Who will make the top 5 in the 2007 Fan Awards?

This post completes my trilogy of posts looking at the top 10 nominees. The nominees I think will make the top 5 are in bold.

These are my preliminary guesses. If I think the Southern Gospel scene has changed significantly in any category, I might revise my guesses around the time the top 5 ballot comes out and the fans cast their votes. Otherwise, I’ll stick with these.


  • Bean, Peg McKamey – McKameys
  • Easter, Sheri – Jeff & Sheri Easter
  • Gooch, Karen Peck – Karen Peck & New River
  • Greene, TaRanda – Greenes
  • Hopper, Connie – Hoppers
  • Hopper, Kim – Hoppers
  • Stuffle, Libbi – Perrys
  • Talley, Debra – Talley Trio
  • Talley, Lauren – Talley Trio
  • Whisnant, Susan – Whisnants

I think Libbi and Kim are virtual shoo-ins for the top 5. I think Peg and Karen will also make the top 5. The last slot is anyone’s guess, and TaRanda Greene’s banner year led to my guess.


  • Bennett, Eric – Triumphant Qt
  • Bishop, Mark – Soloist
  • Crabb, Jason – Crabb Family
  • Fowler, Scott – Legacy Five
  • Free, Brian – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Haase, Ernie – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Parker, Ivan – Soloist
  • Rice, Arthur – Kingdom Heirs
  • Sutton, David – Triumphant Qt
  • Wolfe, Gerald – Greater Vision

I think Ernie Haase and Gerald Wolfe are reasonably certain to make the top 5. Ivan Parker probably will, too, since he was popular enough to win last year. After that, it’s anyone’s guess, and I guessed Scott Fowler and Jason Crabb. Jason may pick up a few votes because it is the last year he’s eligible with the current iteration of the Crabb family.


  • Bishop, Mark
  • Brady, Jim
  • Crabb, Gerald
  • Cross, Phil
  • Farris, Sheryl
  • Griffin, Rodney
  • Hinson, Ronny
  • Inman, Scott
  • Rowland, Kyla
  • Wilkinson, Dianne

It’s an easy call to say that Dianne Wilkinson and Rodney Griffin could and should make it to the top 5. Kyla Rowland should, so I put her name in bold, but after Griffin and Wilkinson, it’s anyone’s guess.

Young Artist

  • Brown, Stephanie – JBIF
  • Fortner, Eli – McKameys
  • Free, Ricky – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Habedank, Joseph – Perrys
  • Inman, Scott – Triumphant Qt
  • McGlamery, Devin – Karen Peck & New River
  • McRae, Annie – TK & McRae
  • Penhollow, Terah – Crabb Family
  • Sweatman, Dustin – Mark Trammell Trio
  • Talley, Lauren – Talley Trio

I think Lauren Talley, Scott Inman, and Joseph Habedank should easily make it to the final 5. I’ll guess Dustin Sweatman and Eli Fortner to round out the top 5. I went with Fortner because the traditional/Appalachian voting bloc is still sizable, and since the Inspirations don’t have a member eligible, they would tend to join McKameys fans in going with Fortner.


  • Give It Away – Gaither Vocal Band
  • He Will Hide Me – Perrys
  • Heaven’s Heroes – Greater Vision
  • Hey Jonah – Triumphant Qt
  • I Have Not Forgotten – Inspirations
  • I Will Trust You Lord McKameys
  • If It Takes A Valley – Brian Free & Assurance
  • My Anchor of Hope – Kingdom Heirs
  • Once Upon A Cross – Mark Trammell Trio
  • Strike Up The Band – Legacy Five

I think all ten songs go on the final ballot; I’m not sure if they changed the rules on that one. Either way, if there is a winnowing round here the Inspirations and Greater Vision songs are sure to make the cut.

Horizon Individual

  • Barker, Grant – Kingsmen
  • King, Sharron Kay – Soloist
  • Lile, Jeremy – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Mitchell, Brent – Mercy’s Mark
  • Singletary, Josh – Tribute Qt
  • Smith, Wesley – Palmetto State Qt
  • Sweatman, Dustin – Mark Trammell Trio
  • Trammell, Nick – Perrys
  • Walker, Bryan – Dixie Melody Boys
  • White, Carl – Young Harmony

Nick Trammell, Jeremy Lile, and probably Dustin Sweatman should easily make the top 5. I’ll go with Bryan Walker and Brent Mitchell to round out my top 5.

Horizon Group

  • Austins Bridge
  • Ball Brothers
  • Browns
  • Crist Family
  • Crystal River
  • Dills
  • Paid In Full
  • Soul’d Out
  • Tribute Qt
  • Young Harmony

The Ball Brothers and the Tribute Quartet should easily make the top 5. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess, but I’ll go with Paid in Full, Crystal River, and Young Harmony.


  • Come Thirsty – Perrys
  • Fifteen – Greater Vision
  • Get Away Jordan – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Graceland – Mike Bowling Group
  • I Know – Inspirations
  • Live In Music City – Legacy Five
  • Off The Record – Kingdom Heirs
  • Once Upon A Cross – Mark Trammell Trio
  • Revival – Gold City
  • Triumphant – Triumphant Qt

The Perrys, the Inspirations, and Signature Sound should be shoo-ins in this category. (The Perrys might not be, but I did say “should.”) I would say that Greater Vision would be as well, except that I have a hard time seeing how fans could vote a compilation into the top 10, let alone the top 5. I’d love to see the Mark Trammell Trio make the top 5, but Triumphant is more likely to pull that off. If the Perrys don’t make the top 5, I’m expecting that Legacy Five will. Their album is exceptional enough that I consider it one of the top 5.


  • Bennett, Roger – Legacy Five
  • Collingsworth, Kim – Collingsworth Family
  • Cook, Martin – Inspirations
  • Crabb, Adam – Crabb Famiy
  • Fortner, Roger – McKameys
  • Free, Ricky – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Holt, Matthew – Perrys
  • Murphy, Dennis – Kingdom Heirs
  • Stice, Jeff – Triumphant Qt
  • Webb, Roy – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

It’s an easy to call to say that Martin Cook and Roger Bennett will almost definitely make the top 5. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Roy Webb and Jeff Stice do the same. For the fifth slot, I’ll go with what I’d like to see, Kim Collingsworth making the top 5.

Group of the Year

  • Booth Brothers
  • Brian Free & Assurance
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Greater Vision
  • Hoppers
  • Inspirations
  • Kingdom Heirs
  • Legacy Five
  • Perrys
  • Triumphant Quartet

This is the big challenge, of course. The Inspirations and Greater Vision are the only shoo-ins, I think. I think the Perrys will probably make the top 5, due to their multi-year dominance in the mixed quartet category. Signature Sound could well make the top 5 again. I’ll go with Legacy 5 as my final guess (mainly on the strength of their most recent album), but if they don’t make the cut, a Hoppers top 5 nomination could actually put male quartets in the minority.

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4 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. I would like to see the Booth Brothers in the top 5 group…I would have to agree with your picks for all others…

  2. I thought you killed me in the past with your picks…but Eli Fortner? Oh my…

  3. How does Austins Bridge get nominated for Horizon group when they (according to Daywind) haven’t released their first CD yet? This is not a knock on the group (because I don’t know them) but the category description reads, “Group has demonstrated major growth in radio airplay, charting and personal appearances. Qualification: Full-time Southern Gospel Music Occupation”. All these seem impossible before your first CD release.

  4. Interesting question, Gradie, and one I frankly don’t know the answer to.

    natesings, I love your sense of humor!