group worldwide fame. Howard and his now-deceased brothers, Rusty and Sam, along with Howard’s wife Vestal, made up the best-known version of the Happy Goodmans. Howard and Vestal’s son Rick joined and at different points in its 50-year history, the group had included brother Bobby Goodman, Howard and Vestal’s daughter Vickie, Rusty’s daughter Tanya and an assortment of musicians such as Dwayne Friend, Jimmy Dumas, Eddie Crook, Aaron Wilburn and Johnny Minnick. Howard and Vestal were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Christian Artists Seminar in 1997 and, along with Minnick, are continuing the musical journey today through the Gaither “Homecoming” videos and tours and their own personal appearances and recordings.


Induction Year




During the 1940s by Howard Goodman and his sister Gussie Mae


Noted Members

  • Vestal Goodman
  • Sam Goodman
  • Howard “Happy” Goodman
  • Rusty Goodman


Significant Songs

  • “I Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ for My Journey Now”
  • “Wait ‘Til You See My Brand New Home”


Grammy Awards

Best Gospel Album in 1968