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SoGospelNews.com Celebrates the Message of the Gospel and Rebrands Itself as AbsolutelyGospel.com

Written by Scoops Staff on April 15, 2010 – 2:11 pm -

Name Change Takes Effect Immediately

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – SoGospelNews.com celebrated the message of Gospel music last night to a standing room only crowd at its annual SGN Music Awards Celebration in Smyrna, Tennessee.  During the evening, SoGospelNews.com President Deon Unthank announced that effective immediately, SoGospelNews.com would officially be known as AbsolutelyGospel.com.

The name change and rebranding of the popular e-zine, the internet’s largest and most expansive Southern Gospel news site, comes on the heels of the the site’s most talked about and buzz-worthy awards celebration to date. Artists, industry personnel, and fans alike were in support of the change at last night’s event.

“A name change and rebranding for SoGospelNews has been inevitable for a long time, and we knew that it had to represent both the music and the message that we all love so much,” mentioned Deon Unthank. “We feel like the phrase ‘absolutely gospel’ conveys both of those sentiments.”

Unthank continued, “There were many factors that went in to making this decision – such as confusion with other similarly named sites and organizations as well just wanting to focus on the message of the music as opposed to being caught up in Southern Gospel industry politics.”

AbsolutelyGospel.com will not change its focus on Southern Gospel music. However, the name change also gives administrators of the site a chance to feature other artists and individuals in the Gospel music community that fans of Southern Gospel have come to love – such as Inspirational, Christian Country, and Black Gospel artists.

“We’ve always been big fans of other genres of music that seemed to go hand in hand with Southern Gospel,” continued Deon Unthank. “We can now let the readers and supporters of the site in on some other great artists that they may have never heard of before. We feel like ‘absolutely gospel’ showcases the message more than industry parameters.”

The site launched a new layout and logo in January as well as the new tag line that simply said “Absolutely Gospel.” Starting today – the site officially flips over to AbsolutelyGospel.com.  In addition, all of the site’s big events – such as the SoGospelNews Music Fest and SGN Music Awards will be rebranded as well. The Absolutely Gospel Music Fest will take place this July in Smyrna, Tennessee, and the AGM Awards Celebration is already scheduled for April 2011.

“We are just so excited about this name change and all the possibilities that come with it,” mentioned Unthank. “The name may have changed, but we’re still the same group of people and writers that our readers have grown to love. That’s not changing.”

Fans can get to the site by either logging in to AbsolutelyGospel.com or the site’s old domain name at SoGospelNews.com.


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The English Family Scores Top 40 Hit with “Send Down Your Angels”

Written by Scoops Staff on March 10, 2010 – 9:41 am -

Hit Song Cracks SoGospelNews.com Top 40 Weekly Chart

BARNESVILLE, Ga. – Georgia-based family group The English Family recently scored their latest Top 40 hit. The group’s current single, “Send Down Your Angels,” recently cracked the SoGospelNews.com Top 40 Weekly Chart – the industry’s most watched weekly radio report.

“Send Down Your Angels” spent five weeks on the chart – peaking at #33 – an impressive run for an independently promoted song without major label backing.  The song has also been a regular fixture on the popular SouthernGospelTimes.com Top 40 Fan Chart.

“Send Down Your Angels” was written by 16-year old group member Jacob English, and it features stellar vocal performances from Jacob and group patriarch Phillip English.

Phillip English of the English Family said, “We have been absolutely humbled by the response that this song has seen at Southern Gospel radio.  This song has been a special part of our concerts and ministry opportunities. We are so proud of Jacob and his accomplishments with this song.”

Much of the success of the song can be attributed to the successful radio promo tour that the family embarked on last year. Throughout the last portion of 2009, the family visited over a dozen stations and logged over 4,000 miles on their bus.  The English Family kicked off their radio promo tour at Sheffield, Alabama’s WBTG before visiting other stations in Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky, and ending up in North and South Carolina.

The song is the group’s debut single from their Mansion Records recording Out of the Wilderness.  The song was released to Southern Gospel radio through Crossroads Music Group’s digital releases and radio compilation disc. “Send Down Your Angels” is being promoted to Southern Gospel radio by Patterson Promotions.

For more information on The English Family – visit them online at http://www.englishfamilyonline.com .


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First List of Performers Announced for 2010 SGN Music Awards Celebration

Written by Scoops Staff on February 23, 2010 – 9:17 pm -

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Deon and Susan Unthank, administrators of SoGospelNews.com, are proud to announce the first list of performers for the 2010 SGN Music Awards Celebration.

Performers for this year’s SGN Music Awards Celebration include The Isaacs, Booth Brothers, Karen Peck & New River, The Perrys, Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Freemans, The Bowling Family (formerly Mike & Kelly Bowling), Soul’d Out Quartet, and McMillan & Life.

Additional performers and hosts are still being confirmed and will be announced at a later date.

“We have so much planned for this year’s awards program,” mentioned Deon Unthank of SoGospelNews.com.  “We will be making a big announcement at the event, so we hope that everyone who can join us, will.”

In addition, the evening will feature a mutli-artist collaboration that will honor the Southern Gospel veterans the Singing Cookes and the legacy that they have left and continue to leave today.

The date for this year’s SGN Music Awards Celebration is Tuesday, April 13, 2010.  The event will again take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennesse and is free to the public.  The awards program will start at 7:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

As far as nominations go, two artists tied for the most nominations among performers this year.  Both The Perrys and Karen Peck & New River landed a stellar nine nominations apiece – more than any other artist this year. 2008’s Pacesetter the Dove Brothers earned eight nods. Following behind those artists were Legacy Five, The Isaacs, and Booth Brothers with seven nominations apiece.  Triumphant Quartet and Brian Free & Assurance both landed six nominations.  Two artists received five nominations – the Bowling Family (formerly Mike & Kelly Bowling) and Talley Trio.

Songwriter and producer Wayne Haun earned the most individual nominations for his work during 2009. Rodney Griffin earned six individual nominations for his songwriting work.  Earning five individual nominations were songwriters Marty Funderburk (2009’s Songwriter of the Year winner) and Rusty Golden. Gospel legend Bill Gaither, songwriter Joel Lindsey, and The Perrys’ lead singer Joseph Habedank all earned four individual nominations.

The Pacesetter Award is awarded to any artist, individual, or organization which has shown great strides in the industry and has raised the bar for others. This year’s nominees for the 2010 Pacesetter are new Gospel music celebration Branson Gospel Music Convention, Crossroads Music Group, SGShowPrep’s Chuck Peters, digital news outlet SGN Scoops Digital, and Vine Records.

For a full list of nominees, visit SoGospelNews.com.

More information on the 2010 SGN Music Awards Celebration will be forthcoming, including hosts, additional performers, and sponsors, etc.


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It’s A BIG 56 for Daywind Music Group In The 2010 SGN Music Award Nominations

Written by Scoops Staff on January 22, 2010 – 2:08 pm -

Hendersonville, TN (January 22 2010) – Nominations were just released for the 2010 SoGospelNews.com’s SGN Music Awards. Daywind Music Group led the field with a huge number of nominations; 56 in all. The SGN Music Awards Celebration will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. The event will take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennessee. It is free to the public. Fans can be a part of the process of choosing the winners by going to SoGospelNews.com and casting their votes beginning on February 1, 2010.

Karen Peck & New River and the Perrys led artist nominees with a stunning nine nominations each in this year’s awards. They were nominated for Song of the Year (“I Want To Thank You”- Karen Peck & New River and “If You Knew Him” – Perrys) and for Album of the Year (No Worries and Almost Morning). Both received nominations for Mixed Group of the Year and Fan Favorite, as well as several other nominations. Legacy Five and the Booth Brothers received seven nominations. Brian Free & Assurance and Triumphant Quartet were close behind with six nominations each. Greater Vision garnered four and the newest group to the Daywind roster, Sisters, received two nominations, one of which includes Breakthrough Artist of The Year. Daywind Music Publishing songwriters Kyla Rowland, Dianne Wilkinson, and Marty Funderburk were among the nominees in the Songwriter of the Year categories and had several nominations for Song of the Year. Ronnie Hinson also had two Song of the Year nominations.

Norman Holland, (A&R Director and Vice President of Daywind Records, expressed his honor on behalf of the artists and writers at Daywind. “It is so evident that combining wonderful talent with heartfelt ministry and incredible songs brings about tremendous success. What an overwhelming list and number of nominations we are celebrating today! We are honored that each of these artists and songwriters are a part of our lives and family here at Daywind.”

The detailed listings of Daywind Music Group nominations are as follows: Read more »


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Dove Brothers’ Hold On Named One of 2009’s Best by SoGospelNews.com

Written by Scoops Staff on January 22, 2010 – 2:05 pm -

Recording Lands On 4 Out of 5 “Staff Picks” Lists

BLADENBORO, N.C. – Multi-award winning quartet the Dove Brothers started 2010 with a bang with news that last year’s release – Hold On – was named one of the best recordings of 2009 according to the staff of SoGospelNews.com.

Hold On
– the Dove Brothers’ 14th studio release – landed on four out of five “Staff Picks” lists – a yearly feature on the popular e-zine that highlight’s the writing staff’s choices for the best releases of the previous year.

Several of the writers had great things to say:

“The Dove Brothers Quartet CD is as good of quartet singing as quartet singing gets,” said Deon Unthank, site administrator and reviewer.

James Hales, longtime reviewer and respected critic stated, “This isn’t the Dove Brothers from 5 years ago, or 10 years ago…this is the Dove Brothers of today. They continue to refresh themselves musically and give listeners something new and exciting with each release.”

“Every time you think you have these guys figured out, they come up with a fresh way to present and brand themselves,” remarked Southern Gospel historian John Scheideman. “This countryesque turn seems to fit them very nicely.”

In addition, the critics praised lead vocalist and group owner/manager McCray Dove’s newfound vocal interpretation as something of which to take note:

Reviewer Chris Unthank said, “The Oak Ridge Boys meet the Statesmen with this release – and McCray Dove has poured out some of his strongest and most personal vocals to date.”

Deon Unthank continued in regards to Dove’s vocal performances, “I thought on the first song that George Jones was being used as a guest artist, but it was McCray Dove doing some low down country singing.”

Hold On’s debut single – “A Little Good News” – also landed the group a Top 20 hit of the year – as the song ended up at #15 on the SoGospelNews.com Top 40 Weekly Chart’s year-end tally. The second single, the McCray Dove penned “Hold On,” is already making waves at radio – breaking into the Top 5 of the SoGospelNews.com Top 40 Weekly Chart after only three weeks on the radio airplay chart.

McCray Dove responded, “Words can not express how blessed we feel at this moment. Hold On is an album where we really feel like we hit our stride.  To see it recognized in such a way is a really nice bonus!”

Be listening for the group’s current single – “Hold On” – at Southern Gospel radio all across the country.

More information on the Dove Brothers can be found at http://dovebrothersquartet.com


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SGN Scoops among nominees for SoGospelNews.com 2010 SGN Music Awards

Written by Scoops Staff on January 21, 2010 – 1:34 pm -

SoGospelNews.com Announces Nominees for 2010 SGN Music Awards
The Perrys and Karen Peck & New River Earn Most Nominations Among Artists, while Producer/Songwriter Wayne Haun Lands Most Individual Nominations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Deon and Susan Unthank, administrators of SoGospelNews.com, are proud to announce the nominees for the 2010 SGN Music Awards.  As in year’s past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of SoGospelNews.com and select media representatives.  Starting on February 1, 2010, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in each category.

“We are so excited about this year’s SGN Music Awards,” responded Deon Unthank, administrator of SoGospelNews.com, the Southern Gospel industry’s largest e-zine.  “This is our ninth year to hand out our awards, and we believe the staff has once again outdone themselves in choosing this year’s nominees!”

As far as nominations go, two artists tied for the most nominations among performers this year.  Both The Perrys and Karen Peck & New River landed a stellar nine nominations apiece.  Both groups earned nods in the Song of the Year (“If You Knew Him” and “I Want to Thank You” respectively), Album of the Year (Almost Morning and No Worries respectively), Fan Favorite Artist of the Year, and Mixed Group of the Year categories.

2008’s Pacesetter the Dove Brothers earned eight nods – including Song of the Year (“Hold On”), Album of the Year (Hold On), and Special Event Project of the Year for their 10-year anniversary project Decennial.

Following behind those artists were Legacy Five, The Isaacs, and Booth Brothers with seven nominations apiece.  Triumphant Quartet and Brian Free & Assurance both landed six nominations.  Two artists received five nominations – the Bowling Family (formerly Mike & Kelly Bowling) and Talley Trio.

The Freemans, Jeff & Sheri Easter, and the Gaither Vocal Band all earned four nominations, while the Dixie Echoes, HisSong, Greater Vision, and Sisters earned three nods.

Several artists received double nominations, including the Kingdom Heirs, Gold City, The Greenes, the Ball Brothers, and McMillan & Life.

Songwriter and producer Wayne Haun earned the most individual nominations for his work during 2009.  In addition to landing in the Producer of the Year (Professional) category (an award he won in 2008), Wayne earned an additional eight nominations for his songwriting and production work this year. – including three separate nominations in the Album of the Year category (for producing The Perrys’ Almost Morning, Triumphant Quartet’s Everyday, and HisSong’s Journey Through the Sky).

Rodney Griffin
earned six individual nominations for his songwriting work.

Earning five individual nominations were songwriters Marty Funderburk (2009’s Songwriter of the Year winner) and Rusty Golden. Gospel legend Bill Gaither, songwriter Joel Lindsey, and The Perrys’ lead singer Joseph Habedank all earned four individual nominations.  Dianne Wilkinson, Lari Goss, Ben Isaacs, Barry Weeks, Jason Crabb, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, and Gordon Mote all landed three individual nominations for their work in 2009.

The Pacesetter Award is awarded to any artist, individual, or organization which has shown great strides in the industry and has raised the bar for others. This year’s nominees for the 2010 Pacesetter are new Gospel music celebration Branson Gospel Music Convention, Crossroads Music Group, SGShowPrep’s Chuck Peters, digital news outlet SGN Scoops Digital, and Vine Records.

More information on the 2010 SGN Music Awards Celebration will be forthcoming, including hosts, performers, and sponsors, etc.  The date for this year’s SGN Music Awards Celebration is Tuesday, April 13, 2010.  The event will again take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennessee and is free to the public.

The nominees for the 2009 SGN Music Awards are listed below:

SONG OF THE YEAR:
“Die Another Day” – Brian Free & Assurance (M.Funderburk, J.Lemonis, B.Smith)
“Everyday” – Triumphant Quartet (D.Loggins, J.D.Martin)
“Hold On” – Dove Brothers (M.Dove)
“I Cast My Bread Upon the Water” – Gold City (J.Hemphill)
“I Want to Thank You” – Karen Peck & New River (R.Golden, J.Salley)
“If You Knew Him” – Perrys (R.Griffin, J.Habedank)
“It Pays to Pray” – Greater Vision (R.Griffin)
“Notified” – Mike & Kelly Bowling (R.Hinson)
“Stand By the River” – Greenes (D.Rambo)
“What Salvation’s Done For Me” – Booth Brothers (R.Golden, D.Wilkinson)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Almost Morning – Perrys (W.Haun)
Everyday – Triumphant Quartet (W.Haun)
Expecting Good Things – Jeff & Sheri Easter (G.Cole, J.Easter, S.Easter)
Hold On – Dove Brothers (D.Crawford)
Journey Through the Sky – HisSong (W.Haun)
Just Stand – Legacy Five (L.Goss)
…Naturally – Isaacs (B.Gaither, B.Isaacs)
No Worries – Karen Peck & New River (M.Fain)
Reunited – Gaither Vocal Band (B.Gaither, D.Phelps)
Worth It – Brian Free & Assurance (B.Weeks)

PACESETTER:
Branson Gospel Music Convention
Crossroads Music Group
Chuck Peters (SGShowPrep)
SGN Scoops Digital
Vine Records

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST:
Ball Brothers
Cross 4 Crowns
McMillan & Life
Sisters
Soul’d Out Quartet

MALE VOCALIST:
Mike Bowling (Bowling Family)
Jason Crabb
Michael English (Gaither Vocal Band)
Joseph Habedank (Perrys)
Bill Shivers (Brian Free & Assurance)

FEMALE VOCALIST:
Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
TaRanda Greene (Greenes)
Janet Paschal
Lauren Talley (Talley Trio)
Sonya Isaacs Yeary (Isaacs)

MALE GROUP: (a tie necessitated 6 finalists)
Booth Brothers
Dove Brothers
Gaither Vocal Band
HisSong
Legacy Five
Triumphant Quartet

FEMALE GROUP:
Perry Sisters
Sisters
Sweetwater Revival

MIXED GROUP:
Bowling Family (formerly Mike & Kelly Bowling)
Karen Peck & New River
Isaacs
Perrys
Talley Trio

SONGWRITER (ARTIST):
Jim Brady (Booth Brothers)
Rodney Griffin (Greater Vision)
Joseph Habedank (Perrys)
Becky & Sonya Isaacs (Isaacs)
Kyla Rowland (Kyla Rowland & Deliverance)

SONGWRITER (PROFESSIONAL): 
(a tie necessitated 6 finalists)
Chris Binion
Marty Funderburk
Rusty Golden
Joel Lindsey
Rebecca J. Peck
Dianne Wilkinson

PRODUCER (ARTIST):
Darrell Freeman (Freemans)
Ben Isaacs (Isaacs)
Tim Parton (Legacy Five)
Arthur Rice (Kingdom Heirs)
Roger Talley (Talley Trio)

PRODUCER (PROFESSIONAL):
Donna Beauvais
Lari Goss
Wayne Haun
Michael Sykes
Barry Weeks

ENGINEER:
Steve Allen
Gus Gaches (Legacy Five)
Aaron Minick
Terry Thompson
Kevin Ward

MUSICIAN: 
(a tie necessitated 6 finalists)
Kim Collingsworth (Collingsworth Family)
Madison Easter (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Bryan Elliott (Perrys)
Gordon Mote
Tim Parton (Legacy Five)
Stewart Varnado (Dixie Echoes)

TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN SONG:
“He Locked the Gates” – Kingdom Heirs (R.Griffin)
“I Believe In Prayer” – HisSong (D.Britt, W.Haun, J.Lindsey)
“If You Knew Him” – Perrys (R.Griffin, J.Habedank)
“It Pays to Pray” – Greater Vision (R.Griffin)
“When the Trumpet Sounds” – Triumphant Quartet (W.Haun, J.Lindsey)

TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN ALBUM:
Almost Morning – Perrys (W.Haun)
Everyday – Triumphant Quartet (W.Haun)
I’d Rather Have Jesus – Dixie Echoes (R.Shelnut, R.Shelnut, Jr., S.Varnado)
Just Stand – Legacy Five (L.Goss)
When You Look at Me – Kingdom Heirs (J.Collins, A.Rice)

PROGRESSIVE SOUTHERN SONG:
“Die Another Day” – Brian Free & Assurance (M.Funderburk, J.Lemonis, B.Smith)
“Life Goes On” – Talley Trio (G.Boe, M.Funderburk)
“Notified” – Mike & Kelly Bowling (R.Hinson)
“What Salvation’s Done For Me” – Booth Brothers (R.Golden, D.Wilkinson)
“Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along” – Karen Peck & New River (S.Hill)

PROGRESSIVE SOUTHERN ALBUM:
Breakthrough – Ball Brothers (D.Ruse, J.Webb)
No Worries – Karen Peck & New River (M.Fain)
Renewed – Sisters (H.Day, K.Lord, V.Ruppe)
Songs You Know By Heart – Talley Trio (R.Talley)
Worth It – Brian Free & Assurance (B.Weeks)

COUNTRY SONG: 
(a tie necessitated 6 finalists)
“A Little Good News” – Dove Brothers (C.Black, R.Bourke, T.Rocco)
“Born to Climb” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (W.Haun, J.Lindsey)
“I Want to Thank You” – Karen Peck & New River (R.Golden, J.Salley)
“Little Bit of Heaven” – Isaacs (S.I.Yeary)
“Three Wooden Crosses” – Freemans (M.Funderburk, R.Funderburk)
“What Children Believe” – Gold City (J.I.Elliott, B.Lamb, J.Salley)

COUNTRY ALBUM:
Expecting Good Things – Jeff & Sheri Easter (G.Cole, J.Easter, S.Easter)
Hold On – Dove Brothers (D.Crawford)
I Will Sing – Gordon Mote (P.Johnson, G.Mote)
Jason Crabb – Jason Crabb (J.Crabb, T.Simms, N.Wilson)
…Naturally – Isaacs (B.Gaither, B.Isaacs)

SPECIAL EVENT PROJECT:
Christmas Memories – Freemans (D.Freeman)
Decennial – Dove Brothers (M.Dove)
Gaither Vocal Band Reunion, Vol. 1 & 2 – Gaither Vocal Band (B.Gaither)
Jubilee! – Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five (G.Wolfe)
Live At the Oak Tree (series) – Daywind Records (P.Corley, T.Corley, S.Lancaster, N.Holland, M.Turner)

BEST LIVE PERFORMER:
Booth Brothers
Dixie Echoes
Dove Brothers
Freemans
Karen Peck & New River

FAN FAVORITE ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Beyond the Ashes
Booth Brothers
Bowling Family (formerly Mike & Kelly Bowling)
Brian Free & Assurance
Dove Brothers
Karen Peck & New River
McMillan & Life
Perrys
Tribute Quartet
Triumphant Quartet


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