The event will take place Oct. 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center and is sponsored by the nonprofit Friends of Georgia Music Festival Inc. It will open at 6 p.m. with a red-carpet appearance of entertainment luminaries and Gov. Nathan Deal’s reception, followed by a seated dinner at 6:45 p.m. in the Georgia Ballroom prior to the awards show, beginning at 8 p.m. Retired WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson and Robin Meade, HLN’s “Morning Express” anchor and recently released recording artist, will serve as the emcees.
The program and show will be televised live by Georgia Public Broadcasting.
“Hip-hop superstars Goodie Mob and CeeLo Green will be presented the Performer Award, while the trail-blazing Kansas will receive the Group Award on the 40th anniversary of their music career,” Friends President Bobbie Bailey said in a statement. “This year would have marked Whitney Houston’s 50th birthday. We are proud to confer the Posthumous Award in memory of this legendary artist. Her brother Gary Houston, a member of her ensemble for 20 years, will perform a special tribute during the program.”
Other honorees will be the Forester Sisters (Pioneer Award), James “Alley Pat” Patrick (Non-Performer Award), Pat Alger (Songwriter Award) and von Grey (Horizon Award).
o Performer Award: Goodie Mob and CeeLo Green — The pioneering Southern hip-hop group, Goodie Mob, is one of the most celebrated rap acts to come out of the hip-hop hotbed of Atlanta. Formed in 1991, Goodie Mob’s original and current members include CeeLo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, who grew up together in Atlanta alongside the rest of the Dungeon Family — the collective of rappers including Andre 3000 and Big Boi of Outkast, Goodie Mob, Organized Noise and Parental Advisory.
Goodie Mob’s debut album, “Soul Food,” was certified gold in the U.S. and put Atlanta’s rap scene on the map. Goodie Mob then released two more albums, “Still Standing” and “World Party,” certified gold in the U.S.
The release of their one-off single, “Fight to Win,” hit iTunes in 2012 and is an anthem of liberation, motivation and determination. Basketball fans recognize “Fight to Win” as the 2012 NBA Playoffs theme song.
Goodie Mob just released a new album entitled, “Age Against the Machine.” The Southern rappers will appear in an upcoming television commercial campaign for the Las Vegas Tourism Board. Goodie Mob’s reality TV show will premiere on TBS this fall.
o Group Award: Kansas — Kansas is celebrating its 40th year as a band in 2013. It was founded in Topeka, Kan., in 1973 by Phil Ehart (drums), Dave Hope (bass guitar), Kerry Livgren (guitar and keyboards), Robby Steinhardt (violin and vocals), Steve Walsh (keyboard and vocals) and Richard Williams (guitar). After moving to Atlanta in 1975, Kanas has called Georgia its home for the past 38 years. The band is currently comprised of Ehart, Walsh, Williams, Billy Greer (bass guitar and vocals) and David Ragsdale (violin and guitar).
Since their self-titled debut album in 1974, the band has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide, produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-platinum albums (“Leftoverture,” “Point of Know Return” and “Best of Kansas”), one platinum live album (“Two for the Show”) and a million-selling gold single, “Dust in the Wind.”
The band is known for the iconic rock classic “Carry On Wayward Son” and hits, “Point of Know Return,” “The Wall,” “People of the South Wind,” “Hold On,” “Play the Game Tonight,” “Fight Fire with Fire” and “All I Wanted.”
o Pioneer Award: The Forester Sisters — Kathy, June, Kim and Christy Forester began singing as children in their hometown church atop Lookout Mountain in Northwest Georgia. The foursome created a sound marked by intricate harmonies and became sought-after performers at local events in neighboring Chattanooga, Tenn.A Warner Brothers Records executive saw the sisters perform and
signed them immediately. Their first single, “That’s What You Do When You’re in Love,” reached the Top 10, and each of their next three singles from their Grammy Award-nominated debut album went all the way to No. 1. The Forester Sisters became the first act in the history of Billboard’s Country Chart to place each of their first 14 singles in the Top 10.
Their credits include six No. 1 singles, more than 30 award nominations including three Grammys and the Vocal Group of the Year Award from the Academy of Country Music. They hosted “Cookin’ USA” on the Nashville Network and were inducted into the Warner Brothers Hall of Fame.
They toured nationally and internationally, performing for the USO and Department of Defense before American troops all over the world. After 12 years on the road and 12 albums, their priorities shifted from music and travel to home and family. They still live on Lookout Mountain, enjoy time with each other, their own children and their parents.
o Non-Performer Award: James “Alley Pat” Patrick — Atlanta’s own legendary James “Alley Pat” Patrick is indisputably the architect of rhythm and blues radio. Now 93, he is the last surviving DJ from the first black-owned station in America, WERD-AM, on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta.
Patrick was a Morehouse College medical student when he tried radio as a lark in 1951, and his hugely entertaining on-air style was an instant hit. Singing and jumping to blues, jazz to soul and even country, he became an Atlanta radio fixture for the next four decades. Patrick had an incalculable influence on Georgia R&B history, with later stints at WAOK, WXAP, WYZE, and WIGO.
He was also a concert promoter, bringing stars such as Fats Domino, the Drifters, Jackie Wilson, Ruth Brown, Big Maybelle and Sam Cooke to the famous nightclubs The Royal Peacock and The Poinsettia.
“At the jazzier club, The Waluhaje, we had in Basie, George Shearing, Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton, everybody,” Patrick said.
Today, even in his 90s, you might still see Pat some nights enjoying blues and BBQ ribs at Fat Matt’s in Midtown.
o Songwriter Award: Pat Alger — Celebrating more than 40 years in the music business, Pat Alger remains one of the most respected songwriters in Nashville and the U.S. A New York native, Alger was raised in the Georgia town of LaGrange. He began performing original and traditional material in the acoustic music clubs of Atlanta. In 1973, he migrated to Woodstock, N.Y., recording and performing with the Woodstock Mountains Revue. Alger scored his first hit, “First Time Love,” in 1980 with Livingston Taylor, James Taylor’s younger brother.
He headed back south to Nashville, where his songs were recorded by classic country artists as Mickey Gilley, George Hamilton IV, Dolly Parton and Brenda Lee and legendary pop artists The Everly Brothers and Peter, Paul & Mary.
Alger hit the top of the country charts in 1988 with Kathy Mattea’s version of “Goin’ Gone.” Other No. 1 hits include: “She Came from Fort Worth,” also by Mattea; “Small Town Saturday Night” by Hal Ketchum and Trisha Yearwood’s “Like We Never Had a Broken Heart.” His collaboration with Garth Brooks yielded four No. 1 singles.
As a two-term president of The Nashville Songwriters Association International, he was an effective advocate for intellectual property rights protection. In 2010, he was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, president of the Nashville chapter of SAG-AFTRA and has the title cut of John Oates’ latest project “Good Road To Follow.”
o Posthumous Award: Whitney Houston — With more than 170 million combined albums, singles and videos sold worldwide during her career, Whitney Houston established a benchmark for superstardom that may never be eclipsed in the modern era. She ranks as the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits (including “Saving All My Love for You” and “Greatest Love of All”); the first female artist to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 1; and the only artist with seven consecutive multi-platinum albums. Her career-defining version of “I Will Always Love You” ranks unsurpassed as the biggest-selling U.S. single.
Houston was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and cousin of star Dionne Warwick. In 1983, Arista’s Clive Davis heard Whitney performing and signed her on the spot. Her first album, “Whitney Houston,” launched her as a star, selling 12 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Whitney’s movie debut in “The Bodyguard,” co-starring with Oscar-winning actor/director Kevin Costner, broke box office records worldwide. Its soundtrack is one of the top 10 biggest selling albums of all time. From Houston’s third motion picture, “The Preacher’s Wife,” the soundtrack became the biggest selling gospel album in Billboard chart history.
In the aftermath of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, Whitney’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” was the first benefit single, coupled with her version of “America the Beautiful.” Proceeds were donated to charity.
The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children Inc. addresses the problems of homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS. With her sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, founder of Teen Summit, Whitney worked to empower the lives of teens and young adults.
Whitney’s tragic death Feb. 11, 2012 is still deeply felt by her family, friends and millions of fans worldwide. Her family is committed to keeping her legacy alive.
o Horizon Recipient Encouraging New Performers (non-inductee): von Grey — With their soulful four-part harmonies, poetic lyrics and indelible melodies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hailed von Grey as “nothing short of stunning.” They sound like they were born to play together — and, in fact, they were. The four sisters have been playing music nearly their entire lives. Classically trained from an early age, the Atlanta-based quartet — Kathryn, Annika, Fiona and Petra von Grey — have built on that foundation by performing more than 200 shows the past two years.
Since the independent release of their self-titled, five-song EP, von Grey has performed on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Conan” and been featured in the online SXSW coverage with Kate Snow for NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” The group’s first live album, “Live at Criminal Records 01.01.13,” was recorded at the Atlanta independent record store.
Indie-alt-folk band von Grey imbues time-honored musical idioms with a modern sensibility. “They take our breath away,” said DayTrotter.com. Guitar World noted, “The band is an Americana masterpiece.” Billboard said, “Crystalline harmonies, stirring lyrics and inventive melodies are the calling cards of [the] siblings.”
Tickets for the event are $125 per person, or $1,250 for a table of 10. No tickets will be sold on the night of the event and are not available through Ticketmaster.
Tickets and information: Diane Alexander, (770) 491-9494, ext. 15, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/GAMusicAwards.