Singing News Fan Awards Move To SGMA

The Southern Gospel Music industry’s premier awards show, the Singing News Fan Awards, is moving to a new home beginning in 2010.

“Dollywood, the home of the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame and Museum, has opened its doors to the 2010 edition of the Fan Awards,” says Singing News Editor Danny Jones.

“Additionally, the SGMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be incorporated into the Singing News Fan Awards presentation to present a new program that will not only honor the artists that Singing News subscribers have chosen as their favorites, but to acknowledge the contributions of Southern Gospel Music pioneers and those who have greatly influenced our industry.”

The first Fan Awards were presented in 1970 at the “International Gospel Song Festival,” an event promoted by Singing News founding publisher, the late J.G. Whitfield. “When Mr. Whitfield acquired the National Quartet Convention a few years later,” Singing News Editor-In-Chief Jerry Kirksey recalls, “the Fan Awards moved to the NQC stage and remained there through 2009.”

“The National Quartet Convention has been gracious in sharing their time and facilities with us for four decades,” says Jones. “We will continue to support that grand tradition of Southern Gospel music even as we look forward to our move. We will continue to have one of the largest booths at NQC as well as expanded editorial coverage, pre and post convention.”

The 2010 Singing News Fan Awards and the 2010 SGMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2010, in the D.P. Celebrity Theatre at Dollywood.

The new program will be the opening feature each year for Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel Music & Harvest Celebration with the premiere presentation followed by an entire month of Southern Gospel artists performing throughout Dollywood. The music presented is quite special to someone who is very familiar with Dollywood.

“Southern Gospel music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Dolly Parton says. “I am proud Singing News chose Dollywood as the home of their Fan Awards in conjunction with the SGMA’s Induction Ceremony. The park is a unique place where we not only focus the whole month of October on Southern Gospel music but our guests can also enjoy Southern Gospel singing almost every day throughout the year.”

SGMA Executive Director Charlie Waller, who was instrumental in bringing this new event to life, says, “The SGMA Executive Board unanimously voted in favor of the merger of the Fan Awards and Induction Ceremony, and I look forward to working with everyone involved to produce a first class event centrally located in the heartland of Southern Gospel music fans.

“On behalf of the SGMA, I would like to thank Barbara Joines, Dollywood’s Vice President and General Manager, as well as the entire Dollywood staff, for their commitment to this event and for housing the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum.”

Tickets for the event will go on sale March 1, 2010. Additional information will be announced soon.