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Renowned Southern gospel singer Doug Oldham dies aged 79
ONE OF Southern gospel's most popular vocalists, Doug Oldham, died on 21st July after falling and breaking his back. Said his daughter Rebekah Oldham Cox, "My dad fell a week and a half ago and broke his back. It was a very serious break and we waited almost a week to get him into the University of Virginia hospital. His surgery was due. It would have been a very lengthy and dangerous operation. But my dad passed away a few hours ago. We are all still in shock, but so grateful to the Lord that daddy did not have to go through the operation. It was going to be very hard. Thank you for your prayers."
Doug was born in Indiana on 30th November 1930. Before becoming a full time singer he served as featured soloist at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Doug was a "regular" concert artist for the Saturday Night Concert Series at the old Bibletown Conference Center in Boca Raton, Florida, throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s. During the '70s he began recording a stream of popular albums for Impact Records (later Benson) and by 1974 had been voted Best Male Vocalist Of The Year by the Evangelical Film Foundation. Oldham hosted his own television show and radio programme both called Hi, Doug! while his album 'Alleluia' was reported to be the first gospel album to go gold.
He sang for five United States Presidents and also for the Rev Billy Graham and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and introduced by his close friend, Bill Gaither. In 2007 the Thomas Road Baptist Church awarded Doug with the first ever Lifetime Champion Award for his years of Christian service. Liberty University also named a large, remodeled facility at the Fine Arts Building, the Oldham Recital Hall. During his lengthy career Oldham recorded 64 albums.
Oldham leaves behind his wife, Laura Lee, three daughters, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His funeral took place on 26th July at the Thomas Road Church.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.