Each year, Main Street Lawrenceburg celebrates the life of Lawrenceburg native, James D. Vaughan, recognized as the“Father of Southern Gospel Music,” by sponsoring the James D. Vaughan Southern Gospel Music Festival in July.
Not only is Vaughan considered to be the founder of the genre now known as “Southern GospelMusic”, Vaughan is also known as founding the James D. Vaughan Publishing Company in Lawrenceburg,TN in 1902. The James D. Vaughan Publishing Company grew to be one of the largest gospel music publishers in the country, and Vaughan was the first to establish a professional quartet, putting them on the road for the purpose of selling songbooks. In 1911, James D. Vaughan formed the Vaughan School of Music, and numerous gospel performers would study there in the years to follow.
Vaughan also founded WOAN radio station in 1922. WOAN radio station was one of the first radio stations in Tennessee to broadcast Southern Gospel music, broadcasting until 1930. He also founded the first record company based in the South; Vaughan Phonograph Records.
Vaughan not only devoted much of his life to the Southern Gospel Music industry, he also took time to participate in local government, serving as the Mayor of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee from 1923 to 1927.
Don’t miss the James D. Vaughan Museum of Southern Gospel Music at 31 Public Square in Lawrenceburg. You can get more info by calling 931-762-8991. The video above is a six-minute special on the Vaughan Museum by the Tennessee Crossroads TV show.
James D. Vaughan was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1997.