Quote of the day

From a reader pondering the meaning of “lesser known”:

It’s ironic to me that a discussion sparked by Marty Funderburk’s lament about lesser-known songwriters being overlooked quickly devolved into a discussion which overlooked lesser-known writers. Each of the writers discussed (Marty Funderburk, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey, Dianne Wilkinson, Sue Smith, Belinda Smith, Phil Cross, and Squire Parsons) are the “Big Name Writers” of today, and rightfully so, in my opinion.

Marty said that “early on in (his) career” he was the faceless Ann Dothers; but he’s since earned his ticket out of obscurity. It seems to me that perhaps his comments are neither a complaint about his own current situation, nor simply a memoir of his own early struggles, but rather an attempt to help today’s fledgling songwriters.

So how about it? Who are some lesser-known songwriters today deserving mention?

Side Note: And by the way, when discussing the “Big Name Writers”, how could a writer like Woody Wright (”I’m Gonna Sing”, “More Than Amazing”) be left to put his own name on the list? Perhaps the coin has a flip side, where a remarkable writer like Woody is known only as an artist?

Email this Post


  1. Bubba Smith wrote:

    Woody writes?

  2. Adam wrote:

    Woody does write. More information on his writings can be found on his website:

    Great man. Great music. Freshly different.

  3. Bryan wrote:

    Barbara Huffman
    Fredericktown, Missouri

  4. Ocean View wrote:

    First, here are some current “big name writers” (i.e. veteran professionals) who deserve to be mentioned:

    Marcia Henry
    Tony Wood
    Twila LaBar

  5. Edie wrote:

    My Top Five Lesser Known Songwriters:

    Jeff Silvey
    Twila LaBar
    Adam Kohout
    Terry Wilkins
    Cindi Ballard

    All of them have written hit songs and seem to be on a lot of records, but never really get the attention they deserve.

  6. Marty Funderburk wrote:

    Thanks for reminding everyone of what I originally said. I, and the others you have mentioned, are rarely among the “Ann Dothers” these days. But while that’s true in regard to reviews and press releases, non-singing songwriters are still less likely to be recognized in most award show settings (even though their songs may be nominated) - which we totally understand because those are based on fan awareness. I was holding up the SGN Music Awards as an example of how an organization could, and I believe should, acknowledge some behind-the-scenes contributors who otherwise get passed over. There will always be new “Ann Dothers” on the horizon. With time, experience, and repeated success in the market, hopefully they too will graduate from that status.

  7. Kyle wrote:

    I love his publishing company’s name - Would He Write Songs (SESAC).

    Woody Wright is one of those multi-talented triple threats in SG - singer, songwriter, and producer, although he seemed to add the latter two after years as an artist (how many remember the Woody Wright Singers, or for that matter, Willie Wynn and the Tennesseeans)??

  8. Songwriter Sue wrote:

    A few names to watch for…
    Gina Boe, who co-wrote “Once Upon a Cross” with Marty.
    Simon Hawkins, who co-wrote “Livin’ In the Rain” with Twila.
    Steve Marshall, has had cuts by Christ Church Choir and Brian Free
    Ed Stivers, cuts by Brian Free and The Perrys
    Lee Black… You’re going to be seeing his name everywhere. Write it down.
    Kenna West. She’s already had tons of cuts, but doesn’t get mentioned a lot.
    Caleb Collins… another young writer who’s bound to have his name on lots of projects.
    I’m sure I’m overlooking somebody…
    It’s truly hilarious to me to see my name on a list of “Big Name” writers. Call it writer insecurity, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.

  9. Rod wrote:

    Kyla Rowland anyone?

  10. wayne_kerr wrote:

    Don’t forget to mention Rebecca Peck.

  11. Casual Observer wrote:

    And, of course there’s Gina Vera, Dee Gaskin, John Lemonis, Kevin Stokes, and Chris Binion…

  12. DJ Russ wrote:

    Marty Funderburk- do you have a way that you can be reached for business purposes? e-mail?


  13. Marty Funderburk wrote:

    DJ - you can reach me through Daywind Music Publishing or leave a way for me to reach you at my MySpace page: www.myspace.com/martyfunderburk

  14. Joe wrote:

    Greatest songwriter of any era who rarely, if ever, has gotten mentioned?

    Gordon Jensen.

    His songs are simply a phenomenal collection from a brilliant mind, and a spiritual heart.

    He Only Sees The Blood
    Come Into The Ark
    Jesus Will Outshine Them All
    Redemption Draweth Nigh
    It Made News In Heaven
    Will You Be Among The Missing?
    Written In Red
    Don’t Go To Heaven Alone
    Bigger Than Any Mountain
    A Song To Sing At Midnight

    …and literally dozens of others. He wrote Redemption Draweth Nigh when he was 18 years old.

    His songs are consistently excellent, and it has always mystified me that he is mentioned so infrequently. He’s a genius.

  15. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    Patti Hawkins

  16. Adam wrote:

    John Darin Rowsey

  17. Jim E. Davis wrote:

    Here’s a couple of writers that deserve to be recognized more often…

    Daryl Williams and John Darin Rowsey

    By the way, I’ve been amazed at the revival of Ronnie Hinson. Connecting with Daywind was a very smart move for him and seems to be working out wonderfully. Another heavy hitter that hasn’t been mentioned is Aaron Wilburn. He has consistently penned great songs for over thirty years.

  18. quartet-man wrote:

    One of the hymnals I was looking in yesterday DID have an author index, but they are seemingly rare.

  19. Realistic wrote:

    It’s ironic (and generous) that Jim E. Davis mentioned two other writers. This morning I happened to hear “Preach the Word,” the powerful radio single for Gold City, and had already decided to mention Jim as a writer to watch!

  20. brad wrote:

    Preach The Word is a great song.
    Mr Davis wrote a great song.

  21. rngfreckles wrote:

    I agree that Adam Kohout and Terry Wilkins don’t get enough credit. But another name that should be mentioned - Lori Kelley Woods (”Quitting Never Crossed My Mind,” “At The End Of My Hope”). Both the Dixie Melody Boys and the Ruppes have used some of her songs. But I’m sure there are others.

  22. not a grammarian wrote:

    One I expected to see on Songwriter Sue’s list (because she definitely Writes about Jesus) was Lyn Rowell - co-wrote “Never Give Up, Never Give In” on EHSSQ upcoming CD/DVD (with Twila LaBar). Lyn has co-written several cuts with Wayne Haun and was Dove nominated (2008) with Caleb Collins for the Lewis Family song “Key to Heaven”

  23. SGlover wrote:

    How could Larry Petree not be mentioned. Though his doctrinal and political stances may be questioned, he is by far one of the greatest writers of southern gospel..
    “When dust shall sing”
    “lazarus come forth”(bishops)
    I’m gonna move” (isaacs)
    “He means the world to me”(phill cross)
    Just to name a few.

  24. mp3guy wrote:

    He was probably too busy cussing Pamela Furr (#23)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.