Inducted in 2013
Gadsden, Alabama, gave Southern Gospel one of its most distinctive bass singers and a man whose leadership produced one of the premier quartets within the Southern Gospel Music family. Born August 29, 1945, Tim Riley grew up in a church where his father served as choir director. Like many other Southern Gospel singers, he was also influenced by the Gospel strains he heard on the radio and the performances every Sunday morning on shows like the “Gospel Singing Jubilee” and the “Gospel Caravan.”
As early as 14, he was performing in a local quartet sponsored by his school’s FFA program. Upon graduation from high school, Tim became part of The Gadsden Harmoneers with Wally Fowler. The following year, he became J. G. Whitfieldís replacement as bass singer for The Dixie Echoes. After a stint in the US Army serving in Vietnam, Tim returned home to marry his long-time sweetheart Barbara. As fate would have it, he was also able to regain his job with The Dixie Echoes, this time replacing another Southern Gospel legend, Ken Turner, who had recently moved to The Blackwood Brothers Quartet. From 1974 to 1979, Tim sang bass with The Southmen but it was his move in 1980 to the newly formed Gold City Quartet that would cement his place in Southern Gospel history.
For the next three decades, Tim would anchor the bass position and manage one of Southern Gospel’s best quartets. In the decades of the 1980's and 90's, the group rose to become recognized as among the industry’s elite quartets receiving numerous awards and headlining concerts across the nation. During a particularly successful stretch in the late 80's and early 90's, the group took the Singing News Fan Award for the overall Favorite Group for six consecutive years. A fan favorite (having personally collected five Fan Awards for Favorite Bass Singer) and an acknowledged industry leader, Tim Riley takes a deserved place on the wall of honor as a member of Southern Gospel’s best.