2012 AbsolutelyGospel Awards handed out

AbsolutelyGospel handed out the 2012 AGM Awards last night in a live ceremony including performances from many of the nominees. They have not posted a list of awards on their site yet, and my work schedule today ruled out staying up late to watch the stream. But, from comments on social media, winners included:

  • Professional Songwriter of the Year: Kenna Turner West
  • Performing Songwriters of the Year: Sonya & Becky Isaacs
  • Female Vocalist of the Year: Libbi Perry Stuffle
  • Traditional Song of the Year: “Celebrate Me Home” (Perrys)
  • Song of the Year: “On the Banks of the Promised Land” (Karen Peck & New River, written by Sue C. Smith, David Moffitt, and Jason Dyba)
  • Progressive Song of the Year: “On the Banks of the Promised Land” (Karen Peck & New River)
  • Progressive Album of the Year: Booth Brothers
  • Mixed Group of the Year: Karen Peck & New River
  • Fan Favorite Artist of the Year: Karen Peck & New River
  • Susan Unthank Memorial Award: Karen Peck
  • Male Group of the Year: Triumphant Quartet
  • Musician of the Year: Madison Easter
  • Best Live Performer: Booth Brothers
  • Traditional Album of the Year: Somebody’s Coming (Gold City)
  • Country Song of the Year: “Hear My Heart” (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
  • Album of the Year: Why Can’t We (Isaacs)
  • Country Album of the Year: Why Can’t We (Isaacs)
  • Engineer: Terry Thompson / Scott Godsey (tie)
  • Special Event Project: Christmas Must Be Tonight, Three Bridges

UPDATE: Here’s the complete list. [EDIT, 2/21/13: Broken Link Removed.]

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NQC clarifies NQC Music Awards rules

Last month, the National Quartet Convention announced the new NQC Music Awards. Numerous questions were raised about nominee eligibility, voting eligibility, and other procedures. Yesterday, they posted a document clarifying many of these questions. Highlights include:

  • Rules for the individual vocal part awards (Bass / Baritone / Lead / Tenor / Alto / Soprano) clearly state that eligible nominees shall have performed at that part as a member of a group within the eligibility period. This clarifies a point of confusion which has arisen at points over the Singing News Fan Awards—whether soloists who came to prominence singing a vocal part can still be nominated for that vocal part. This year, at least one soloist is nominated, but as I recall, there have been years when only group members are nominated in the SN Fan Awards.
  • All-female groups are eligible to be nominated for mixed group of the year. 🙂
  • There are fan categories and industry categories. Fan categories will be voted on by fans who subscribe to NQC’s email list. There had been some confusion over who could vote in the industry categories; it was initially understood that NQC exhibitors would vote. Concern was expressed that artists like the Down East Boys, the Freemans, or Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, who might not be exhibiting in a given year, would not have a vote, while jewelry exhibitors would. This has now been clarified: Members of the Southern Gospel Music Guild, whether or not present, can vote. Only exhibitors judged by a procedural committee to be “experienced and knowledgeable about the Southern Gospel Music field” will have a professional vote.
  • Intriguingly, the Songwriter of the Year award will be determined neither by industry nor fan vote. Rather, radio airplay and sales charts will be tabulated to reflect the songwriter “whose song(s) has/have had the most activity on the radio and sales charts during the eligibility period.”
  • Just as intriguingly, similar criteria will not be used for producer of the year; this will be determined by industry vote.
  • Confusion remains over Song of the Year. Early in the document, it is listed as a fan-voted category. But later in the document, under the “Voting Base” section, the rules state: “The exception will be for the Song of the Year Category which will be determined by tabulation of radio and sales chart activity and the Les Beasley Impact Award which will be determined by the professional members of the Southern Gospel Music Guild.”

The hybrid of fan- and industry-voted awards will make this show intriguing. Meanwhile, the size of the NQC voting base and the size of the audience in attendance, watching the awards ceremony, give this show an immediate level of credibility that, say, an awards show started by SouthernGospelBlog.com would have to build over years or decades!

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Singing News announces 2012 Fan Awards Top 10

Singing News announced the Top 10 nominees in the 2012 Fan Awards yesterday evening. 

Most notably, Tribute Quartet has a net 5 nomination gain over their 2011 nomination count. This is on the strength of their breakout album The Waiting is Over (reviewed here)—cementing that album’s status as a breakout.

The Inspirations tied for the net 5 nomination gain over 2011; this is largely since the Hosterman/Ragan/Epley/Holcomb has stayed together for long enough that their fans to know and nominate the names of the new members.

Three artists had a net three-nomination gain: The Browns, Legacy Five (thanks to Trey Ivey), and Wilburn and Wilburn. 

I had a little too much spare time on my hands while waiting on election results last night, so I broke each category’s returns down to see year-to-year change. Click on “more reading” to see the full breakdown.

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Jason Crabb, Isaacs to perform at Dove Awards

The Dove Awards’ PR agency distributed a press release yesterday announcing hosts and performers for the 43rd annual Dove Awards. The ceremony will be April 19 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia; co-hosts will be Christian comedian Chonda Pierce and David Mann (an actor—regrettably, not our genre’s David Mann.) Jason Crabb and the Isaacs will both perform.

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NQC announces NQC Music Awards

The National Quartet Convention just announced that they are creating a new awards show, the NQC Music Awards. These awards will be presented during the Friday afternoon showcases in Freedom Hall during NQC week.

The NQC Music Awards will have both a fan-based and a professional component. All fans signed up to their email list will be able to cast ballots. In addition, Industry Awarded Categories will be “determined by the music professionals that participate as exhibitors during the National Quartet Convention.” (That’s a unique solution to the challenging problem of how one defines a professional!)

These awards will be presented in conjunction with the Southern Gospel Music Guild, which will determine category criteria and screen entries for eligibility. The SGMG’s professional members will also vote on an annual award honoring a person or company which has made a significant impact in the field of Gospel Music; this award will be termed the Les Beasley Award.

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Saturday News Roundup #104

Worth Knowing

  • Karen Peck & New River: Joyful Noise, the movie including an appearance by Karen Peck, was #4 in the box office last week. The soundtrack, featuring the musical performances from the movie, was #1 on Billboard’s Soundtrack Bestsellers list.
  • Kingdom Heirs: Here’s a concert review from a very impressed Cayman Compass newspaper reporter after their Grand Cayman Islands appearance.
  • Awards: AbsolutelyGospel announced their 2012 Ovation Awards nominees. Voting will open February 1. [EDIT, 2/21/13: Broken Link Removed.]
  • Awards: The Christian Voice Magazine awards nominations are open now, here. [EDIT, 4/18/13: Broken link removed.]
  • Awards: The Diamond Awards nominations are open now, here.

Worth Watching

Here’s a first look at the Ball Brothers with new baritone Andy Tharp:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!


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Revival Awards winners announced

Earlier this year, Friday Night Revival launched the Revival Awards. The focus is to recognize categories not included in the Singing News Fan Awards. The winners were posted this morning, here. They are:

  • Non-Performing Songwriter: Dianne Wilkinson
  • Most Creative Project: Declaration – Booth Brothers
  • Most Re-Invented Group: Mark Trammell Quartet
  • Best Table Project: Treasures – Mark Trammell Quartet
  • Session Pianist: Gordon Mote
  • Best Live Recording: Jubilee 2 – Booth Brothers/Greater Vision/Legacy Five
  • Best Arranger: Lari Goss
  • Best Engineer: Van Atkins
  • Best Producer: Wayne Haun
  • Most Creative Re-Interpretation of a Song: You Are My All In All – Gaither Vocal Band
  • Best Easy-Listening Song: Love Came Calling – Triumphant Quartet
  • Best Youtube Moment: Chris Allman Sings “Hallelujah Square” First Night Back in Myrtle Beach at the Urging of the Late Tony Greene
  • Best Original Heaven Song: Celebrate Me Home – Perrys
  • Best Original Crucifixion Song: Never Walk Alone – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Best Original Up-Tempo Song: The Love of God For Me – Nelons
  • Best Original Power Ballad: What About Now – Booth Brothers
  • Best Emcee: Gerald Wolfe
  • Most Dynamic Performer: Jason Crabb

In a unique twist, the top three in each category were posted. Read the whole list here.

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Singing News Fan Awards announced: Live Blog

The Singing News Fan Awards are being presented this afternoon in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

  • Favorite Musician: Jeff Stice. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Young Artist: Courtney Collingsworth. Brooklyn took the award home last year; this year, it was her equally talented sister’s turn. Unlike last year, when the family was not present and booking agent Michael Davis had to step forward to accept on Brooklyn’s behalf, Courtney was present in person to accept. Best tweet: Joseph Habedank’s “The 2011 Favorite Young Artist of the year is… Courtney Collingsworth. She should join the Booth Brothers. CONGRATS!”
  • Favorite Tenor: Michael Booth. No surprises there! Classic Michael: “You should at least be high enough to sing lead for Brian Free & Assurance to hold this trophy!”
  • Horizon Group: Ball Brothers. It’s well-deserved. They have taken the slow and steady course to get here, and their patience and persistence has paid off.
  • Favorite Baritone: Jim Brady. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Soprano: Kim Hopper. No surprises there! She dedicated it to her little brother, Tony Greene, who passed away a year ago today: “This is for you … I want you to take it and lay it at the feet of Jesus.” Emotional moment for sure!
  • Horizon Individual: Courtney Collingsworth. This is the first time any individual has won Horizon Individual and Favorite Young Artist in the same year. Wow! Courtney’s acceptance speeches must be the production team’s dream: Heartfelt, but also to the point.
  • Favorite Male Singer: Ronnie Booth. No surprises there! He told a story of an eight-year-old boy who was dying of cancer; one of the final things he told his father was, “Daddy, tell Mr. Ronnie and Mr. Jim and Mr. Michael to look for me at Jesus’ feet.” Ronnie said, “That’s why we do what we do.” Another emotional moment!
  • Favorite Bass: Eric Bennett. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Lead Singer: Ronnie Booth. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Alto: Libbi Perry Stuffle. She’s won four times in the last decade, as has Sheri Easter. Debra Talley has won twice. So it’s not a huge surprise, but was slightly less a lock than some of the other categories.
  • Favorite Mixed Group: Hoppers. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Female Singer: Kim Hopper. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Traditional Quartet: Triumphant Quartet. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Soloist: Ivan Parker. No surprises there!
  • Templeton-Norcoss Award: Peg McKamey Bean. Well-deserved!
  • Favorite Trio: Booth Brothers. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Band: Gaither Band. This is intriguing; evidently the fans voted for the band with whom they connected on the personality level. Gaither’s guitarist (Kevin Williams) and pianist (Gordon Mote) are both technically superb musicians. But, in all likelihood, fans voted for them because they like the way Gaither works them into his comedy routines.
  • Favorite Songwriter: Rodney Griffin. No surprises there!
  • Favorite Song: “Love Came Calling,” Triumphant Quartet. Slight surprise; some didn’t expect them to win, since they had two songs up.
  • Favorite Album: Love Came Calling, Triumphant Quartet. Another slight surprise.
  • Favorite Artist: Booth Brothers. No surprises there!
Statistical notes:
  • This is Kim Hopper’s fifteenth consecutive favorite soprano win. This brings her into a tie with Roger Bennett for most wins at a position.
  • As noted above, this year is the first year an artist won both Horizon Individual and Young Artist.

Now I thought I was being relatively concise in my coverage, but Jared Stuffle has me beaten fair and square. He managed to list (virtually) all the winners in five words: “Awards are over…nothing different.” 

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Singing News may cancel live stream of Fan Awards

The Singing News Fan Awards are at 3 P.M. ET tonight in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They had announced that live video of the program would be streamed on their website. However, they just posted that technical issues  may prevent this.

They will still post an on-demand video after the fact, as soon as tomorrow. An hour-delayed audio feed will also be streamed on Solid Gospel, starting at 4 P.M. ET.

This situation may be clarified later today.

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