Editorial: Louise Mandrell most deserving of award from gospel group

Jul. 08, 2013 @ 11:37 PM

How nice to see one of Sevier County’s all-time favorite people earn some deserved recognition. Entertainer Louise Mandrell will receive the James D. Vaughan Impact Award this fall from the Southern Gospel Music Association.

Mandrell was a fixture in Sevier County’s entertainment business for many years, operating a theater bearing her name on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. She closed it in 2005 to spend more time with her ailing husband, but while in the county she was a constant supporter of local causes, from the Boy Scouts to United Way.

“To say that I am honored and humbled by this award would be an understatement,” she said in a news release announcing the award. “Sharing God’s love with audiences through gospel music has always been very important to me. I thank you and I thank our Lord for the blessings that he has allowed me to enjoy.”

Mandrell will appear in person to accept the award Oct. 2 at the annual SGMA Hall of Fame induction ceremony/Singing New Fan Awards event at Dollywood. For tickets and information call 865-908-4040. She joins some elite company. Past recipients of the award include Bill Gaither, James Blackwood, Les Beasley, Bob Brumley, Mosie Lister, Paul Heil, Eva Mae LeFevre, J.G. Whitfield, Lari Goss, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, Statler Brothers and the Oak Ridge Boys.

The Southern Gospel Music Association is a non-profit organization that maintains the Museum and Hall of Fame located at Dollywood. It is a must-see attraction on the grounds of the theme park, located right at the entrance to the park. To have Louise Mandrell added to the roster of inductees, and to see a display featuring her inside the museum, will be a special treat to visitors.