GMA week: The Dove Awards

The Dove Awards present the student of sg with a bit of a quandary. In order to see the awards given in the southern gospel categories, you have to sit through the pre-show – a 2+ hour slog with very few (if any) live performances to interrupt the tedious scripted banter from the counter-intuitively paired presenters who don’t read the teleprompter well (that’s probably one reason why they’re in the pre-show in the first place). But by the time you’ve sat through hours of this pre-show tedium, you have little energy left for the two or three hours of the “real” show that follows. Which is too bad because last night BFA and the Crabbs performed live … but late in the evening.

The pre-show was horrendously bad. The host – a comedian, … Thor somebody – did his best, but he was working with crappy material. The script drooled with insipidity, bad jokes, and lame set-ups with cheesy punch lines.

Presenter No. 1: Wow [insert name of co-presenter here]! Isn’t it exciting to be at the 38th annual GMA Dove Awards tonight?

Presenter No. 2: It sure is. Almost as much fun as when Nathan Nockels snuck his capow onto the Barlow Girls guitars. [Ha ha.]

The only real moment of interest was, of course, unscripted. A black artist (hip hop, I think) who was part of a group of mostly black presenters giving out the last award of the pre-show, wisecracked that of course the black people got to give out the very last award. The mostly lily white audience sat with awkward grimaced smiles on their faces. When the award (for producer of the year) was announced, in which (if I recall rightly) there was one black nominee, the same presenter said, “and the award goes to … some white guy … heheh … no, I’m just kidding. ED CASH.” It was actually kinda funny in an acerbic sorta way. But I think everyone was just too bored at that point to care one way or another.

The GMA just needs to treat the pre-show like what it is: a place to give all the awards no one on TV cares about. Ditch the script. Scrap the quirky co-presenter pairings. Keep the hosting to a minimum and let us get to the real deal that much sooner. This has the added bonus of making it unnecessary for the producers to keep forcing the host to keep pressuring the artists to keep their acceptance speeches short because we’re running low on time, only to have the host then spend two minutes plugging national day of prayer or some presenter to engage in mindless babbling chatter. Unlike the main show, people only come to the pre-show for the awards. So just give away the freakin awards.

So anyway, I only stayed for about an hour of the show that will be televised. But I did say long enough to see Young Harmony not win in any of the categories in which they were nominated, especially song of the year. Indeed, Lamon Records, YH’s label, did very poorly all around last night (they were nominated for maybe half a dozen awards). You can see a run-down of sg awards here.

Some industry insiders I talked to were rather surprised that Lamon didn’t take home more awards, given how strongly they were represented in the nominations. One theory is that the outcry about the YH nomination for SOTY made the Lamon Records voting bloc go wobbly for fear of a more serious backlash if they did win SOTY or sweep several categories. I dunno. Maybe sometimes the system just works out right in the end. Certainly you expect Gaither to win. And he did.

Obviously, I’m relieved at the YH outcome. If they had won, I was prepared to console myself with the idea that this would focus the GMA’s attention on reform.

That said, the YH episode this year should be a wake up call to the GMA, win or no win. Specifically, they’ve simply got to implement something like NARAS’s standards for who can be a voting member. In fact, GMA should simply adopt NARAS’s approach wholesale: to be a voting member you have to have six verifiable cuts with your name on them in some professional capacity – singer, songwriter, player, producer, engineer, bgv, that sort of thing. It will probably cost the GMA memberships (and so, revenue) on the short side, but in the long run it will give the Doves a great deal more credibility and significance as the premier honor in gospel and Christian music.

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  1. Practical Fellow wrote:

    I agree that the GMA needs to have some kind of qualification to become a voting member. For some reason I thought they did…

    For YH’s sake, I’m grateful they didn’t win. I think the entire community would have thrown back it’s head and howled.
    It’s no fun winning when everyone believes you cheated the system to win. I hope if/when they are nominated again we don’t have to guess how it happened. Best wishes YH!

    P.S. By the way, I’m with Avery - the pre-show lasts too long and involves too many bad jokes. Get to the point and give out those awards.

  2. te wrote:

    Wow, people actually listen to Lamon records? I had no idea (or the time) Let me move my coffee cup and see who’s on the disc……

  3. Nina McPeake wrote:

    Yes, the pre-show was too long, but I’ve heard it always is. I’ve also hear it’s that way at the Grammy Awards. The jokes were bad. And that really makes me sad. I think the producers write “down” to us as if to say, “christians have no sense of humor, so we have to be cheezy so not to offend anyone.” But avery is right. Maybe there shouldn’t be an act at all. They should just go uo there and say..”thank you…the nominees for Southern Gospel Recorded songs are….” However, i really wish they’d pick artists who know the category. What was comical to me was watching this punk/rock band try to pronounce group names. The “win-sants?” Congrats GVB on your win. I really like that CD.

  4. david wrote:

    I don’t understand what the fuss with YH is. If I did have the money to do a job I would spend every dime to get it done. I think alot of the bad publicity they have endured has come about because others are jealous. What happened to the part of being a christian that syas to lift your brother up. Or the part that tells us to let our brother come before us. I applaud YH and the work they are doing. Maybe if some of the rest of the SG community wer’e trying to see souls saved they would have the same blessings. God Bless all the Young Harmony’s of the world. Thanks David

  5. gc wrote:

    So you feel that everyone who questions the music merit of YH is jealous and unwilling to help people learn about Christ?

  6. CG wrote:


    Perhaps you should read Post #32 here:

    This is a portion of what the fuss is about with YH.

  7. dkd wrote:

    Obviously David has not been reading prior post’s. (for weeks now it seems) regarding YH and all of the hoop-la.

  8. te wrote:

    In discussions such as this it is important to seperate the music business from the “ministry”. I don’t think anyone is doubting YH’s heart, but musically they just don’t represent SG music to the world in the most positive light.

    Take away the billboards, the media blitz, the talented promotions by some of the best in the biz, and you really have just a regional band doing the best they can. On the plus side, they do seem to be getting better.

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