Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards as they relate to Christian music are a joke. They are almost to Christian music what Dove Awards are to the Southern Gospel genre. While the phrase "Grammy Award winner" looks good in your publicity packet, it really doesn't mean much. When looking at the Grammy Awards voting process one can quickly understand how some of the winners are selected. I'm pretty sure there aren't many Southern Gospel experts on the Recording Academy roster. So, that's how you end up with some of these winners and nominations which serve only to make one scratch their head. Of course, the resulting amalgamation of Southern, Country, and Bluegrass Gospel will be a little odd. Check out this year's nominations and winner (in orange):

Category 55

Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Amazing Grace
    Bill & Gloria Gaither And The Homecoming Friends
    [Gaither Music Group]

  • Journey Of Joy
    Karen Peck And New River
    [Daywind Records]
  • Everybody's Brother
    Billy Joe Shaver
    [Compadre Records/Music World Entertainment]
  • Salt Of The Earth
    Ricky Skaggs & The Whites
    [Skaggs Family Records]

  • Tell Someone
    Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
    [Rebel Records]
  • I'll Fly Away: Country Hymns & Songs Of Faith
    Various Artists
    Ed Cash, producer
    [Sparrow Records]
Even the CCM categories can look a little odd. Look at the nominations and winner for album of the year:

Category 54

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • The Altar And The Door
    Casting Crowns
    [Beach Street Records/Reunion Records]
  • A Deeper Level
    Israel And New Breed
    [Integrity Music]

  • True Beauty
    [Sparrow Records]
  • Stand
    Michael W. Smith
    [Reunion Records]
  • Portable Sounds
    [ForeFront Records]
Now, I have 4 of the 5 albums listed here. And, as much as I enjoy Mandisa and Israel & New Breed, their albums aren't anywhere close to Top 5 material. TobyMac and Casting Crowns would be legit nominations, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Smitty has become the Bill Gaither of CCM, garnering nominations based on reputation rather than the worth of his productions. I wonder what would happen if SG and CCM albums were truly judged by a recording's merit rather than being a forgotten award floating around in the Black Hole of Fields 11-whatever? Just a thought.

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OK, when is the last time McCain helped out a church praise team? Governor Huckabee does a little plunking on a Southern Gospel classic. Thanks to Daniel at Southern Gospel Blog for the find.