2007 Singing News Fan Award Nominees: Round 3, My Picks

Here my picks in the final round of the Singing News Fan Awards:

  • Group – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. They are at the top right now. The other day (while in Washington, D.C.), I told a co-worker that I enjoyed Southern Gospel. He said: “Oh–like the Cathedrals, Gaither, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound?” That was about all he knew of Southern Gospel groups–but at least one of the groups he’d heard of was a current top male quartet.
  • Male Singer – Ernie Haase. I admit this is partly a reaction to the Ernie-bashing I see around Southern Gospel blogs and message boards. I’ve had just enough of it to sway what would otherwise be a close decision between Haase and Gerald Wolfe.
  • Female Singer – Libbi Perry Stuffle. I didn’t need to read the rest of the list; I knew I wanted to go with Libbi.
  • Horizon Group – Ball Brothers. I’m hoping this is their year.
  • Horizon Individual – Dustin Sweatman. I went with Dustin here partially because I went with Joseph Habedank in the other category in which Sweatman was eligible, Young Artist.
  • Young Artist – Joseph Habedank. I admit that this vote, like my vote in the Male Singer category, is partially a reaction to the Habedank-bashers of the world. Joseph has a great voice and improved the Perrys’ sound, so he has my vote.
  • Musician – Roger Bennett. I don’t think this one needs any explanation.
  • Songwriter – Dianne Wilkinson. She deserves this award at least once–as does Kyla Rowland, who didn’t make the top 5, making my decision easier.
  • Album of the Year: I Know (Inspirations). I like four of the top five albums, but went with this one because it has the fewest weak cuts counterbalancing the strong ones. “I Have Not Forgotten” and “Led by the Master’s Hand” are both great cuts–and great renditions to boot. The Inspirations have earned their legendary status, and I’m happy to be able to support them in at least one category.
  • Tenor of the Year: Ernie Haase.
  • Lead Singer of the Year: Arthur Rice. Adam Edwards’ enthusiasm for the Kingdom Heirs is contagious; I believe this is the first time I have ever voted for the Kingdom Heirs for any major award in the final round.
  • Baritone of the Year: Mark Trammell. It was also tempting to go with Doug Anderson, who deserves the honor one of these days, but I ended up going with Mr. Baritone himself.
  • Bass of the Year: Tim Duncan.
  • Alto of the Year: Libbi Perry Stuffle. Easy call!
  • Soprano of the Year: Kim Hopper. Mezzos are nice, but will a first soprano ever make the top 5?
  • Song: “Once Upon a Cross” (Mark Trammell Trio). I can point to two songs that came out this year as almost definite future classics–and the other, “I Have Been Changed,” did not make the list. That made this a very easy call!

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17 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. Since we are going with sympathy votes, pianst of the year (okay, it’s not a category) – Roy Webb.

  2. Do you consider Kim to be a mezzo soprano? I don’t know that I would agree with that.

  3. Well, I consider her either a mezzo or a second soprano. I haven’t ever heard her do any high first-soprano endings on songs.

  4. I’m basing my reasoning on the fact that Lauren Talley is considered to be a soprano. If she is a soprano, I would think that she is a mezzo soprano. Also, I don’t know if you have ever heard the Hoppers in concert before, but Kim will definitely blow you away with that powerful voice!

  5. I’ve heard quite a few songs that Kim has done, and she does indeed have a powerful voice. But it doesn’t have to be a first soprano voice to be powerful.

    Don’t base your idea of what a soprano–or even a mezzo–should be on what Lauren Talley sounds like. I think the main reason she’s called a soprano is because her mom has been known as an alto for so long.

  6. I’m sure you’re right as far as Lauren Talley is concerned, because I have never considered her to be a soprano. But, I’m not a music major either! I still wouldn’t consider Kim a mezzo, though. Just my humble opinion! And when I referred to her “powerful voice,” I wasn’t necessarily referring to her range (although I think her range is amazing). She is just an amazing singer, in my book. She has my vote, hands down!

  7. Well, she had my vote, too. 🙂

  8. I agree with Jeff. Roy Webb gets my vote.
    He is a great Piano Player. His CD is great.

  9. Wow! We’re really far apart this year, Daniel. We only match in two categories – but I’m not saying which ones they were! And a few of your picks are among my least likely to be picked. Should be an interesting fan awards program, don’t you think?

  10. I fancy we’d be a lot closer if we started taking second choices into account! It just shows the strength of the genre that we can have virtually identical tastes and yet come out differently–and I guess it shows that there are a lot of vote-worthy musicians this year, too! 🙂

  11. Tim Duncan?????????
    For me, it was a toss up between Mike Holecomb and Eric Bennett.Tim is nowhere near the bass that these two are.
    Don’t get me wrong, Tim is good. But give him 5-10 years though before voting for him over Mke and Eric. Those two have been singing longer and have much more seasoned voices.
    Just my opionion.

  12. I agree with you on quite a few of them Daniel.

  13. I’m with Diana. lol – again. If I had to guess I would say we probably voted very similarly.

    I think we did vote the same on Dianne Wilkinson, Arthur Rice, and Libbi Stuffle, but I agree on the Bass Singer thing. I don’t think Tim is nearly as seasoned as Bennett or Holcomb. Hey, well, it’ll make for an interesting Awards Show!

  14. Ty,

    Sometimes I like going with the seasoned performers, but sometimes I like going with the young, energetic (relative) newcomers, too!

  15. True, but considering he won it last year (and wasn’t there), it’s not even a question in my book. That’s ok, I understand your viewpoint, though.

  16. In fact, it’s a viewpoint that you share in many areas outside of this particular Fan Awards category! 🙂

  17. Also true. I love to give young, new talent like Jeremy Lile a shot-in-the-arm with a vote, but I still would never pick him as my favorite above someone like Eric Bennett.