My votes in The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2007

The Southern has an online awards poll currently posted here. Though this is just one of quite a few online polls, since I cast my vote, I thought I might as well post my picks.

  1. Name: Daniel J. Mount
  2. State or Country: United States
  3. Song: “Last Night” (Karen Peck and New River). Since my picks for the three strongest songs of the year (“Once Upon a Cross,” “I Have Been Changed,” and “I Have Not Forgotten”) were not present, I went with this excellent song.
  4. Album: The Ride (Hoppers). In my opinion, this was easily the strongest album on their list.
  5. Mixed Group: Perrys. The thought of voting for the Collingsworth Family did cross my mind, but in the end the Perrys won out.
  6. Male Quartet: Kingdom Heirs, for no particular reason. Several groups here have had amazing years.
  7. Trio: Greater Vision. The Mark Trammell Trio was (unbelievably) not in the top 10.
  8. Duet: Blank. [EDIT: They wouldn’t let me submit the poll without voting here, so I picked Mark Bishop and Lauren Talley.]
  9. Male Singer: Dean Hopper. Not a singer from a traditional traditional quartet made the list.
  10. Female Singer: Connie Hopper. Libbi Perry Stuffle didn’t make the list, or she would have had my vote.
  11. DJ: Rodney Baucom. I heard his station’s live stream a few months back; it was well done.
  12. FM Station: Blank.
  13. AM Station: Blank.
  14. Internet Radio Station: All Quartets Radio.
  15. Satellite Station: Blank.
  16. Songwriter: Joel Lindsey. My two favorites, Dianne Wilkinson and Kyla Rowland, didn’t make the list.
  17. Bluegrass Gospel Artist: Primitives. I picked them over several other similarly good groups because of their consistency.
  18. Country Gospel Artist: Blank. I choose not to listen to secular artists, even if they do put out a hymns album before going back to their standard fare. [EDIT: Since I had to go for someone, I just picked Crossway, since I don’t think they sing secular music.]
  19. Lead Singer: McCray Dove. A couple of my favorites weren’t on the list. Where were Arthur Rice, Ryan Seaton, and Gerald Wolfe?
  20. Tenor: Ernie Haase.
  21. Alto: Libbi Perry Stuffle. Easy call.
  22. Baritone: Mark Trammell. Easy call.
  23. Bass: David Hester. I think he’s the best from that list.
  24. Concert Event: NQC. Easy call.
  25. Album Cover: Come Thirsty (Perrys).
  26. Concert Promoter: Bill Gaither. Try naming anyone else in any genre of Christian better at turning out audiences and assembling a lineup that leaves audiences feeling that they’ve gotten their money’s worth and more, year after year after year.
  27. Young Artist: Brooklyn Collingsworth
  28. Regional Artist: N/A (I can’t believe they let this be an option!)
  29. Comedian: Blank. My favorite, Gerald Wolfe, didn’t make the list.
  30. Place to eat while traveling: My two favorite places–at the house of a friend and Wendy’s–didn’t make the list. I’m not sure I’ve eaten anywhere else while traveling. (Actually, I’ve probably been to a McDonalds.)
  31. Hotel Chain: Blank. No preference.
  32. Biggest category missing in this poll: Pianist. Kim Collingsworth is my pick. I like Stewart Varnado equally, but I seem to be the only one who does since he never seems to be nominated for anything. So among the popular pianists, Kim is my pick.

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15 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. Regional artist is somewhat of a sensless catagory since each voter is not in the same region. There could be 10,000 nominations, with no group getting over 1 vote. Each group could (theoretically) be good enough for the award, but with such a vast audience across the country, the chances of one group prevailling is slim.

  2. Chances are someone will come out with the most votes, by default.

  3. I am a little puzzled as well at the Regional Artist award. It’s a good thought, there are some regional groups that are just as good as full time groups (and better than some!), but the results are skewed by the distribution of votes among regions of the US. Even though a group in the Northeast may be the most deserving group, if most of the votes come from the Southeast, NE group doesn’t have much chance of winning.

  4. Nah, you’re not the only one who likes Stewart, but most people tend to kinda push him to the side because he’s young and not (excuse the choice of words here) all up in your face all the time. I’ll never really understand why he’s not nominated more, but whatever…maybe I’m just a tad bit partial.

  5. Whatever the reason, it’s too bad.

    Ah, well, of all the pianists in Southern Gospel today, he’s the one most likely to stick around for another forty or fifty years. By then he should really be winning awards!

  6. #18– Crossway and Austins Bridge are both full gospel groups.

    I’m glad you picked Crossway though.

  7. Making all the decisions regarding the awards and categories is an ever evolving process and since this marks just our 4th year we are certainly still in the “learning and evolving” mode. I did want to address the Regional Artist question and why I choose to have the category.

    There are a lot of really great artists out there that are not in that A Class artist list for whatever reason. As such they never get any recognition for their work even though many of them are capable of turning out great projects and some performances that often leave some crowds wondering why they were not the “main talent.” I have personally attended some of those events.

    I simply wanted to provide a place for those artists who may just be a couple steps from the main stream to get some recognition for their efforts because at some point every artist was a “Regional Artist.” I guess the name choice was not the best and maybe we should have gone with something like Sunrise/Horizon etc. (People on the West Coast think all Southern Gospel Artists are Regional Artists. LOL! )

    In regards to the (N/A) choice that is a real interesting story. For the first time ever I received an email from a group who didn’t feel that they should be in that category (even though fans placed them there) and requested/demanded to be removed or moved to another “more appropriate” category. I couldn’t make the change in the voting form once voting began and the only changes allowed are spelling. So I changed the group name to N/A to honor their request.

    My biggest “oh my” moment this year? Having a category for best eating joint and not favorite pianists! I have lost a lot of brain cells over the past year I guess….

    That old saying that every publication has its fan base is really true. I was amazed at how some of what I considered obvious choices didn’t even break into the Top 20 much less the Top 10.

    My biggest surprise in all of this is how an artist can win a category one year and then not even make the Top 10 a year or 2 later. I think the trend that I see in all of this is that people often vote for who is in their mind on the day they cast their votes!

    Another big surprise? During the nomination process having to spell out beside “Favorite Mixed Group” that it means male and female. At one point I think Ernie & Signature Sound were just ahead of the Booth Brothers and Three Bridges in the “Mixed Group” category.

    Things I’m still trying to figure out? Too many to list. But one is do we now take the Top 5 from this round of voting and let folks vote on them or do we just run with the leader even if only a fraction of a percent gets them the win from the Top 10? Has southern gospel officially moved from a quartet based genre? I think the voting “Booths” are beginning to say yes. With all the stacks who needs to pay a couple extra guys when you can travel with a choir in a box anyway! LOL!!! (Thanks for voting Daniel.) We are open to any and all suggestions to improve the awards!

  8. Charles,

    Thanks for the explanation. Like I stated above, I think the Regional Artist award is a great thought, and I understand and fully support your reasoning behind the award. I’ll be interested in seeing what happens with the results of that one, and if it is able to accomplish its stated purpose effectively.

  9. Yes, thank you Charles.

  10. Daniel,

    What’s your problem with Gold City. I don’t know if Daniel Riley is the best “part-singer” singing baritone, but he is the best “singer” singing baritone. Like Harrison recently stated, I believe GC has the best overall configuration of singers in SG today…Ladd is amazing…regardless, it seems that you have some kind of bias, to not give them any nod with your votes. Maybe I’m wrong.
    I do commend you for making your ballot public.

  11. GH, it’s not so much that I am opposed to voting for them as that in each category in which they were nominated, I felt that at least one other individual was more deserving of the honor.

    For the record, I consider the Free/Parker/LeFevre/Riley/Jones and Parrack/Wilburn/Trammell/Riley/Parton or Eleton/Riley/Borden lineups to be two of the greatest ever in Southern Gospel, and I hardly dislike the current one. It’s just that in each individual category I found other nominees that I like a little more.

  12. Sorry, but here goes!

    Ladd is the greatest tenor in GC history, and it’s not even close!
    Free owes what he is today to Ivan Parker, who in his heyday was awesome…and carried that group. What’s the deal about Free?
    Before tuning, he could not sing 8 bars with good intonation…hardly a recorded song without bad pitches…and his vocal pleacement was plain bad…he road Parker’s coat-tails.

    It’s close between Trammel and Riley, but not real close. Daniel Riley is THE most underated, under appreciated singer in SG. He is better than 90% of the lead singers out there. It helps that he can pick and choose the tunes he wants to sing lead for, and has JW to carry the load, song after song. They are an amazing 1-2 punch…style wise. Only GVB rivals their talent. But even GVB does not compare to their versatility. GC’s voices have unique personalities, yet blend very well.

    Tim Riley get’s the sympathy vote, but really sang no better than their current bass. No one managed better than Tim…but I’m just talking music.
    No…I accept your explanation: that you are not biased…just don’t agree with your votes.

  13. oh yeh…one more thing…I heard all of the GC groups…LIVE. Many times.
    Liked ’em all…liked Parrack a lot more than Free. This current group is the real deal…and very unappreciated by the industry and many fans.

  14. GospelHog, I won’t go so far as to say that the fans are never wrong, because they sometimes pass by some good talent. But I believe the fans knew what they were doing when they voted the Free and Parrack lineups as the best in Southern Gospel in their respective years.

    As to the current GC, they certainly have the vocal ability, but the fans just don’t respond to progressive music the same way they do the traditional and even semi-traditional material.

  15. I just don’t like it, or think it is acceptable, when people shoot down singers abilities such as Brian Free (one of the best and most unique voices) and Tim Riley ( one of the God Fathers of bass singing).