2011 Dove Awards Nominees

The 2011 Dove Award nominees were announced yesterday. Dozens of Southern Gospel-related nominations were handed out, both in Southern Gospel-specific and overall categories.

Song of the Year

“Sometimes I Cry” (Jason Crabb) and “Love Came Calling” (Triumphant Quartet) were among the ten nominations in this category. This category is consistently dominated by CCM, so these stand little chance.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Doug Anderson and Jason Crabb picked up two of the seven nominations. No Southern Gospel singer has won this category for decades, and that’s regrettably unlikely to change soon.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Janet Paschal picked up a surprising nomination here—surprising since it has been a number of years since she’s released a mainline project, and since she’s had less recent exposure at radio and major venues than in the past. It’s virtually guaranteed that a non-Southern Gospel performer will win this category.

Group of the Year

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Gaither Vocal Band picked up two of the seven nominations, thus splitting the Southern Gospel vote and weakening the chances that either will get it.

Artist of the Year

This is the highest award at the Dove Awards; Jason Crabb and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound received two of the seven nominations.

Producer of the Year

Wayne Haun received one of five nominations. Many of the Southern Gospel nominations, especially in the general categories, are Haun-produced artists.

Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year

  • “Better Day,” Gaither Vocal Band
  • “Faithful One,” Booth Brothers
  • “I Thirst,” Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • “Love Came Calling,” Triumphant Quartet

It’s intriguing to see a cover of a 1993 Cathedrals song pick up a nomination. This list actually has a strong enough selection, both of songs that did well through the year and of groups with established brands and voting bases, that it would be remarkably hard to peg a likely winner.

Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year

  • “I’m Going to Make Heaven My Home (Lewis Tradition)
  • “Mountaintop” (Lizzy Long & Little Roy Lewis)

Interestingly, the Lewis Family brand is still strong enough to pick up two of the nominations in the category, to groups that came out of the disbanding.

Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year

  • “I Feel a Song Coming On,” Ryan Seaton

Country Recorded Song of the Year

  • “Are You the One”; Breathe Deep; Guy Penrod; Tammy Hyler, Shaye Smith; Gaither Music Group
  • “Living In the Arms Of Mercy”; Something’s Happening; The Hoppers; Joel Lindsey, Jeff Silvey; Spring Hill Music Group, Hopper Music
  • “Run and Tell”; Shine; Bowling Family; Wayne Haun, Ray Davis, Marty Funderburk; Big Ten House of Music

Will the Dove voters go for one of the three Southern Gospel-connected artists? Point of Grace, who dominated Adult Contemporary before heading to Christian Country? Or the Oak Ridge Boys, best known as a bona fide country act who included an applicable Gospel song on their latest secular release?

Inspirational Album of the Year

  • A capella (Brian Free & Assurance)
  • Acoustic Sunday (Kevin Williams)
  • The Stage Is Bare (Ryan Seaton)

While Sandi Patty—the queen of Inspirational music for years—is a strong contender in the category, this is one category not specific to Southern Gospel that stands a pretty decent chance of going to an SG act.

Southern Gospel Album of the Year

  • A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
  • Greatly Blessed (Gaither Vocal Band)
  • Never Walk Alone (Brian Free & Assurance)
  • Shine (Bowling Family)
  • Something’s Happening (The Hoppers)

If the GMA voting base heard all five, I’d venture to say that Never Walk Alone or Shine would win. As it stands, Gaither naturally has the most name recognition. So will that carry the day, or will BFA pull off an upset?

Bluegrass Album of the Year

  • …Oh Well (Chigger Hill Boys & Terri)
  • Light On My Feet, Ready To Fly (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver)
  • Singing From the Heart (Dailey & Vincent)

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and Dailey & Vincent both stand decent chances of a win here.

Country Album of the Year

  • Breathe Deep (Guy Penrod)
  • Expecting Good Things (Jeff & Sherri Easter)
  • Times Like These (Austins Bridge)

Instrumental Album of the Year

  • Joy Comes In the Morning (Stan Whitmire)

Christmas Album of the Year

  • The Isaacs Christmas (The Isaacs)

Choral Collection of the Year

  • Big Mighty God; Lari Goss, Russell Mauldin; Word Music
  • National Quartet Convention Collection; Marty Hamby; Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing

It’s particularly intriguing to see NQC get a nod in this category.

Long Form Music Video of the Year

  • A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
  • Count Your Blessings (Bill and Gloria Gaither and Homecoming Friends)

This is enough of a down-ticket category that either stands a chance.

So, do any of you dare go out further on a limb than I have and offer some predictions here?

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25 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. After buying it several months ago, my choir sang the title song from “Big Mighty God” at last night’s rehearsal. 🙂 I can’t recall if I have seen the NQC collection or not. I will have to check it out.

  2. I’m interested to see Kevin Williams’ Acoustic Sunday in the “inspirational” category and not the “instrumental.” Thrilled he’s been nominated—that was an amazing project.

    I’d bet on Guy Penrod for country album of the year.

    For southern gospel song of the year, I might go with “Better Day.” Though I don’t like the song much, the GVB has the most name recognition. Then again, Wayne Haun won for “Reason Enough” last time, so he may win again for “Love Came Calling,” which I’d like to see.

    I think long-form video will almost certainly go to Signature Sound.

    I’m not holding my breath for SG’s chances in any of the big categories, but it’s nice to see them be nominated.

    • Oh sorry, actually I don’t think long-form video will go to EHSS since it’s not an SG only category, but if it did go to one or the other of the SG nominees, I’d guess EHSS.

      • Don’t rule out long-form video as impossible – that’s historically been a category where SG can outpace and outsell CCM. So it’s not impossible.

  3. As always I would like to see the Booth Brothers get some recognition. I know they win a lot of awards I just wonder how many people know how good “declaration” is. I’d put it up against any other release from this past year.

    • So would I.


  5. I don’t think you meant to omit a nomination for Jeff & Sheri Easter in the Bluegrass Song category.

    • Correct, that would be a typo.

  6. Were there only four nominations in the SG song category?

    • Ignore the previous question. I finally found the answer.

      The Dove Awards website was finally updated with a full list, so I can see everyone who was nominated now…

      • They’ve had that list up since shortly after the press conference, actually – hence my not feeling the need to include country acts.

      • Well, I had tried yesterday morning, and got nothing when I click the Nominees link at http://www.doveawards.com. I did several internet searches on Google as well, but only came up with news articles that mentioned a few of the top nominees.

        I still find it fascinating that the GMA doesn’t consider the Dove Award nominee announcements to be significant enough to list under the “News” link at http://www.gospelmusic.org. If a news item announcing the nominees are going to be announced and an announcement about Sherri Sheppard hosting the Dove Awards are newsworthy, it would seem the actual announcement would be as well.

        Regarding the Oaks, it’s odd they have songs in both the Country and SG categories, when there’s nothing stylistically striking about those songs that would make me choose one category over the other.

      • Maybe you’re not clicking the right link. Click this (screenshot): http://screencast.com/t/dikBwuZ3o

      • No, I’m seeing the same thing as you as of early this AM when I posted above.

        When I checked yesterday morning, the video from last year’s awards played, but the “Who Got The Nod?” paragraph wasn’t there at all. The Nominees link in the menu didn’t generate the list either, but it does now.

        I don’t know if it’s an issue of my browser caching and not updating, or what. If it is, that would be really strange, since I hadn’t visited the site for months until yesterday morning.

      • Very odd. The link I’ve been clicking on has been there since approximately one or two hours after the nominations event.

  7. Sorry to confess this, but some of the comments on old posts we’ve seen recently are definitely amusing me.

    Maybe we should change that “related posts” to “OLD Posts”!

    • I’ll confess to sometimes being amused. But, really, most of the comments that come via related posts are actually quite pertinent. And the rest provide some of the best entertainment anywhere on this site! 🙂

      • The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.

      • Now, once again, where does it rain?
        (On the plain, on the plain!)
        And where’s that soggy plain?
        (In Spain, in Spain!)

        By the way, in Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen.


      • I’m sorry guys, I still don’t get it! I know that’s from Pygmalion, originally by George Bernard Shaw, later made into a movie, and y’all could be referring to it to talk about clueless people out of their realm, but … I really don’t get it. 😆

      • Most of the comments that come through are quite pertinent, hence the rain in Spain stays MAINLY in the plain, but sometimes you get a little “mountain dew.” 😉

      • OK, thanks. 😀

  8. What defines an artist as “country” or SG? I noticed that the Hoppers are nominated for a Dove Award for “country” recording. Is it the artist? the music? the song?