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This was a special edition, similar to what we've done in past years following the National Quartet Convention.
The first hour, we spotlighted two of today's top songwriters in the Southern Gospel music field. First was Rebecca J. Peck. We've visited with her several times in the past, but she just keeps putting out great songs. Often she co-writes with Dianne Wilkinson. And with a combination like that, you know you can't go wrong. You can find out more info about Rebecca on her website. Jeff Bumgardner's name also keeps popping up on some of today's top songs, a few of which you heard on this program. You can find out more about him on his facebook page. I recently interviewed some more songwriters at the National Quartet Convention, so you'll be hearing more from songwriters over the next few months — something I enjoy sharing with listeners.
The second hour of the program was devoted to the 2017 Singing News Fan Awards, given recently in special ceremonies during the National Quartet Convention. What you heard were simply some edited highlights, with the award announcement and a very edited version of winners' acceptance speeches (edited for time and to share just the key parts). You also heard regular recorded songs by the winners. We do this each year to provide a "feel" for the excitement these awards bring without spending a lot of time on any one in particular. As I always mention on the program, these awards are voted by fans, readers of Singing News magazine, as a way of saying "thank you" and "keep up the good work" to their favorite artists. Although most artists would agree that they don't do what they do for such awards — in fact, one winner said as much on the program — such recognition is always a much-needed and appreciated encouragement.
On the Headline Update I reported the passing of music executive Dave Wilcox. We first got to know Dave when he was with the Eddie Crook Company back in the 1980s. In fact, he was the go-to guy for anything we needed for the broadcast, and he was exceptionally helpful in that regard. Dave, as one of the speakers on the Headline Update mentioned, was truly an "idea guy." And his persistence launched the national careers of countless artists who are now household names. His coworkers, especially, were totally shocked by his unexpected passing. In fact, he was supposed to attend the recent National Quartet Convention in a working capacity. But he felt unwell and checked into a hospital, where he subsequently died. The unexpected nature of his death makes accepting it just that much more difficult. Dave, who was 60, will certainly be missed by all of us who knew him.