Singing News Fan Awards, Top 5: A List

EDIT: Now it’s official. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

I’ve had a day to think it over, and I decided to go ahead and post the top-5 Singing News Fan Awards list circulating right now. Obviously, I’m not going to be 100% certain until Singing News actually prints their ballot, but whether or not anything will change this list sure makes for some interesting discussion points.

Bean, Peg McKamey (McKameys)
Easter, Sheri (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Hopper, Kim (Hoppers)
Stuffle, Libbi (Perrys)
Whisnant, Susan (Whisnants)
Fowler, Scott (Legacy Five)
Haase, Ernie (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Parker, Ivan (Soloist)
Rice, Arthur (Kingdom Heirs)
Wolfe, Gerald (Greater Vision)
Free, Brian (Brian Free & Assurance)
Haase, Ernie (Signature Sound Qt)
Seamans, Frank (Legacy Five)
Sutton, David (Triumphant Quartet)
Waldroup, Jason (Greater Vision)
Dibler, Matt (Inspirations)
Fowler, Scott (Legacy Five)
Inman, Clayton (Triumphant Quartet)
Rice, Arthur (Kingdom Heirs)
Wolfe, Gerald (Greater Vision)
Anderson, Doug (Signature Sound)
Griffin, Rodney (Greater Vision)
Howard, Scott (Legacy Five)
Inman, Scott (Triumphant Quartet)
Trammell, Mark (Mark Trammell Trio)
Bennett, Eric (Triumphant Quartet)
Duncan, Tim (Signature Sound Qt)
Dustin, Glenn (Legacy Five)
Holcomb, Mike (Inspirations)
Stuffle, Tracy (Perrys)
Easter, Sheri (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Hopper, Connie (Hoppers)
Stuffle, Libbi (Perrys)
Talley, Debra (Talley Trio)
Whisnant, Susan (Whisnants)
Fortner, Connie (McKameys)
Gooch, Karen Peck (Karen Peck & New River)
Greene, TaRanda (Greenes)
Hopper, Kim (Hoppers)
Talley, Lauren (Talley Trio)

Young Artist
Fortner, Eli (McKameys)
Free, Ricky (Brian Free & Assurance)
Habedank, Joseph (Perrys)
Inman, Scott (Triumphant Qt)
Sweatman, Dustin (Mark Trammell Trio)
Horizon Individual
Barker, Grant (Kingsmen)
Lile, Jeremy (Brian Free & Assurance)
Singletary, Josh (Tribute Qt)
Sweatman, Dustin (Mark Trammell Trio)
Trammell, Nick (Perrys)
Horizon Group
Ball Brothers
Crystal River
Paid In Full
Young Harmony
Bennett, Roger (Legacy Five)
Collingsworth, Kim (Collingsworth Family)
Holt, Matthew (Perrys)
Stice, Jeff (Triumphant Qt)
Webb, Roy (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Bishop, Mark
Brady, Jim
Crabb, Gerald
Griffin, Rodney
Wilkinson, Dianne
Get Away Jordan (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
I Know (Inspirations)
Live In Music City (Legacy Five)
Revival (Gold City)
Triumphant (Triumphant Qt)
Group of the Year
Booth Brothers
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Legacy Five
Triumphant Qt

Give It Away Gaither Vocal Band
He Will Hide Me Perrys
Heaven’s Hero 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

Clearly, the hottest groups in Southern Gospel right now are Signature Sound, the Inspirations, and the Triumphant Quartet, in roughly that order. Triumphant seems to have a strong enough fan base to be nominated for top 5 in virtually every category in which they are eligible, year after year. They must be nearing a record for most consecutive top-5 nominations without any win I can think of. If they can hold their current lineup together for the next few years, and if any of the select few groups more popular than they are have major lineup changes, I could easily see them starting to win awards right and left. But as it is, this steady track record of being nominated for just about everything and winning just about nothing leaves me wondering if it won’t happen again.

Legacy Five, of course, released what is probably their strongest record yet, Live in Music City, in this year’s eligibility period. Add that to a bit of sympathy vote with Roger Bennett’s passing and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them take home a few awards this year. I still plan to vote for Roger Bennett for one last time for favorite pianist this year.

As always, there are at least four strong albums in the top 5. The Inspirations’ album–no matter the song selection or production details–always stands a chance of winning, and Signature Sound’s could always win, too. But it wouldn’t shock me to see Legacy Five’s Live in Music City win, either. This is just my opinion, but they might be able to seal the deal by sending “I Have Been Changed” to radio.

Of course, after last year’s tie, all eyes are on the Inspirations and Signature Sound. Probably a big factor this year will be which way disappointed Perrys and Greater Vision fans go: To the Inspirations’ side of the aisle because of their clothing and presentation, or to Signature Sound’s big ballads and quartet songs. Of course, there is a third possibility: That Greater Vision and Perrys fans would tend to prefer Triumphant (most similar musically) or Legacy Five (popular personalities), and that this influence could propel one of the two into the top award.
Well, that’s enough commentary, except for one more detail. I haven’t made up my mind on some of the categories yet, but I am definitely planning on voting for Joseph Habedank as Young Artist. As I’ve said before, I think he’s a great singer and has taken the Perrys up a level.

It’s pretty much a given that I always vote for Libbi Stuffle for Alto and Female Vocalist, and I’ll add Young Artist this year. If Perrys bashing goes too much farther, I just might react by voting a straight ticket! I’m waiting until I hear their next album to decide whether or not I think they are the best they’ve ever been, but based on their NQC performace last year, I am strongly inclined to think that they are.

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10 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. DJ…i’m with you…and I’ll go a step further…”I’ve Been Changed” by L5 is not only the best true SG song on their CD, It is better than any song on the Song of The Year list for 2007! Not since “Boundless Love” has a Qt song provided me such simple overflowing joy!…and a Song of The Year performance by L5 put it over the top for me.
    Their arrangement gimmick, the “Oooooo’s” , was a masterful touch…no offense to the L5 crew (they are awesome)…BUT if George and Glenn do that tune with any one of the last 3 Cathedral configurations, it’s a runaway SOTY….my I would love to hear (and see) them do it!…fact is I bet they are singing it right now on the Golden Streets. AMEN.


  2. GH, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them single it later, and it could even be next year’s SOTY. At least I wish…

  3. Can that happen ?…a song off one of this year’s CD’s br next year’s SOTY?

  4. I think it’s possible, or at least it used to be, provided it’s a radio single during the March-March radio year. As I recall, Greater Vision’s “Just One More Soul” won the award a year and a half after it came out.

    With all that said, I really wish “I Have Been Changed” had been singled in time to be the nominee this year. Of course, that would have given me a difficult choice between that song and “Once Upon a Cross”!

  5. They’re oranges and apples…both great…in their own way. I’m a ballad fan, but I think “the” uptempo tune IS the genre’s trademark…when one like this happens it deserves recognition.

  6. I am really disappointed with the Perry’s. They have always been one of my favorite groups.Since Loren has left things have just not been the same. I will agree that Joseph is a great singer, but Nick is just not cutting it in my opinion.

  7. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict an L5 win. I believe GV fans are very likely to go with L5 since the 2 groups are fairly closely connected.

    Perrys fans? No idea.

    I disagree that Nick isn’t cutting it, btw.

  8. Ah, those double negatives…in other words, you approve of the job Nick is doing? (I do!)

  9. “I disagree with the poster who said Nick ‘isn’t cutting it.'” Got it? 🙂

  10. Yes–now! 🙂