Grammy nominations announced

It is a good thing that Grammy and Dove nominations are not announced on a daily basis, for if they were, I would surely be scratching my head so much that I would have to find a toupee. The Grammy nominations were announced yesterday; the nominees in the best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel album were:

  • Times Like These, Austins Bridge
  • The Reason, Diamond Rio
  • Expecting Good Things, Jeff and Sheri Easter
  • Journey On, Ty Herndon
  • Live at Oak Tree, Karen Peck and New River

Of the three Southern Gospel nominees, the Easter nomination makes the most sense; though they’re not necessarily among Southern Gospel’s three most prominent groups, they’re high profile enough for the nomination to be reasonable—especially since it’s a well-executed and well-promoted mainline release with a compelling backstory.

The first time Karen Peck and New River picked up a Grammy nomination, some wondered if they had a Grammy-level high profile within the genre. Few would raise that question now that this is their third; here, it’s the project nominated that is odd. Live at Oak Tree is a video/CD recorded in a recording studio; unlike a mainline release debuting radio hits and concert favorites, here, the group sang songs made familiar by previous recordings. Though promoted as a peek inside the studio, the format is that of a live concert with the studio as the venue. So while it’s no particular surprise to see the group pick up a nomination, it’s odd that this particular recording would be nominated.

The most peculiar nomination of the three, and probably of the whole list, is the Austins Bridge album. The group never made significant inroads into Southern Gospel, and by some accounts disbanded some months ago; their website is still public, but an empty tour schedule lends credence to those accounts. So even if the nomination was to go to another artist on the same label, the Booth Brothers’ landmark recording Declaration would have led a list of several far more obvious picks.

All in all, this list reinforces the common assumption that the Grammy voting base appears to have little knowledge of our genre.


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29 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I thought your original comment (before the toupee) was more funny. I don’t know that the person referred to would have been offended, but maybe it is a sore spot.

    • Yes, it was – but I didn’t know if it was a sore spot, so I decided to play it safe. 🙂

      (Onlookers: Instead of a reference to getting a toupee, I originally said that I would have less hair than a certain quartet lead singer.)

      • I am not saying you were wrong to change it, one never knows and it is best to play it safe. I don’t know if the group he is with teases him like that or not. You notice, I tried to be really vague in my original comment so as not to undo your correction.

      • Yes, I did notice that, and I appreciate your vagueness – thanks! 🙂

      • Well… I know who Daniel was talking about. 😉

      • Hey Daniel. Completely unrelated to this post but I know you will know the answer to this. Did the Cathedrals do a Christmas project besides the 1985 “A Cathedral Christmas A Cappela?” I bought it off of Amazon today and was wondering if you knew where I could get more older CDs of the Cathedrals. I have most of their new stuff. Thanks so much for your help!! If anyone has any ideas, just let me know please.

      • That was their only Christmas project.

        Generally, to get and play older Cathedrals music, you’ll need a record player. eBay typically has a good assortment of common titles and, frequently, a few rare ones. I’ve had some (mixed) success with gemm.com. The used music booths at NQC are also sometimes really strong.

      • Awesome. Thanks Daniel!! I need to get me a record player for sure. Thanks again.

      • No problem! Check rummage sales – you can often get them for ~$10.

  2. I would be interested to find out what kinds of people are responsible for coming up with the nominations for this category. They obviously are looking from a secular perspective, but it would be nice to at least have someone who knows a great deal about it.

    One ironic thing is that I have everything ever recorded by Diamond Rio except this CD, all of it purchased before I really got back into Southern Gospel. I loved their country stuff and amazing vocals, but their attempt at CCM was not pleasing to my ears.

    • Record labels submit albums for nomination, and members of the NARAS (I think that’s the acronym) vote on them.

  3. I’m not familiar enough with these albums to know what year they were released in. Are these the nominations for albums that came out in ’09?

  4. I ask because it seems like maybe albums released this year were not meant to be considered in this “batch,” which would explain the absence of the GVB, EHSS, Booth Brothers, etc.

  5. ‘Declaration’ by the Booth Brothers was not released by Daywind so I doubt Daywind would’ve pushed for a nomination for this recording.

    It is interesting that all five nominees have a country sound/style or country back ground.

    Let’s not forget the country leaning Jason Crabb album won this category last year.

    • I thought Daywind picked it up.

      • Michael told me back at NQC that Daywind has picked it up; but it seems as though they might be having issues getting it “officially” released through their distribution company.

        As for the Austin’s Bridge nomination, it actually does not surprise me, since this particular project was produced by Jay Demarcus of Rascal Flatts.

      • Well, given that Daywind and New Day are under the same roof and owned by the same person . . . any delays would have to be internal, I suppose.

  6. Daniel, who do you view as Southern Gospel’s three most prominent group?

    (“Of the three Southern Gospel nominees, the Easter nomination makes the most sense; though they’re not necessarily among Southern Gospel’s three most prominent groups…”)

    • It is indeed hard to narrow it down to three.

      I would say that if the Grammy voters were well familiar with the genre, the Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, the Talley Trio, the Hoppers, Triumphant Quartet, and the Booth Brothers would be six of the most prominent – and since all six release albums 18-24 months apart, whichever of the six have a current CD out during that year’s eligibility period would raise no eyebrows if nominated.

      There are at least two or three others at approximately the same level, but those are six that I can guarantee would raise no eyebrows.

      • Out of those six Daniel, I would say that the most prominent three, easily, would be the GVB, EHSS, and the Booth Brothers.

        I learned that these actually ARE supposed to be the 2010 nominees. Go figure. With GVB, EHSS, and BBs all releasing albums this year, that’s just weird.

      • New-SGF, let me assure you that by the time you are an Old-SGF, you will be very used to it (unless things change!)

      • According the Grammy site. The nomination window this year was Sept. 1, 2009-Sept. 30, 2010

        EHSS didn’t release until October. The GVB was early August, I’m not sure if that affected it not having a nomination or not but it could have.

        I’m guessing the Booth Brothers not having Declaration as a mainstream release hurt it. It’s still not available on iTunes or directly from Amazon.

        The Austin’s Bridge nomination baffles me. The one that surprises me that it’s not on there is the “Naturally” by the Isaacs.

      • It’s not merely CDs that came out during the eligibility period. It’s up to the labels to submit them. Here’s some info about the nomination process:
        (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed)

        The process appears to be very similar to the process used by the Gospel Music Association for the Dove Awards.

        It would appear the Gaither label(s) didn’t bother to submit their CDs for consideration this year. Of course, it’s entirely possible GVB, EHSS, and the Isaacs CDs were were duly submitted and out-voted.

        That’s difficult to imagine, but stranger things have happened. For years, there has always been at least one nomination in this category that seems completely out of place.

      • Those would probably be the six that I would chose as well. The way you wrote your post, I thought, made it seem like you singled out three artists from the rest of the “pack.” The six that you chose, however, makes sense to me.

        As a side note, I think it would be unfair to the genre to select a just a few (2-4 groups) and label them as the most prominent groups. Again though, the six you chose is a good stoping point.

      • Well, I was only discussing three in the context of there being 3 slots that went to Southern Gospel groups.

  7. I’m not a prophet, or the son of a prophet but I’m gonna go ahead and say that I bet Karen Peck and New River take home the goods this year. Karen being in that movie with Queen Latifah and Dolly will help make this happen.

    • I guess if we want to know for sure, we could ask Ed Hill or Bill Baize. 😉

  8. I disagree. Jeff and Sheri Easter have been in Southern Gospel Music all of their lives. They are one of Southern Gospel’s most loved Husband and Wife duos, and now they even have their daughter Morgan with them. Strange thing is, if you don’t view them as prominent, why was this their second Grammy Nomination? Ask Bill Gaither what he thinks of Jeff and Sheri Easter. The other groups you mentioned are quartets. Remember that Southern Gospel is more than just quartets.
    Jeff & Sheri bring a unique style to Southern Gospel and have always since their start as a duo back in 1985. The Martins have done this as well. They have been trailblazers for what was to come years to come in Southern Gospel. I have listened to Southern Gospel now for over 30 years. Jeff and Sheri Easter have always hada huge impact on Southern Gospel, so has Karen Peck (ever since she was with the Nelons) & New River. Of course I understand that this is merely our own opinions with mine and your writings on here. However, just ask anyone who are big Southern Gospel Fans and ask them about Jeff & Sheri Easter, and Karen Peck & New River. I have yet to find someone to not like those two groups. They do songs that reach a broader audience. They do songs on each album to reach every possible member of the audience, whether they be single, married, widowed, young and old alike. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see these same Southern Gospel Groups back in the Grammy Nominations once again. For it wasn’t some of their first nominations. Have a blessed day!!!!

    • I find myself disagreeing on a point you raised. I would be very, very surprised to see Jeff & Sheri or KP&NR in the Grammy nominations again, now that the NARAS has snubbed Southern Gospel by eliminating all Southern Gospel categories.

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