December 18, 2009
GRAMMY Voters Need to Take a Beat THEN Vote
First of all, I am a member of The Recording Academy, producers of the world-famous GRAMMY(r) Awards. I am an "Associate" Member which means I am a part of the organization but I am not a voting member. Voting members must meet certain criteria and the idea behind that is so people who are working music makers -- who should have their fingers on the music pulse and be able to determine Grammy-worthy vs. non Grammy -worthy performances, songs and musicians -- are the ones picking the best of the best. Now, as with the Oscars, sometimes the voting members get it right (Dixie Chicks) and sometimes it appears no one is really paying attention at all (Steely Dan). This year's nominations are very predictable with one really frighteningly naive and glaringly wrong issue and it has to do with two categories that the "everyday" person gets confused but the Grammy voter should be very dialed into the differences: Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Here's the dif: Song of the Year is what's called a "songwriting" category and that's based on the composition of the song, the lyrics, etc. and the Grammy goes to the songwriter not the artist unless the artist also is a songwriter. Record of the Year on the other hand is a "performance" category and that's based on production, the artist's performance, etc. Record of the Year goes to the performer and the producer. Here's the out-of-touch issue this year...Beyonce with 10 nominations (too many for this album, I might add) has noms in both Song of the Year (songwriter, composition) and Record of the Year (production, performance) however I do not know for the life of me who fell asleep at the screening committee meetings but how the heck can Halo (one of the most beautifully written songs of the year) be up for Record of the Year (production, performance) and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)" (arguably one of the slickest production numbers and performances Beyonce's ever delivered) get a Song of the Year nomination (to the song writer)???? I am so perplexed by this and apparently the voting members of the Academy are perplexed about the differences between Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Bad note.