From the looks of this video, the 1989 Dove Awards was a rather clumsily orchestrated affair, but it did honor some great musicians, and for one hour, it brought together a co-hosting team I never would have pictured in my head: George Younce, Cynthia Clawson and Rich Mullins. As Russ Taff says while introducing them over his scripted pages: “I think that the next hosts are very strange. That’s what it says in here.” It’s quite funny to watch. George is far and away the most comfortable person up there, what with Cynthia smirking and cringing over her myriad tongue slips and Rich squirming in his tuxedo (complete with cummerbund and bow tie, and yet he has a mullet also, which is just weird).
*At 1:04:00, after a couple of his trademark corny jokes, George says a few personal words about Cynthia and Rich.
*This segment includes three of Take 6’s 5 (!!) Dove wins and is very entertaining, prompting more than one joke from George—Contemporary Black Gospel Album of the Year at 1:14:22, back-to-back with Contemporary Black Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for “If We Ever” at 1:18:50, then Group of the Year a bit later at 1:54:10. The bass singer is especially entertaining on Recorded Song: “Doom-doom-doom, skiddly-skiddly, bank-bank. Oh, translated, we’d like to thank all of our parents…” George: “I wonder how old that bass singer is.” They keep having to think of more people to thank at each award. For Group of the Year, the bass singer is sure to include “my dog Spot, who’s in the audience.”
*At 1:21:00, Gold City performs “Midnight Cry,” but it’s George’s intro that’s pure gold as he casually throws the script out the window. “And these young friends of mine… [pauses, looks up]. Let me re-phrase that. I hate young people.”
*George also spontaneously adds kind words about various artists as he feels moved throughout. I especially like his intro of a young black ladies’ trio at 1:27:40 (gracefully rescuing the moment after Cynthia tries some of her “popping” sounds on the audience apropos of the word “pop”).
*At 1:35:00, Russ Taff’s award for his self-titled Rock Album is announced and presented, and Russ comes up to give a moving word about how God “does hear our cries” even “in the lowlands.” Rich seemed particularly affected by it.
*Amy Grant accepts her award for Contemporary Album (Lead Me On) at 1:40:10 and talks about the challenges of recording an album while pregnant. Also cool to see the brilliant Brown Bannister offer a few classy words. Also, if you back up a little, you get to hear George say “Radically Saved” (Carman’s nomination).
*Steven Curtis Chapman accepting Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year for “His Eyes” at 1:44:20. Steven has always had a wonderful artlessness about him when he speaks. His co-writer James Isaac Eliot also accepts the award with him jointly. Rich Mullins himself was nominated for Contemporary Song this year with “Awesome God.” Folks were debating in the comments section over whether “Awesome God” deserved the award instead. I would argue that while “His Eyes” is a better song, “Awesome God” admittedly had a bigger “of the Year” sort of impact, and of course has still hung around despite Rich’s predictions that it would “fall completely out of use” within two decades at the outside.