* Wally Fowler, 77, a singer, songwriter and concert...

DEATHS ELSEWHERE

June 06, 1994

* Wally Fowler, 77, a singer, songwriter and concert promoter who was known as "Mr. Gospel Music," drowned Friday while fishing with his son-in-law on Dale Hollow Lake northeast of Nashville. Mr. Fowler was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1988. His songs include Eddy Arnold's first million-selling record, "That's How Much I Love You," and "I Couldn't Believe It Was True," recorded by Willie Nelson in 1974. He got his start in 1935 at age 18 with the John Daniel Quartet, the first gospel quartet to join the Grand Ole Opry. In 1945, he founded the Oak Ridge Quartet, a gospel act that eventually became the Oak Ridge Boys. In a 1977 interview, Mr. Fowler said he helped Hank Williams Sr. and Chet Atkins get started. He said a young Williams asked him for a backstage pass to the Grand Ole Opry. Six weeks later, Williams was giving an impromptu concert there with a borrowed guitar.

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