Top honors in the annual Camp Springs, N.C., bluegrass festival poll were awarded Monday to J.D. Crowe and the New South of Lexington, Ky.
Crowe's "You Can Share My Blanket" was selected the song of the year, and the album by the same name was the album of the year. The New South also was chosen as band of the year in the poll of festival goers and readers of Music Country; a bluegrass and country music publication.
Individual awards to Crowe's group included, for Crowe himself, entertainer of the year and the best banjo player, and for Keith Whitley, the group's lead singer, the most promising singer.
The Country Gentlemen, based in Washington, were selected as the best vocal group and Charlie Waller, their lead singer, was named best bluegrass guitar player and best bluegrass singer.
Jerry Douglas, who returned to the Gentlemen this summer, was voted best dobro player, James Bailey, also of the Gentlemen, was named most promising banjo player.
John Duffey of The Seldom Scene, also from Washington, was chosen the best mandolin player, and Tom Gray, The Scene's bass player, was tops in that category.
Bobby Hicks, who appeared last weekend with the Honky Tonk Goodtime Band from North Carolina, was named the best fiddle player.
The Blue Grass Cardinals of Reston were selected the most promising bluegrass band of the year.
Other most-promising awards went to Tony Williamson, guitar, Harris Marly, bass, and Jerry Stuart, mandolin, all of the Green Valley Ramblers; Jimmy Arnold, Honky Tonk Goodtime Band, fiddle; Gene Wooten, with Wilma Lee Cooper, dobro; and East Virginia, vocal group.
Earl Scruggs was selected the best all-time banjo player.
Special awards were presented by promoter Carlton Haney to Len Holsclaw, manager of the Country Gentlemen, and to Homer Brown, sound technician, for their contributions and dedication to bluegrass music.