If you want to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, there couldn’t be too many ways more satisfying than playing one of the many hit records of “The Happy Goodman Family.”  The group had wonderful harmony but Miz Vestal was the undisputed star and “The Queen of Southern Gospel” with a mile-high, gravity-defying hairdo crown and a big, glorious voice to match.    
Vestal Goodman was from up in Sand Mountain, Alabama not far from our family farm.  When she was a young girl, she toyed with joining the Metropolitan Opera but then she got the spirit to do something more original for the glory of God.  Anytime y’all need a pick-me-up, youtube Miz V singing “Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ For My Journey, Now,” or my favorite is her playful sing-off with famed tenor, Johnny Cook, on “Lookin’ For A City.”  Vestal Goodman died just a few years ago in a Southern town called, Celebration, after a loving family, Christmas homecoming.  Long live “The Queen.”

Y’all Be Y’all,
Ben South at Southernness


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