Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

2017Everything that needs to be said of Southern Gospel music in 2016 is said.  Lets take one last look at the year that was and look ahead to 2017.

Some Stats:

NelonsTop Five Read Posts of 2016

  1. In Honor:  Steve French
  2. VOTING: Greatest Songwriter: Championship Round
  3. Is It Time For Acceptance In Southern Gospel Music?
  4. Stronger Together:  Nelons
  5. NQC 2016:  Thursday Night Recap

**The greatest songwriter search/series was the biggest blog feature of 2016.  In the end, Dottie Rambo claimed the title.  Album reviews and NQC recaps continued to be some of the most read features.

vocalevent2015whispers150Ten Most Played Southern Gospel Songs of 2016

  1. “I Have Decided” – Jay Parrack & Vocal Event
  2. “One Way, One Name, One Door” – Down East Boys
  3. “Small Town Someone (Lunch)” – Jeff & Sheri Easter
  4. “I Know” – Kingsmen
  5. “Jesus, The One” – Hoppers
  6. “Reassure Me” – Dunaways
  7. “He Won’t Leave You There” – Jason Crabb
  8. “Just To Save Me” – Wisecarvers
  9. “Just Can’t Make It By Myself” – Nelons
  10. “Jesus Never Fails” – Cana’s Voice

**I present the fab five feature at the start of every month to let you know the most played Southern Gospel radio songs in my musical playlists.  I get asked on occasion what I am currently listening to and this allows me to let the readers know.  These were the ten most played songs of the entire year.

rambos1972 (199x200)In Honor of those who passed in 2016

  1. Norman Almand (Artist-Rebels Quartet)
  2. Earl Brewer (Artist-Harvesters Quartet)
  3. Miles Cooper (Artist-Pine Ridge Boys)
  4. Ralph Dean (Concert Promoter)
  5. Boyce Flener (Artist-Crossmen Quartet)
  6. Steve French (Artist-Kingdom Heirs)
  7. Joe Moscheo (Artist-Imperials/Prophets Quartet)
  8. Buck Rambo (Artist-Rambos)
  9. Tina Sadler-Stark (Songwriter)
  10. Gail Shelby (Artist-Eternal Vision)
  11. Ira Smith (Artist-Dixie Echoes)
  12. Scott Spangler (Artist-Naomi & Segos)
  13. Jerry Lee Starnes (Artist-Truthseekers Quartet)
  14. D. John Stolzfus (Concert Promoter)
  15. Carl Whitman (Artist-Trav’lers Quartet)

Looking ahead to features you will find in 2017

  • 4th Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors
  • Album Reviews
  • Annual Countdown of Southern Gospel’s Best Albums/Recorded Songs
  • Commentary Series: The Evangelical church and Southern Gospel’s future
  • Most Overrated Southern Gospel Artist Series
  • Musical Playlists:  Track of the Week
  • Southern Gospel Tidbits Feature
  • And Much, Much More….

**I want to thank everyone who stopped by the blog in 2016.  This year had to most views/site visitors of any year I have been doing the blog.  I will continue as long as you continue to stop by.

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Best Of 2016: #1

11th-hourThanks once again for indulging me and allowing me to present one of my favorite features of the year.  Today, crowns the best of the best; the #1 album and recorded Southern Gospel song of 2016.

When I first heard this album in February, I knew it would be hard pressed to find another recording to top its caliber.  As the year progressed, many great albums came along but none had quite enough to take the crown.

Ranked #1 as Southern Gospel’s best album of the year is 11th Hour’s, What A Moment.  11th Hour garnered Southern Gospel’s best vocal duo/trio by the readers of this blog as we celebrated the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors. Congrats to 11th Hour on a phenomenal year and giving Southern Gospel music a phenomenal recording.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “He Welcomes The Beggar”, (2) “When God Shows Up”, (3) “Look At Me Now”, (4) “Love Still Holds Our Scars” and (5) “Can You Burn”.

tributeAfter 42 albums and 464 songs, the song ranked #1 among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2016 is “When The Prodigal Comes Home”.

Lee Black has become one of Southern Gospel’s greatest songwriters and the readers of this blog confirmed that when you chose him best songwriter of 2016 in the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.

“When The Prodigal Comes Home” is his masterpiece brought to life by the vocal talent of Riley Harrison Clark and Tribute Quartet.

Best Of 2016: #2

isaacsWe are one day away from crowning the best Southern Gospel album and recorded song of 2016.  But, first lets see who claims the runner-up spots.

The Isaacs gave listeners a sixteen song collection this year with the album, Nature’s Symphony In 432.  Much has already been said regarding the tuning used to record the album.  To the average listener, you will not notice any significant difference.

The Isaacs never disappoint when offering listeners new music.  Becky and Sonya have collaborated to write some of the best material of their career.  Ranked 2nd among the best Southern Gospel albums of 2016 is Nature’s Symphony In 432.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “Rocks”, (2) “I Love You More”, (3) “Keep Breathing”, (4) “Dining With The King” and (5) “Lord Of My Heart”.

hoppers-2There has been some great material recorded in 2016.  When I started this annual countdown, I mentioned there were 464 songs found on the 42 albums I reviewed.

When the dust settled, the song ranked 2nd among the best of the year was the Hoppers, “If We Ever Gotta Look”.  It has been a long time since a single song invaded my musical playlists as much as “If We Ever Gotta Look”.

Phil Cross and Tery Wilkins came together to pen this song that will linger for years to come.

Best Of 2016: #3

hoppersFor all those enjoying the week off to celebrate the holidays; thanks for stopping by.  And for all those having to work this week; I see you’re sneaking a peek at work.  Today we honor the album and recorded song ranked 3rd among the best in Southern Gospel music for 2016.

The Hoppers took four years, since Count Me In (2012), to give listeners an album of new music.  2016 also saw the Hoppers pair with Daywind Records to release Life Is Good.

Life Is Good hearkens long time Hoppers listeners back to albums like Power (2000), Great Day (2003) and The Ride (2006).  The Hopper legacy will celebrate 60 years in 2017.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “If We Ever Gotta Look”, (2) “Jesus, The One”, (3) “By And By”, (4) “Grace Will Get To You” and (5) “Song Of Moses”.

debThe Down East Boys proved yesterday why they are one of the best of 2016 when Ransomed ranked 4th among the best albums released this year.

The best up-tempo Southern Gospel quartet song of the year is from the Down East Boys, “One Way, One Name, One Door”.

This song, penned by Roger Duncan, ranks 3rd among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2016.

Best Of 2016: #4

debI trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday in time spent with family and friends.  Before we begin the new year, we have to close out the old.  Today, we take a look at the album and recorded song ranked 4th among the best of 2016 in Southern Gospel music.

The Down East Boys have always seemed to carry the moniker of most underrated.  No matter how great the quartet music they release, Southern Gospel listeners tend to gravitate to other quartets.

That needs to stop because the Down East Boys has the best Southern Gospel quartet album released in 2016; Ransomed.

Top (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “One Way, One Name, One Door”, (2) “The Song Of The Ransomed”, (3) “I Still Remember”, (4) “That Wonderful Land” and (5) “Now A Witness Am I”.

l5Legacy Five already landed in the annual countdown when their 2016 album release, In The Hands Of A Carpenter, ranked 10th.  Readers of this blog also chose “In The Hands Of A Carpenter” as best recorded song in the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.

“In The Hands Of A Carpenter” also finds a home in my annual countdown, as it ranks 4th among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of the year.

Lee Black and Jerry Salley penned this masterpiece, sung by Legacy Five pianist, Trey Ivey.

Best Of 2016: #5

nelonsWe have made it to the best of the best; the top 5 albums and recorded songs of 2016.  After listening/reviewing 42 albums and hearing 464 songs found on those 42 albums; these top the list.

The Nelons defied logic when they decided to release two new albums in the same year, at the same time.  It may have paid off because both albums were among the top ten albums released in 2016.

Ranked 5th among the best albums of the year is Stronger Together.  The song selection was a bit stronger than the album ranked 9th (Family Harmony).

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “Family Chain”, (2) “Angels Hover Near You”, (3) “My Father’s House”, (4) “You Can’t Make Old Friends” and (5) “I Think I’ll Read It Again”.

hoppersAfter a four-year hiatus, the Hoppers finally release an album of new music.  2016 saw the release of Life Is Good.

The Hoppers also teamed with songwriter Paula Stefanovich, who gave them their career song “Jerusalem”, to pen the song ranked 5th among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of the year.

“Jesus, The One” was released months in advance and even became a #1 hit on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart before the album hit retailers.

Best Of 2016: #6

tribute-qtThe Tribute Quartet fared well in the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.  The readers of this blog chose Riley Harrison Clark best tenor vocalist and Here For You the best album of 2016

It just so happens that your choice for album of the year ranks 6th among the best album releases in my annual countdown.  The Tribute Quartet released the best album of their career thus far with Here For You.

The song selection and production value is also the best of their career thus far.  As the countdown draws to a close, Here For You ranks as one of the best Southern Gospel quartet albums of the year.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “When The Prodigal Comes Home”, (2) “God Of The Storms”, (3) “Nothing Stops The Savior’s Love”, (4) “Never Forsaken” and (5) “Grace At Its Best”.

isaacsIt seems every year the Isaacs release a new album, it is recognized as one of the best of the year.  2016’s, Nature’s Symphony In 432 has already given one song to the annual countdown.

The second song from the recording to be recognized among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of the year is track #9; “Rocks”.

One of the best songs I have heard recently that flat-out says, ‘mind your business’.  Thanks Becky Bowman, Jimmy Yeary and Sonya Isaacs Yeary.

Best Of 2016: #7

mvThe Christmas holiday is fast approaching.  Time off from work will come to most at some point this week.  Thanks for stopping by as we get closer to crowning the best Southern Gospel album and recorded song of 2016.

New quartet Master’s Voice find a home in the annual countdown at #7 with their 2016 release, Undivided.  The group toured as a vocal trio since their inception in 1995.

The group added a bass singer in 2015 making Undivided Master’s Voice first quartet recording.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “Things God Doesn’t Know”, (2) “I Know What He Did For Me”, (3) “This Same Jesus”, (4) “Here I Am Again” and (5) “Goodbye To Goodbye”.

11th-hr11th Hour already scored one song in the year’s annual countdown.  The 2016 album release, What A Moment, sends a second song to the top twenty.

Track #5 from What A Moment, “He Welcomes The Beggar” ranks 7th among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2016.

The song was penned by Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette and Kenna West.