Now that we are officially halfway through the annual countdown of Southern Gospel’s best albums, I thought I would take today and officially announce the winners in the 4th annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors. I picked the nominees, you picked the winners
AND THE BEST OF 2017 IS:
Recorded Song of the Year (song recorded on a 2017 album, did not have to be a radio single)
**”Here He Comes” – Chris Cohn, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood; recorded by Joseph Habedank (Resurrection)
I consider recorded song of the year the highest honor in this presentation. Chris Cohn, Joseph Habedank and Tony Wood are given that honor in 2017 for penning, “Here He Comes”. And to Joseph Habedank, for bringing the song to life for listeners.
Single of the Year (had to be on the radio singles chart from January to December 2017)
**”Never Made A Promise” – Lee Black, Sue C Smith, Kenna West; recorded by the Kingdom Heirs (Something Good)
Loren Harris’ return to Southern Gospel music was just what the Kingdom Heirs needed. Voters thought so as well.
Song Cover of the Year (a previously recorded song covered on a 2017 album release)
**”My Hope Is In The Blood” – Perrys (Testament); Reagan Riddle
The Perrys took one of the most popular Primitive Quartet songs and made it sound brand new.
Joseph Habedank had a huge year! This is his first win for songwriter of the year.
**Resurrection – Joseph Habedank (Daywind)
Give another win to Joseph Habedank as he was awarded best album of 2017. Joseph won every category he was nominated in.
Album Cover Design (best album artwork/cover design from a 2017 release)
**Resurrection – Joseph Habedank
I like to honor the graphic designers/photographers who create album covers and add a little something special to a great recording. Aesthetic’s are important. The win for Joseph Habedank’s Resurrection, belongs to Jeremy Ryan (photographer) and Blake Bennett (graphic design).
Artist – Breakthrough (New)
The closest margin of victory in this year’s honors was the Wisecarvers beating out Master’s Voice for breakthrough artist of the year.
Artist – Duo/Trio (no more than 3 vocalists)
11th Hour picks up their second win in a row for best vocal duo/trio.
Artist – Mixed Group (at least 4 vocalists)
The Perrys returned in full force in 2017 by picking up three wins.
Artist – Quartet
The Kingdom Heirs and Triumphant went back and forth the entire time polls were open. Kingdom Heirs came out on top.
Artist – Soloist
The biggest margin of victory was Joseph Habedank’s win for soloist of the year. Joseph was this year’s biggest winner with five wins!
**Libbi Stuffle (Perrys)
With the Hoppers (Connie) sitting out this year with no new albums (nominations), Libbi Stuffle returned as best alto vocalist.
Vocalist – Baritone
**Mark Trammell (Mark Trammell Quartet)
Mark Trammell won best baritone vocalist marking his third win in four years.
Vocalist – Bass
**Jeff Chapman (Kingdom Heirs)
After winning in 2014, Jeff Chapman returns as best bass vocalist of 2017.
**Bill Shivers (Brian Free & Assurance)
Bill Shivers squeaked out a win over Arthur Rice by a razor-thin margin.
Vocalist – Soprano
**Amber Thompson (Nelons)
This is the 4th annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors and this is the fourth win for Amber Thompson as best soprano vocalist.
Vocalist – Tenor
**Chris Allman (Greater Vision)
After picking up a big win at the 2017 edition of the Singing News fan awards, Chris also takes tenor vocalist for this year’s honors.
**Thanks to all the readers who participated in this year’s honors**.