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Promoter Mr. James "Bo" GambleOn Friday, July 29, 2011, James “Bo” Gamble died in Florence, South Carolina. News of his passing was not picked up by AP, NBC, CNN, or any of the other major news outlets. You did not see his name posted as part of the In Memoriam scroll on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. Yet his passing was no less significant.

Why, you may ask? And who was James “Bo” Gamble?

Well, to many in the gospel music industry he was known as “Mr. Blockbuster.” He rightfully earned that title by promoting one of the largest attended gospel quartet concerts on the East Coast, if not in the entire country.

Each year, for over 30 years, he would bring together the best of the best gospel quartets to the Piedmont Region of South Carolina. The program in its infancy was held in Lake City, South Carolina. Because of the many top echelon quartet groups that were a part of the programs, the number of attendees quickly outgrew the Lake City venue. The program was in the later years moved to the Florence Civic Center. Each year fans of gospel quartet music would travel from outside the United States, from the West Coast, and from all points between the West and East Coasts to attend The Blockbuster Showdown.

It became an event that many fans of the genre planned their vacation around. Leave requests would be submitted to employers as soon as the date for the next Blockbuster became known. Fans would travel in buses (sponsored by their area radio station or local promoter), vans, airplanes and trains to attend this event. All because they knew James Gamble would present the best of the gospel quartet genre, all together, for one outstanding evening of gospel music. Fans knew if James Gamble said a particular group was on the program, they would be there. The gospel quartets jockeyed to be on the program. After all, it was The Blockbuster.

So it was no surprise that at his Home Going Services on Friday, August 5, 2011, in the small community of Coward, South Carolina, people showed up to pay their respects to this extraordinary Gospel Music Promoter. Groups like George Dean and The Gospel Four, Doc McKenzie & The Hi-lites, The Swanee Quintet, The Singing Angels, The Gospel Legends, members of The Brooklyn All-Stars, The Bells of Joy and Darrell McFadden & The Disciples attended the services. For many of these groups The Blockbuster has played a significant role in their success. They took the time to let Mr. Gamble’s family know just how much he was appreciated.

To the Family of James Gamble, know that we sincerely appreciate your sharing him with the gospel music industry. Yes, we grieve his passing. Yes, he will surely be missed. But know that he will never be forgotten. The Blockbuster Showdown will never, never, never be the same without him.

Rest In Peace Mr. Blockbuster.

National Association Of Gospel Promoters and Managers The 13th Annual Conference Of National Association Of Gospel Promoters and Managers was held on April 28 – May 1, 2011, at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia. Minister Barbara McLaughlin is the Founder and President of the organization.

This year’s conference was hosted by Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson and Percy Griffin (of the Swanee Quintet). The conference featured Music Workshop, Praise & Worship Ministry Workshop, New Artists Showcase and a Black-Tie awards Dinner.

The Honorees this year were Living Legend Award – Mr. James Bullard, CEO, MCG Records, Alpharetta, Georgia; Hall Of Fame Inductee – Mr. Charles Smith, Sr., Producer & Director, Comcast Cablevision, Channel 28, Wilmington, Delaware; and Radio Personality of The Year – Mr. Clarence Conner, Low Rush Records and WYZE 1480 AM, Atlanta, Georgia.

Along with Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson and The Swanee Quintet, other artists that performed during the conference were Bossman & The Sunset Gospel Singers, Minister Lady Shay, Darius Newman, Cheri Coleman, Sylvia Lott, and Jeneal Johnson.

Blanche Goodson, CEO, SC Gospel Quartet Awards ProgramThe annual SC Gospel Quartet Awards’ program was held on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Lower Richland High School, Hopkins, South Carolina. The morning session consisted of workshops relating to the gospel music industry.

The evening session included a concert featuring Flossie Boyd Johnson & Favor, Spirit of Columbia, Sister Mary Myers & The Team of Joy, The National Juniors, The New Israelites, The Redeemers, and Big Bubba & The Eternal Harmonizers.

Emcees for the program were Pastor Curtis Young Dr. Jana Harrell and Brother Henry Jones. Devotion was conducted by Evangelist Michell Tucker.

The Award Winners were:

1. MALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
THE SIX VOICES OF ZION

2. FEMALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
WOMEN OF STRENGTH

3.SONG OF THE YEAR
“FIRE NEXT TIME” BY PASTOR T. D. BROWN & THE MIGHTY GLORYARIES

4. BEST DRESSED MALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
THE GOSPEL LEGENDS

5. BEST DRESSED FEMALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
SISTER MARY MYERS AND THE TEAM OF JOY

6. MOST DILIGENT GROUP OF THE YEAR
THE HARMONETTES & COMPANY

7. MALE PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
PASTOR CURTIS YOUNG

8. FEMALE PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
JOHNNIE MAE RICH

9. RADIO ANGEL OF THE YEAR
PASTOR CURTIS YOUNG

10. PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE
PELHAM MYERS & THE FIVE SINGING STARS

11. BEST PERFORMING MALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
DOC McKENZIE & THE HI-LITES

12. BEST PERFORMING FEMALE GROUP OF THE YEAR
WOMEN OF STRENGTH

13. BEST QUARTET GOSPEL WEBSITE OF THE YEAR
FLOSSIE BOYD JOHNSON & FAVOR
WWW.FlossieBoydJohnson.COM

14. NATIONAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
DOC McKENZIE & THE HI-LITES

This is the thirteenth year for the program. Sister Blanche Goodson and her organization continue to move South Carolina gospel quartet group to the next level.

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