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The Hit Man (#549)

In the secular musical world, David Foster is recognized as a pure genius. Chances are that you've heard his work through such struggling performers (said tongue-in-cheek) as Josh Groban, Michael Buble', Celine Dion, and many more as you've hopped along the radio dial, ate in a restaurant, shopped in a mall, rode an elevator, flipped through the TV channels, or attended a concert of one of the artists who has benefited through Mr. Foster's expertise. His work in discovering and developing talent is universally admired to the extent that he is often referred to as "The Hit Man."
"How does that tie to Southern Gospel Music,"  you may be wondering.
Glad you asked!
A few artist friends and I were sitting backstage at Dollywood a few weeks ago and we started discussing the music world and the changes it has seen during the past 20 or 30 years. And, because Southern Gospel is what we are, it wasn't long before we tried to put "The Hit Man" label on someone in our field.
We threw names back and forth like it was spring training in major league baseball. Here, in no particular order, are some of the names we discussed:

Lari Goss

Bill Gaither

Marvin Norcross
Chris White
Eddie Crook
Kevin McManus
Norman Holland
Eldridge Fox
Jim Hamill
Rex Nelon
Mark Trammell
Charlie Burke
Wayne Haun

There were a few others, but for the purpose of this Danny's Diary entry, we'll just go with this list. One thing that every person on this list had/has is an eye for talent, whether it be songwriting, singing, staging, or the "complete package." Every person on that list is and/or has been responsible for either giving rising talent a national platform or for "pulling out more" from an artist to take them to an even higher level. Often two or more of these individuals would work in tandem to strengthen an artist or a writer, and as a result many of their success stories are some of the leading artists of today.
It is at this point in this discussion, I'd like to hear from you, whether you are an artist, songwriter, or a supporter of Southern Gospel music. We all know that first and foremost, any success that anyone enjoys is God-given, so let's recognize that immediately. But after God's touch, who are the people in Southern Gospel music that deserve the title "The Hit Man"?  Feel free to send me a note to danny.jones@singingnews.com or post a comment on the Singing News Facebook page.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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