PAUL R. BODEN
Paul R. Boden went home to be with the Lord September 17, 2006, following a brief battle with cancer. He was one of Gospel music's biggest supporters and encouragers.
The management of Wilds & Associates, parent company of Christian Voice Magazine, remembers Paul as a friend, supporter and mentor. Randall Wilds and John Lanier recall the many efforts by Paul on their behalf, supporting the various facets of Wilds & Associates. For that, they are eternally grateful.
Paul began his career in Gospel music singing with his family. He later became involved with local groups in the Arkansas area and was highly recognized as a member of the Wonder State Quartet.
Paul later joined the United Sound Quartet, touring the national quartet circuit. Through this association, Paul became friends with many in the industry. This paved the way for his career in concert promotions throughout the mid-south. He established Mid-South Sing Promotions and was instrumental in growing concerts around the Jonesboro, Arkansas - Memphis, Tennessee area, introducing fans to some of the nation's top Gospel artists.
Paul brought the Cathedral Quartet to Jonesboro on a regular basis for years, much to the delight of Arkansas fans. Through Mid-South Sing, Paul brought a sold-out performance of the Gaither Homecoming to Arkansas State University Convocation Center in 1992.
In 1988, Paul acquired radio station KNEA which became "the voice of Southern Gospel music" in northeastern Arkansas. KNEA was a reporter to all national Southern Gospel music charts, and Paul's opinion was valued by every major song promoter in the business. He served on several committees, providing feedback to industry leaders on all aspects of Gospel radio.
With the help of Donna Rogers, who served as Sales/Station Manager for KNEA, and who also helped Paul with his concert promotions, Paul launched Mid-South Gospel News in the fall of 1988. The publication was established to spread the word of concerts and industry news around the mid-south.
The newspaper quickly grew into a nationally recognized publication with distribution throughout the United States and several foreign countries. A name change to U.S. Gospel News reflected this rising demographic and established it as the nation's number one Gospel music newspaper. It remained thus until Paul's passing.
Over the years, Paul was recognized with many awards and honors. Some of these came from his own city and state. Paul was recognized for his petition to then Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas to proclaim September 1990 as Southern Gospel Music Month. In 1991, Paul was honored by Governor Clinton who joined the citizens of Jonesboro in recognizing Paul's contribution to Gospel music.
Paul was hospitalized during the National Quartet Convention in 2006. In his absence, Sandi Duncan-Clark, Feature Editor of U.S. Gospel News, accepted the "Lou Hildreth Award" presented to Paul by Lou during the Diamond Awards. This award was established to honor individuals in the industry who have made a major impact on Southern Gospel Music.
While Paul was delighted to be recognized with each award, this was not something he sought. He would much rather support others in their endeavors and often honored others through the U.S. Gospel News.
Among Paul's many talents was his songwriting. With a number of songs to his credit, his best-known composition is Meet Me There, co-written with Mary Ann Ballard.
Among the many blessings of Paul's life were his three daughters, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His life was filled with the many trials and joys of fatherhood, and one could not be in his presence long without learning the names of his girls and the names and ages of each grandchild and great grandchildren. He cherished being called "Papa."
With his passing, U.S. Gospel News ceased printing. The Christian Voice Magazine acquired the name and web domain of U.S. Gospel News and honored U.S. Gospel News subscriptions. The staff and management of Christian Voice Magazine honor the life and legacy of the Founder and Editor of U.S. Gospel News, Paul R. Boden. We are proud to call him our friend and mentor.