The Harmony Honors this year recognized six songwriters on Jan. 29. The awards aired on TBN Friday night, and if you missed it, it's available On Demand on TBN's website. It's two hours of great gospel music!
The six songwriters honored this year were Phil Cross, Rodney Griffin, Ronny Hinson, Mosie Lister, Squire Parsons and Dianne Wilkinson. They told fun stories of their inspirations for their most well-known songs. Again, if you didn't catch, I highly recommend watching online.
The Harmony Honors happen every year, but it's always unique what they choose to honor. So if they do another songwriter honors in 10-15 years, who do you think would be included? We have so many great songwriters today, but who is really going to be on top in 10-15 years. I think there are several who are at the top of their game now, but it's interesting to think which writers (new or established) are going to continue emerging to the top in the next 15 years. There are so many names that come to mind, but here are my predictions:
1. Jim and Melissa Brady - I think the argument could have been made for Jim to be included this time. However, this songwriting husband and wife I think will only improve in the next 10 years. Jim has already proven he has longevity not only as singer but also songwriter. Melissa has had a great number of songs come out recently with "Homecoming Day" (Tribute Quartet) and "All is Well" (The Whisnants).
2. Joseph Habedank - Joseph's already had a Song of Year while still in his mid-20s. He not only had a #1 song with the Perrys, but also the Kingsmen hit #1 with "He's Everything I Need." He's even written a song that contemporary Christian artist Natalie Grant had on hold. I think he's going to be liken to Rodney Griffin in the next decade.
3. Scotty Inman - Scotty Inman has not only written for Triumphant, but he's also had cuts by the Kingsmen and more recently Karen Peck on her solo album. He's worked with Dianne Wilkinson writing and even traveled with Phil Cross with his previous success and being under such great influences, I think he will continue to rise to the top.
4. Sonya Isaacs Yeary/ Jimmy Yeary/ Becky Isaacs Bowman - These three are hard to separate, because they write together as well as in different combinations of two. Jimmy has already made a name for himself as a country song writer, and he and Sonya had the major hit, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." Sonya and Becky had the #1 by the Bowling Family, "Your Cries Have Awoken the Master." With these three now traveling and touring together full-time, I think many more great songs are going to come out of them!
5. Kenna Turner West - She has already had a number of hits with Karen Peck and New River, Brian Free and Assurance and the Talley Trio. I'm personally a big fan of her writing. She's definitely already an established and recognized writer in the Southern Gospel community, but I feel like she could be the next generation's Dianne Wilkinson.
6. Ricky Free - Ricky cowrote one of my favorite songs that was released last year, "I Want to Be That Man" by Brian Free and Assurance. He also wrote several cuts on Morgan Easter's latest solo project that caught my eye last year. I think Ricky is going to be the one of this group who emerges the most in the next 15 years.
What do you think? What songwriters are going to rise to the top in the next 15 years?