2010 Singing News Fan Awards: The Results

This year, the Singing News Fan Awards was held at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for the first time; as another first, it was also streamed online via UStream. The UStream statistics showed an average of about 850 watching throughout the show, with a peak of 1150.

There were few surprises in this year’s Fan Awards; in most cases, last year’s winner and/or the expected front-runner won. A complete list of winners is here.

As expected, veteran singer Tony Greene’s relatively sudden passing Tuesday afternoon provided several of the evening’s most emotional moments. Most notably was the quiet but striking statement of faith offered by Tony’s niece Karlye Hopper as she accepted the Favorite Female vocalist award on behalf of her mother, Kim Hopper. She closed by saying she wanted to “thank our Lord for everything He gives us . . . and everything he takes away.”

Little Jan Buckner Goff and Connie Hopper also provided special moments in their Hall of Fame Acceptance speeches. Goff told how she had become an orphan as a child, living in ten different places in the two years after her mother’s passing. She expressed what an honor it was to go, literally, “from an orphanage to the SGMA hall of fame, what an honor.”

Connie Hopper shared how inadequate she felt to be receiving awards and honors, and standing on that stage, expressing how often she felt that she should be in the audience as other, more talented individuals performed and received the honors. She said it was an honor to be in the SGMA Hall of Fame, though she felt unworthy of it, and added: “Hebrews Chapter 11 talks about Heaven’s Hall of Fame – that’s the one I strive for.”

The oddest moment of the night was provided by a third Hopper, Claude: In an apparent Fan Awards reference, Hopper, who is a National Quartet Convention board member, began his acceptance speech for the Hoppers’ Mixed Group award by stating that this would be his last chance to “do this” until next September, in Louisville at the National Quartet Convention.

“If You Knew Him,” co-written by Joseph Habedank and Rodney Griffin and performed by the Perrys, was both the Song of the Year and the de facto song of the night. Based on the low-resolution video/audio feed, it was the song that appeared to get the strongest response (and a standing ovation) when it was performed, and there was also a standing ovation when it was named song of the year. This win, the Perrys’ first for Song of the Year, is sure to cement the song as a signature song both for the group and for its co-author and featured vocalist, Joseph Habedank.

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44 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Well, I never got around to voting, so what can I say about Greater Vision’s scarcity. 🙂 I hope that we see good things this year with Chris Allman on board.

    I plan to buy some CD’s before Springside’s discount goes off this week.

  2. I would really have liked to see the Collingsworth family take home mixed group this year, but perhaps next year.

    Was really surprised that Gus Gaches didn’t win Horizon Individual!

    The Booth Brothers didn’t surprise anybody… I think they have a lock on favorite trio for at least another couple years… class act though. Michael had some great words—you just have to love that guy.

    Karlye’s speech was indeed moving. What a young lady she’s becoming.

  3. For me, I was happy to see Sam Goodman go into the Hall of Fame along side his family. Special moment for two sons who lost their dad nearly 20 years ago, to now accept his induction into the Hall. Very neat. Kris Goodman made the statement that 20 years ago, September 18, Rusty, Sam, Howard & Vestal sang together for the last time, and now they are together again.

    • Twenty years!! Have I been around for that long? Rusty passed away first, right? I guess I don’t remember when that happened, just that my dad has always talked about it. Twenty years ago I would have been six.

      • Yeah, hard to believe. Rusty died in November 1990, followed by Sam in August (I think) of 1991. Howard, who was the oldest, outlived all seven of his brothers and sisters. He died in 2002 and Vestal followed in 2003. As far as their last appearance together, it wasn’t really a planned event. It certainly wasn’t thought to be their final appearance as the Happy Goodmans. Rusty was in the final stages of his bout with cancer and several of his friends and had organized a benefit concert, to help with the mounting medical costs. Rusty sat through the whole concert and toward the end of the concert he told the folks he wanted to sing with the Family. Howard & Vestal, and Sam joined him on “I Believe He’s Coming Back”. There is video of the song and it gives me chills everytime I watch it. From the date of the final appearence, one year later both Rusty and Sam would be gone. Just glad they’re all together again, both in Heaven and in the HOF.

  4. Oh yeah, and forgot to mention that there was another touching moment when Triumphant won best quartet and Clayton Inman was giving the acceptance speech. Clayton paused, and Scotty leaned over and said he just wanted to honor his father for the example he had given Scotty and for his service to the genre. Great father/son moment—Scotty was visibly moved.

    • First Class as always!

  5. Interesting that the winning song had two groups of fans voting for it — those from the Perrys and Greater Vision:

    2010 SN Top 10 Song Nominations

    1. He Locked The Gates Kingdom Heirs
    2. I’ll Pray For You Whisnants
    3. If You Knew Him Perrys Almost Morning
    4. It Pays To Pray Greater Vision
    5. Peace In The Shelter Booth Brothers
    6. The Son Came Down Inspirations
    7. When The Trumpet Sounds Triumphant Quartet
    8. When They Found Nothing Legacy Five
    9. Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along Karen Peck & New River
    10. You Must Have Met Him Brian Free

    • Yes, but only sort of, since straight-ticket GV voters would have voted for GV’s own song, also penned by Rodney Griffin.

      • “If You Knew Him” has emotional impact, but the first verse and chorus sound like they could actually belong to two different songs. However, “It Pays to Pray” is one of Rodney’s best songs; it’s ironic that it didn’t win!

      • I didn’t hear anyone mention it as among the two or three most likely to win, and I believe you’re the first person I’ve ever heard describe it as one of Rodney’s best songs.

      • I wouldn’t say it’s number one (“He’ll Carry Me” is certainly higher on the list), but “It Pays to Pray” almost sounds like it could be recorded by Brooklyn Tabernacle, so it’s at least one of his best.

      • Are we operating under an initial assumption that everything the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has recorded or could record must be stellar? Sorry, the logician in me is just wondering… 😉

      • New SoGo Fan, instead of your assumption (not my intent) let’s put it this way:

        If a Rodney Griffin song sounds like it has the potential to be recorded outside SG (by anyone, Brooklyn Tab or otherwise), that’s a good thing — and a goal for writers. I don’t love the word “pay” in this context, but it’s a common phrase used for a specific purpose.

        “It Pays to Pray” also has a deep personal testimony behind it, and I think Rodney tells the story on the Live at Oak Tree Greater Vision Project.

        I’d agree with Shane Sparks that “My Name Is Lazarus” might be his best ever — because he delivered on a GREAT idea.

      • Personally I prefer the older one, “(Don’t Ever Give up) Just Pray.”

        Some of those songs seem like they’ve already been around forever; I wonder if that doesn’t factor into the voting.

      • I also consider that a better-crafted song.

      • I Think “My Name is Lazarus” is hands down Rodneys’ best song…it was one of those “turning point” songs in Southern Gospel it changed everything…coming into the the 2000’s

      • Oh, yeah. That was THE song.

        There are others that maybe have individual aspects that are better, but that was some song.

      • Maybe “My Name is Lazarus” will grow on me… meanwhile, the cadencing seems a bit awkward on the last line. The word “Lazarus” is pronounced “LA-ZA-RUS” with an equal emphasis on all syllables, when really it should be pronounced, “LA-zarus.”

        I admit though that cadencing can be a bugger, so I sympathize.

      • It’s hard to believe that you weren’t too enthralled with your first listening to even hear that by the time you got to the end! (Just kidding, kind of.) I guess that song was big back when I was in my teens, and I didn’t listen to it critically. I still get a faint little thrill when I hear it come on, even after all these listens and all these years.

  6. Did anyone else hear Charlie Waller say “last count there were 32,000 watching online?” Even if he meant “hundred” instead of “thousand” that’s triple what was showing up on my screen. It was around 800-1100ish like Daniel said….

    Where did he get that number from?

    And was it just me or did Michael Booth pretty much say “stop voting for me”. If so, I applaud him. I love the Booth Brothers. I have driven 4 hours, one-way to hear them sing. I will do it again, first chance I get. I own every project they have ever made and consider them my favorite group, but come on. Let’s have some originality and think outside of the box a little or something. Michael Booth is one of the most sincere (and funny at the same time) people but does he really deserve the tenor award 3 years in a row? I guess that’s why they call it favorite and not “best”, huh? It just seems like when it comes to this voting it comes in waves of one group then another. I would like to see it spread around more. I doubt there is vote “fixing” as some have screamed, so it’s “our” “fault” I guess…

    Also, I think the Booth Brothers deserve Artist of the year. To me that award should be the gold standard of groups and the Booth Brothers certainly fit that bill. It should be the group that if you are introducing someone to Southern Gospel they are one of, if not the, first choice. But I personally think that if you win Artist of the year you shouldn’t be able to win the other group category that you fit in(i.e. they won “Trio” also). I mean isn’t it a given that if you win Artist of the Year that you are the “Favorite” in your category as well. So why give them virtually the same award twice. Give Trio to one of the other groups.

    Just some thoughts…

    • Perhaps there was a discrepancy between the statistics Charlie Waller was watching and the statistics UStream was displaying publicly for all of us.

      Also, possibly the statistics he had counted someone as a new user each time they reloaded or refreshed the page, which I did numerous times throughout the ceremony (whenever the feed froze!)

    • Yes, he pretty much said to stop voting for him. I agree – very classy.

    • I like what you said about Artist of the Year—that the artist should be one of the first to come to mind when you’re introducing somebody new to the genre. They should epitomize what the genre is all about, with quality and class. Booth Brothers certainly qualify!

    • Applause for Michael Booth. He has shown true humility and appreciation for the fans of gospel, and the UTMOST respect for his fellow artists. If only Kim Hopper would be so gracious and not accept her reward, and tell people to quit voting for her. 15 years is enough. She should pass the torch and quit acting so “honored” or “shocked” every year she wins favorite female singer/soprano etc.

      • Three cheers for Michael, indeed, but why the sarcasm over Kim? She seems like a sincere, godly, humble Christian lady, and frankly under the circumstances I believe your remarks are uncalled for.

      • Wait a minute, Brad, she all but did one or two years back, when she said (as I recall) in the same speech both that (a) the day would come when she wouldn’t be up there any more and she was fine with that, and (b) TaRanda Greene was her favorite soprano. She emphasized that in such a way that I took it in the context of being a pretty clear hint.

      • My bad. Didn’t hear that speech. The last fan awards I was at was 2008 NQC. As for the circumstances, I mean no disrespect to the family of Tony Green. AWESOME man and friend to many.

      • Okay – thanks for the clarification. Honest mistake (and we all make those!)

      • No problem Brad, sorry if I sounded sharp… I’m the feisty, loud-mouthed one around here (kind of the opposite of Daniel, LOL).

  7. It was fun watching online. So nice that was offered! I didn’t even mind the little sound glitches. Would have liked to be there, but still fun to at least get to watch.

  8. It really is time for TaRanda to win Favorite Soprano. No one in SG can touch her vocally, IMHO…

    • I completely agree…Let’s start a “Vote Taranda” movement…

      She got, and will continue to get, my vote, and from what others have stated, Kim Hopper’s as well…

    • I agree Chris…..

  9. I know this is off-topic, but seeing this is the fan awards and a lot of news was going around, one news item from the last cuple months hasn’t been reported. Jason Prisk retired from DayBreak. He was the only original member left with the group. I forget his replacement’s name, but the story is on their website.

    • That surprises me! I had not heard.

    • I’m not aware of who DayBreak is.

      • That’s the group Joel Wood was with before he joined the Mark Trammell Quartet.

  10. Will Singing News be re-airing the online broadcast of the Fan Awards? If so, when?

    • I was wondering that myself Meagan ‘cuz I missed Michael Booth’s acceptance speech for favorite tenor… big-time bummer…

  11. It was a great show. some strange moments, also a few lil’ subliminal messages! SOOOO happy to see the most under rated LEAD Singer of all-time be inducted in the H.O.F. Danny Gaither! By the way I think Rodneys brightest moment so far has been “He Had To Rise” incredible lyric that gets overlooked a lot, when this discussion comes up.

    • That is another tremendous song.

    • Danny Gaither had a truly wonderful voice!

  12. Guess I’m a little late making my remarks about the awards program but we stayed in PF several days. I personally think this was the BEST Fan Awards program that I have ever witnessed. There was a lot more freedom for SN & SGMA at Dollywood than there is at NQC. At Dollywood they had the theater and didn’t have to share the program. It was run smoother than anyother awards show I’ve ever witnessed. I go to both NQC and Dollywood and for one would prefer the awards program to remain at Dollywood. For those that were at Dollywood that day Southern Gospel Music was provided through out the park all day. There was something to do even if you didn’t attend the awards program. There were 12 groups performing that day in different venues plus the groups that performed at the awards program.