Anticipation is growing as entertainers in the Rio Grande Valley await this year’s selections for the prestigious Valley Star Awards. Winter Texans across the Rio Grande Valley are already asking for the ballots to vote for their favorite performers. The ballot is inside today’s edition of the Winter Texan Times.
Nominees for this year’s Male Vocalist of the Year include Mario Rosales, who has made a name for himself in the Valley in a few short years as a comedian and singer. John Sager, Branson entertainer, has been named Male Vocalist of the Year several times and was also named Entertainer of the year twice. Bill Chrastil was named Male Vocalist of the Year in 2016. The fourth nominee for male vocalist is Rolando Reyes, who is always a popular performer known for his beautiful voice.
Female Vocalist of the Year nominees are Leslie Blasing, who has won Female Vocalist of the Year in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and Entertainer of the Year 2014, 2015 and 2016. Tavie Spivey, a newcomer to the Valley last year has won quite a few fans with her rock & roll music show. Jenny Casey, of Nashville, sings a variety of types of music. And Susan Hudson, who won Female Vocalist of the Year in 2012, is known for her version of Patsy Cline and singing other traditional country songs.
Nominees for Family Vocal Group of the Year include Mama’s Wranglers with a theme of western music and clogging representing their home near Las Vegas. Southern Anthem is a Texas-grown family band featuring the Pausewang family, including daughter, Makaela’s great voice, son, Derek, as the auctioneer, and 11-year-old Logan and the fiddle child-prodigy of the band. Lindley Creek is the Greer Family (John Rob, Kathie, Katie and Jase) of Missouri, who are known for bluegrass and gospel music. Goldwing Express, featuring an Irish papa who is dwarfed by his three Native American sons, singing southern gospel, country favorites, a bit of bluegrass and their signature train song.
For Musical Group of the Year (not related) the first nominee is Razz-Ma-Tazz, the show choir for Nikki Rowe High School in McAllen. The group is extremely popular with Winter Texans and they have won the award twice previously. Senior Ambassadors is a group of Winter Texans from all over the United States and Canada who perform together during the winter season in the Valley. Men of A-Chord is also composed of Winter Texans who sing but they sing a cappella and four-part harmony barbershop music. The Magic Valley Sweet Adelines is a women’s choir composed of Winter Texans and local singers who perform during the winter season.
Duet Musical Group of the Year nominees include Dave & Daphne, a gifted guitarist and gospel singer with a great voice who are popular entertainers. Gordy & Debbie have long been popular with Winter Texans and their high spirited show has won Duet Musical of the Year five times. Diego & Edith are local performers who are very popular with Winter Texans. Wade and Teresa Landry’s Swingin’ Cajun Show includes Cajun fiddle-player and comedian Wade Landry and his singing wife, Teresa.
Rock n Roll Bands include The Agency, The Cruisers, the Hot Rodz and Renaissance Rockers, a band made up of doctors from Renaissance Hospital.
Country Western Band of the Year nominees include Sweetwater, the Richard Lynch Band, the Roger Kensaston Band from Nebraska, and Dixon & Company.
Nominees for Novelty Act of the Year include Bernie & Red, the zany Canadian couple who have won several times; Gomer and Patsy Show starring Gary Crain, known for his loveable characterizations of old TV Favorites such as Gomer Pyle, and his singing wife, Teresa. Illusionist Roger Wayne, a renowned magician, is also nominated as is accordion-playing comedian Johnny Ray Gomez.
Gospel Group nominees include 4 His Glory, a local group from Rio Hondo that is very popular and who won last year; Ambassadors of Grace, known for their gospel and whimsical music; Heirs Together, consisting of Don and Gayla Becker; and the fourth nominee is Mark Vice known as Servant with a Song.
Individual/Small Band/Variety Act nominees include blind musician Walter Plant, and Adam Pope & the Rebel Roots, known for traditional country and high-energy rock-a-Billy music. Other nominees include Jason Whorlow, known as the Piano Man and plays a variety of music, is very popular with Winter Texans. Keys, Strings and Harmony is a local group that plays for many events in the Rio Grande Valley.
The show starts at 6 p.m. Sandwiches and snacks will be available before and during breaks. Tickets are $15 and are available at Mission Bell, (605) 610-6114, The Winter Texan Times, located at 1217 N. Conway in Mission, or order by phone at (865) 253-2514.
Between each announcement entertainment will be provided by some of the Valley’s best entertainers. Look for Bill Chrastil, Mario, Sherwin & Pam Linton, Leslie Blasing, Susan Hudson and the Edinburg Folklorico Dancers. This is a great opportunity to see all of these top performers come together in one show. To ensure good seating for your group, buy your tickets early.
For more information, call Robert Ferguson at (574) 361-2947.