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Bluegrass Veterans, Up-and-Comers Honored at IBMA Awards

Posted in News on October 9, 2006

Reigning bluegrass queen and longtime BMI affiliate Rhonda Vincent broke her own record on Sept. 27 at the International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) when she scored her seventh consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year win. BMI artist Marty Stuart hosted bluegrass's biggest night, as elder statesmen and budding stars alike were honored on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. From Vocal Group and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year winners Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, to fiddler Michael Cleveland, who earned honors for Instrumental Album and Fiddle Player of the Year, BMI songwriters took home award after award.

2005 Entertainers of the Year Cherryholmes rounded up their family for a photo before the ceremony. Pictured are (l to r): BMI's David Preston, Cherryholmes band members B.J., Molly, Jere, Sandy Lee, Skip and Cia Cherryholmes, along with BMI's Mark Mason. Photo by K. Clary 

BMI's IBMA pre-party in Stage 8 one hour prior to the actual awards ceremony attracted iconic bluegrass aficionados Tom T. Hall and Bill Gaither, while nominees and the genre's luminaries mingled. Cherryholmes, Larry Sparks, Ronnie Bowman, Rob Ickes and Del McCoury numbered among the several hundred guests enjoying cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a stellar house band.

Bluegrass luminary Del McCoury (center) attended BMI's pre-party and performed during the awards ceremony. He is pictured with BMI's Jody Williams and Mark Mason. Photo by K. Clary 

This year's ceremony featured two Hall of Honor inductions: bluegrass gospel pioneers the Lewis Family and King Records founder Syd Nathan. The Lewis Family's contributions to bluegrass began with the group's formation in 1951; the family's rich sound and constant touring significantly augmented the audience for bluegrass gospel. Record store owner Syd Nathan sought to preserve bluegrass's invaluable history through his creation of the King Records label, emerging as one of the top repositories and distributors of classical bluegrass recordings.

Pictured are (l to r): BMI's Mark Mason, three-time IBMA winner Michael and BMI's David Preston. Photo by K. Clary 

Other BMI winners included Jim Mills' second consecutive win for Banjo Player of the Year, Dobro Player of the Year Rob Ickes of Blue Highway and Three Ring Circle, and Claire Lynch band member Missy Raines for Bass Player of the Year. Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented to BMI affiliates the Boys from Indiana, Bill Grant and Ronnie Reno.

Legendary bluegrass figure Larry Sparks (center) performed later in the evening with fellow legend Curly Seckler and is seen here with BMI's Elisabeth Dawson and Kay Clary. Photo by D. Preston 

BMI's 2006 IBMA Award winners:

HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES
The Lewis Family
Syd Nathan

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Rhonda Vincent

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

BMI songwriting icon and bluegrass aficionado Tom T. Hall mingled at the pre-party and attended the awards ceremony that followed. Pictured are (l to r): BMI�s Bradley Collins, Tom T. Hall, legendary bluegrass producer and songwriter Carl Jackson, Tom T. Hall�s wife Dixie Hall and BMI�s Jody Williams. Photo by K. Clary

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer
Lonesome River Band, Seldom Scene, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Cherryholmes, J.D. Crowe & The New South, BlueRidge, IIIrd Tyme Out, James King Band, Larry Cordle, Wayne Benson, Clay Hess, Greg Luck, Aubrey Haynie, Tony Rice, Ronnie Bowman & The Committee, Larry Stephenson Band, Blue Highway, Gena Britt, Randy Kohrs & The Lites, Steve Thomas, Scott Vestal, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Karl Shiflett & the Big Country Show, Wildfire, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lost & Found, Dan Tyminski, Bela Fleck, Joe Mullins and Jim VanCleve

GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
"He Lives In Me"
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
produced by Doyle Lawson

INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Let 'Er Go Boys
Michael Cleveland
produced by Jeff White & Michael Cleveland

Premier bluegrass vocalist and hit BMI songwriter Ronnie Bowman showed up for bluegrass� biggest night with his wife and harmony singer, Garnet. Pictured are (l to r): BMI�s Bradley Collins, IBMA Executive Director Dan Hays, Ronnie Bowman and BMI�s Perry Howard. Photo by K. Clary

RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR
Back to the Well
The Daughters of Bluegrass featuring: Gena Britt, Julie Elkins, Becky Buller, Mindy Rakestraw, Beth Lawrence, Angela Oudean, Michelle Nixon, Dale Ann Bradley, Valerie Smith, Louisa Branscomb & Dixie Hall

BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jim Mills

DOBRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Rob Ickes

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Missy Raines

Rhonda Vincent was greeted by her friends and fans as she entered the IBMA Awards pre-party, sponsored by BMI. Pictured are (l to r): BMI�s Mark Mason & Jody Williams, Rhonda Vincent, Executive Director of the IBMA Dan Hays, and BMI�s David Preston & Perry Howard. Photo by K. Clary

FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michael Cleveland

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
The Boys From Indiana
Bill Grant
Ronnie Reno

BEST LINER NOTES FOR RECORDED PROJECT
Tom Adams (writer)
Let 'Er Go Boys by Michael Cleveland

BMI's Mark Mason (left) congratulates Dobro Player of the Year and Blue Highway member Rob Ickes.  Photo by K. Clary

Attendees were happy to see gospel legend Bill Gaither (center) at both the pre-party and the awards ceremony. He is pictured here with BMI's David Preston and Bradley Collins.  Photo by K. Clary

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver scored Vocal Group of the Year honors, along with Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for "He Lives in Me," which Doyle also produced. Pictured are (l to r): BMI's Mark Mason, Doyle Lawson and BMI's Jody Williams.  Photo by K. Clary