"Hidden Heroes" Wins Dove!
by Mary Pieper of Globe Gazette
FLOYD, IOWA | Dixie Phillips of Floyd said she and her sister-in-law, Sharon Phillips of Camden, Arkansas, were excited just to be nominated for a Dove Award for a song they wrote titled "Hidden Heroes."
Their fellow nominees included some of their not-so-hidden heroes in Christian music, including Gloria Gaither.
Then they heard their names read as the winners in the Southern Gospel Song of the Year category during the ceremony in Nashville on Oct. 13.
"We did not see it coming," Dixie said.
The two women went on stage to accept the award for the song, which was recorded by the Christian music group The Talleys.
Dixie told the crowd of 600 people that only Jesus would take two pastors' wives over 50, one from Iowa and one from Arkansas, and have them put their song in a songwriting contest.
"And the next thing we know we are at the Dove Awards," she said through tears.
She thanked everyone who has been so kind during the process, including their families.
"I still can't believe it," she said.
Sharon said, "We want to give all the praise to Jesus."
The main ceremony for the Dove Awards for Christian music, held each year by the Gospel Musical Association, was shown Sunday on TBN.
Dixie and Sharon did not appear on the broadcast, as their category was one of those presented during the pre-broadcast portion of the ceremony. However, their acceptance speech can be seen on YouTube.
Dixie, the wife of the Rev. Paul Phillips, pastor of the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Floyd, said she has dabbled in songwriting her whole life. She sang with a Christian women's trio for 25 years.
Sharon, who is married to Paul's brother, the Rev. Don Phillips, writes music, while Dixie is a lyricist.
Dixie sent Sharon the lyrics for "Hidden Heroes," which is about those who care for those with special needs or Alzheimer's.
The last line of the chorus is "Hidden heroes are never hidden from the Father."
Sharon wrote music to go with the lyrics. They decided to enter it in a Christian songwriting contest.
They won first prize — the chance to have the song recorded by the Southern gospel group The Talleys, who have toured internationally and are known for their Gaither Homecoming video series and concert tour appearances.
The Talleys, a trio consisting of Roger and Debra Talley and their daughter, Lauren, have a personal connection to the song, according to Dixie. Roger's father cared for his wife when she had Alzheimer's.
"They knew that song was for them," Dixie said.
She said she and Sharon were shocked when "Hidden Heroes" was one of the 30 songs that made it into the first round of voting for the Southern Gospel Song of the Year category in the Dove Awards because they are so far outside the music industry.
Then the song was was chosen as one of the five finalists in its category, and the two women were headed to the ceremony in Nashville.
Dixie said she and Sharon plan to continue writing songs together.
The two women have met a lot of other songwriters during workshops they have attended since "Hidden Heroes" was released, as well as at the Dove Awards.
"We just cheer each other on," she said.