The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced the recipients of its prestigious GMA Special Awards today, according to John W. Styll, president of the GMA. The recipients will be honored at the annual Monday Morning Live membership meeting which kicks off GMA Week 2004 on Monday, April 26 at 7:30 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.
We congratulate each of the deserving recipients and are grateful for the role they each play in furthering GMAÂ’s mission of exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music,Â” said John W. Styll, president of the GMA. The recipients of the seven award categories are:
The Impact Award is presented to the non-artist individual or organization that has made the most significant contribution to the gospel music industry. The recipient of the honor this year is ProTools.
Pro Tools digital audio production systems have revolutionized the music industry since they were first introduced by Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology, Inc. This ground-breaking software can be used for audio creation, production, and distribution. Pro Tools software, with its matchless combination of flexibility, power, and simplicity has become the industry standard for audio production. Pro Tools software is designed to empower both music and post production professionals to easily achieve all of their production tasks within one easy-to-use interface. For first time producers to the most advanced users, Pro Tools brings your creative universe together, making the process of audio production as efficient, effective, and fun as possible.
Past honorees of the Impact Award include Salem CommunicationsÂ’ FISH radio stations, SoundScan, Sandi Patty, Amy Grant, Dan Harrell and Michael Blanton, Jars of Clay, CCLI, NARM, CCM Communications, the Gaither Â“Homecoming SeriesÂ” and the Â“WoWÂ” series.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes major contributions to the gospel music industry through a companyÂ’s commitment to the Christian community for 20 or more years. This year, the award goes to Creation Festivals/iTickets/WJTL-FM.
Harry Thomas and Tim Landis co-founded the Creation Festival in 1979. This annual event has become the largest Christian music festival and is held on both the East and West Coasts every summer.
In 1984, WJTL-FM signed on the air as Lancaster, PA's first all Contemporary Christian Radio Station and was sold to Creative Ministries, Inc. in 1990. Creative Ministries had been active in local ministry with its Creation Concerts and the Creation Festival. Today, WJTL can be heard throughout Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon and most of Central Pennsylvania.
Launched in 2000, iTICKETS.com contains easily searched information on thousands of Christian events and provides ticket purchasing options for many of them. iTICKETS.com has already become the industry standard database for Christian event information.
Past honorees include Lorenz Publishing, SESAC, The Gaither Music Organization, Gospel Music Workshop of America, Christian Artists Â“Seminar in the Rockies,Â” The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Church Music Publishers Association, the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and several music labels, including Sparrow, Benson, Maranatha! and Word.
Grady Nutt Humor Award
Grady Nutt, who starred on TV's 'Hee Haw' for many years, was a beloved friend of Christian music. After he was killed in a tragic plane crash in 1982, the Grady Nutt Humor Award was created in his honor. This yearÂ’s recipient is Brad Stine.
Brad Stine enjoys shattering pre-conceptions. He is as outspoken as any of todayÂ’s most popular standup comedians, but without the profanity. He is an educated, cerebral comic who is also a proud, patriotic conservative. HeÂ’s a unique comic who proves that clean and cutting edge indeed can come in the same package Â– and at full speed.
StineÂ’s distinctive brand of comedy has brought him standing ovations across the country Â– as well as praise from the media. HeÂ’s been seen in front of thousands at Promise Keeper Events, as well as on screen on MTVÂ’s Half Hour Comedy Hour, ShowtimeÂ’s Comedy Club Network and A&EÂ’s CarolineÂ’s Comedy Hour, Evening at the Improv and Comedy on the Road. HeÂ’s been the subject of feature articles in newspapers and magazines across the country.
On radio, Stine has appeared on Sean HannityÂ’s nationally syndicated radio show, The Big Show with John Boy & Billy, the Westwood One radio network, and numerous others.
Past honorees include three-time winner Mark Lowry and two-time winner Chonda Pierce, as well as Wendy Bagwell, Hicks & Cohagan, VeggieTalesÂ’ Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki and Jeff Allen.
Outstanding Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music Award
The Outstanding Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music award is given to the person or entity outside of the Christian music industry that has helped bring gospel music to a wider audience. This yearÂ’s honoree is R&R.
Radio & Records was founded in 1973 to provide credible news and information to the radio broadcast and recording industries. Now in its 31st year of service, the company today publishes over 37 daily and weekly publications in print, fax, email and online formats.
One of the foundations of R&R's long-standing reputation for credibility and accuracy is its weekly airplay charts. Data is incorporated from nearly 1200 radio stations in the U.S., covering 16 general-market formats in addition to four Christian formats. The Christian section in R&R was launched in April of 2001, and facilitates exposing Christian music to a much broader and more diverse audience.
Past honorees include Wal-Mart, Time Life Â“Songs for WorshipÂ” series, Time Life Â“Songs for LifeÂ” series, Billboard magazine, Whitney Houston, Newsweek an Sylvia Rhone of Elektra Entertainment Group.
The International Award honors a performer or organization from outside of the U.S. that has made an impact not just in his or her own country, but on the world at large. Songwriter and worship leader, Robin Mark receives the award this year.
Robin Mark was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he still lives with his wife and three children. In addition to songwriting, he runs a small acoustics business in the city, lectures at Queens University, and has been Director of Worship at Christian Fellowship Church for over fifteen years. In 1995, Mark composed a hymn that was to change his life Â– Â“Days of Elijah.Â” A few years later in 1999 Integrity Music combined with the musicians and congregation of Belfast to record the best selling album Â“Revival in Belfast.Â” In the midst of expanding horizons he still feels the need to invest in his family and remains firmly rooted in Northern Ireland, waiting on the fulfillment of the prayers of many people, that God would Â“come and heal this Land.Â”
Past honorees include Brian Doerksen, Delirious?, Darlene Zschech, World Wide Message Tribe, Graham Kendrick, Adrian Snell, Cliff Richard, Sheila Walsh, MiC and in 2002, Matt Redman.
Scott Campbell Radio Award
The Scott Campbell Award honors outstanding efforts and contributions in broadcasting. This yearÂ’s honoree is John Frost.
In the last several years, John Frost of Audience Development Group has been involved in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help create and develop some of the leading Contemporary Christian music stations in America. Frost has also been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 32 year broadcast career. Prior to joining Audience Development Group in 1999, John served as Vice President of Programming for Paxson Communications' 47-station group in Florida. He stayed with Paxson through the transition of the company to launch the PAX TV network.
Past honorees include Jon Rivers, Rob Gregory, Brad Burkhart, Joe Battaglia, Keith Whipple, and last yearÂ’s honoree, Wayne Pederson.
Rob Gregory Award
The Rob Gregory Award is given for major contributions made to the community through the medium of radio. This yearÂ’s honoree is David Stephens, General Manager of KXOJ Radio in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Since its beginning, in 1977, the station has been privately owned by the StephensÂ’ family. Upon graduating from Oklahoma University, David came on board as General Manager and developed it into the success it is today. Stephens has been instrumental in developing innovative ideas such as, Â“Concert WearÂ”, Â“Listener AdvantageÂ” and Â“KXOJ Freedom LiveÂ” the biggest one-day outdoor Christian music festival in the area, created with the KXOJ listenerÂ’s entire family in mind. Other station sponsored events for the listeners include a celebrity golf tournament, and Annual ValentineÂ’s and Christmas parties. With his unique approach to selling, Stephens has also developed a marketing workshop called, Â“Changing Beliefs Into Profit.Â”
Past honorees include Tim McDermott and KSBJ, Randy Rich and KLYT Radio, Jim Campbell, Brian Lowring and Bob Augsburg.