And The Winners Are…4th Annual Southern Gospel Views From The Back Row Honors

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


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

Joseph Habedank had a huge year!  This is his first win for songwriter of the year.

Album of the Year (had to be a 2017 release)

**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

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

**Kingdom Heirs

The Kingdom Heirs and Triumphant went back and forth the entire time polls were open.  Kingdom Heirs came out on top.

Artist – Soloist

**Joseph Habedank

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!

Vocalist – Alto

**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.

Vocalist – Lead

**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**.


VOTE: Best Of 2017: Mixed Group/Quartet/Album Cover Design

Today, starts the voting for best mixed group, quartet and album cover design.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/05/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

The Southern Gospel Notebook: November 1989

Happy Thursday.  I can’t believe its November.  Sorry for my hit and miss postings.  Life is busy, busy, busy at the moment.

I thought I would at least change the music on the sidebar.  How about we go into my Southern Gospel notebook.  As a kid, into my teen years, I wrote down my twenty favorite songs every month.

I started this in July 1982 and continued until December 1994.  Today’s post is a notebook entry from November 1989.  Enjoy!

**Music is on the sidebar as a playlist**

NQC 2017: Saturday Night Recap

The 2017 edition of the National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  The final night brought some good memories.  Here are the hits and misses.

  • The reunion segments were all noteworthy this evening.  Great to see both Tim Riley and Jay Parrack during the Gold City reunion.
  • The Perrys line-up of 30 years ago started their reunion segment.  I remember seeing the group for the first time during this era.
  • The Nelons segment honoring Rex Nelon was also strong.  Going through many of the group’s early signature songs was awesome!
  • Outside the reunion segments, the Isaacs had a strong set.  Everything from the Hebrew song to the rousing “He Ain’t Never Done Me Nothing But Good”.
  • The Kingdom Heirs proved at the end of the night that you don’t need tracks.  It would be nice to hear more of that in Southern Gospel music.

  • Since it was the end of the week, listeners were treated to a bunch of recycled songs that had already been performed during the week.
  • I don’t know if anyone else did, but there were webcast issues all evening.  it would freeze, then crash and freeze again and I guarantee you it wasn’t my internet connection.
  • You think they would have chosen a closing song that all the artists on stage, knew.


**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’d Rather Have Jesus” – Blackwood Brothers  (2) “I’m Not Giving Up” – Gold City  (3) “When The Prodigal Comes Home” – Tribute Quartet  (4) “We Shall Reign” – Perrys  (5) “Never No Never” – Joseph Habedank  (6) “He Is Mine And I Am His” – Hoppers  (7) “I Have A Father Who Can” – Isaacs  (8) “I Love You More” – Isaacs  (9) “Come Morning” – Nelons  (10) “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down” – Nelons  (11) “Give Me Jesus” – Ernie Haase and Signature Sound  (12) “I Know He Heard My Prayer” – Kingdom Heirs (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (13) “Jesus The One” – Hoppers

Best Set of the Night:  The Isaacs

The Southern Gospel Notebook: September 1986

Happy Wednesday.  It is time to change the music on the sidebar.  How about we go into my Southern Gospel notebook.  As a kid, into my teen years, I wrote down my twenty favorite songs every month.

I started this in July 1982 and continued until December 1994.  Today’s post is a notebook entry from September 1986.  These were my twenty favorite songs.  Enjoy!

**Music is on the sidebar as a playlist**

Song Hall Of Fame: “Bring My Children Home”

Hall of Fame (350x202)The month of June is just around the corner.  It is time for me to honor another of Southern Gospel’s greatest compositions by placing it into the Southern Gospel song hall of fame.

Today’s inductee goes back to 1988.  “Bring My Children Home” was recorded by the Nelons on the album, Get Ready.

Not only is Get Ready one of the greatest albums in the Nelons discography, “Bring My Children Home” happens to be one of the greatest songs the group recorded.

This masterpiece was penned by Jerry Thompson.

2017 Song Of The Year??

I’m back!  One week ago Singing News announced the top ten list for the 2017 edition of the fan awards.  The only category I follow each year is song of the year.

This year’s nominees included:

  1. “Calling” – Karen Peck & New River (#1)
  2. “He Does” – Greater Vision (#3)
  3. “I Love You This Much” – Whisnants (#3)
  4. “If We Ever Gotta Look” – Hoppers (#7)**
  5. “It’s What He’s Done” – Wilburn & Wilburn (#1)**
  6. “Living In The Promised Land” – Triumphant Qt (#3)
  7. “My Father’s House” – Nelons (#7)**
  8. “Never Forsaken” – Tribute Qt (#1)**
  9. “Somebody’s Miracle” – Brian Free & Assurance (#4)
  10. “Still” – Legacy Five (#4)**

As is the case every year, Daywind Records dominated the song category claiming 8 of the 10 nominees.  Above I highlighted the peak spots on the chart as of the announcement.  The ** signifies the five songs deserving of making it to the final round.

Two songs deserving of a top ten spot were, “Home” by Jason Crabb and “He Welcomes The Beggar” by 11th Hour.  What songs did you feel were overlooked this year?