[Stories] Dottie Leonard Miller

Dottie Leonard Miller experienced the hymns of our faith in her early years while attending Hillcrest United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware, but her tremendous impact on the world of Christian and Gospel music would not take place until many years later. As a single mother of two needing any job to make money to support herself and her children, she took a job with Calvary Records in Nashville, TN. Dottie began as a radio promoter and developed a love for Christian and Gospel music along with the communication skills she would later need to build New Day Christian Distributors and Daywind Music Group, one of the first female-owned and operated music businesses in the Christian products arena. Started in her garage in 1981, with a small investment from her parents, brother, and family friend, New Day and Daywind have grown over the past 36 years into a major source of distribution and original content for the Christian retail market.

New Day’s offerings began with Christian and Gospel music and New Day remains true to the format today by distributing exclusively to Christian retail great independent record labels like Reach Records, Tooth and Nail, Word/Curb, BMG, Malaco, Tone Tree, Fuel, and Daywind, and many independent artists, as well as Provident (Sony), Capitol Christian (Universal) and Integrity on a non-exclusive basis.

While her contributions to the growth of Christian and Gospel music from a distribution standpoint are significant, perhaps her greatest contribution to the church as a whole is Daywind Music Group.  Daywind Music Group includes Daywind Records, Daywind Performance Tracks, Daywind Music Publishing, and Daywind Studios.  Co-founded in 1986 by Dottie and the late Ronnie Drake, Daywind allows Dottie to support ministries through label deals and provides tools like soundtracks and print music so that every singer and musician may spread the Gospel through music.

Many of the top artists and songwriters in Southern Gospel music have found a home at Daywind over the years, impacting millions of people annually through live performances, music sales, and radio and television on a yearly basis, including Greater Vison, Karen Peck and New River, the Crabb Family, Jason Crabb, Legacy Five, Mark Lowry, Gold City, Michael English, the Perrys, Brian and Free and Assurance, the Nelons, the Blackwood Brothers, Joseph Habedank and more, along with songwriters Dianne Wilkinson, Gerald Crabb, Ronnie Hinson, Lee Black, Jason Cox, Chris Cron, Karen Peck, and more.

While supporting these major ministries is a passion for Dottie, her biggest impact on the Christian and Gospel music likely happens on a weekly basis as the top songs in Christian and Gospel music are sung by everyday people using Daywind’s performance tracks in thousands of churches across the world.  Over four thousand five hundred songs, representing the best in all genres of Christian and Gospel music, have been released over the past thirty years.  These performance tracks enable small and large church members alike to experience the tremendous songs of Christian and Gospel artists and songwriters, similar to the way Dottie heard her first hymns in church as a child.

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