Bobby Karl Works The Room: Grammy Nominees Party

 Nominee Francesca Battistelli, George Flanigen, Recording Academy® chair of the board of trustees, nominee Colbie Caillat Courtesy of The Recording Academy® 2009 Photograph by Frederick Breedon/ Photo by Frederick Breedon/

(L-R): Nominee Francesca Battistelli; George Flanigen, Recording Academy® chair of the board of trustees; and nominee Colbie Caillat. Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy® 2009. Photo by Frederick Breedon/

Chapter 330

It’s all about the guest list.

“Go on in,” I said to late-arriving Tracy Gershon. “It’s everybody you’ve ever met in your life.”

“This is one of my favorite parties of the year,” said Tom Baldrica. “It’s January 21st, and I still get to wish everybody Happy New Year.”

It’s true. The Grammy is the great community unifier. So the Nashville chapter’s Grammy-nominees party (1/21) drew songwriters, publishers, record-label folks, bluegrass pickers, pop purveyors, gospel-industry honchos, rockers, country stars, managers, classical representatives and media from across the city’s spectrum.

This year’s nominees include attendees Dierks Bentley, Jim Brickman, Jars of Clay, Alison Brown, Ashley Cleveland, fire-breathing vocal phenomenon Jason Crabb, Tom Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Bela Fleck, pop princess Colbie Caillat, Matthew West, James Slater, Nathan Chapman and Michael Martin Murphey.

“To have a Grammy nomination is like, ‘Poof: You did good,” said Rhonda Vincent.

“It’s a pat on the back,” echoed Trace Adkins.

“I hope you win,” I said to Steve Wariner. He replied with the classic statement, “I’m just glad to be recognized and nominated.”

In the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Ballroom, Susan Stewart introduced our Recording Academy chapter president Pete Fisher (who also served as our fearless leader in 1996-97, by the way).

“As each year passes, more and more nominations come from Nashville,” Pete said. “And we are very pleased and honored to have so many nominees with us tonight.”

Susan also recognized Mayor Karl Dean and wife Anne Davis, Nancy Shapiro, Debbie Carroll and the local chapter staff. Loews’ ever-gracious manager and party host Tom Negri was presented with framed Grammy artwork for the 52nd annual awards. Our own George Flanigen is the new national chairman of the board of trustees.

George explained the work and activities of the Grammy Foundation, MuisCares and the Producers & Engineers Wing. “Our local nominees represent what is best about our community,” he added.

Pete congratulated an absent Loretta Lynn on her Lifetime Achievement Award win and introduced Harold Bradley, who is getting a Trustees Award.

“Actually, I was the first president of the Nashville chapter,” said Harold. “I was at a meeting [forming the chapter] and had to leave for a funeral. When I got back, they’d voted me the president!”

“Mr. Bojangles” a 1970 hit by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, is going into the Grammy Hall of Fame this year. Jeff Hanna took the stage to accept framed Grammy artwork on behalf of the band.

“They didn’t say that you SANG it,” I complained to him. “They made it sound like I WROTE it,” Jeff replied. “That’s OK. I’ll take it any way I can.”

Have I mentioned the food? We’re talking brie toast points, cheese grits & shrimp, crab cakes with chipotle sauce, succulent roast beef slices, a pasta station and black-eyed peas in shot glasses, not to mention the full bars plus éclairs, chocolates, cream puffs and other assorted desserts.

And back to that guest list. The cast of this fabulon-packed soiree included Shelby Kennedy, Gordon Kennedy, Tim Fink, Tim Nichols, Erika Wollam Nichols, Dan Hill, Dan Hays, Dan Keen, Dennis Lord, Tom Lord, Joanna Carter, Jimmy Carter, Pat Higdon, Paul Barnabee, Mark Bright, Tony Brown, Joe Galante, Drew Alexander, Denise Stiff, Angelo, Garth Fundis, Mary Ann McCready, Clay Myers, power couples Steve & Ree Guyer Buchanan and Ron & Regina Stuve, Kay West, Jody Williams, Matraca Berg, Terry Hemmings, John Briggs, Victoria Shaw, Fletcher Foster, Lori Badgett, Lisa Harless, Allen Brown, Doug Howard, Jeff Walker, Jed Hilly. Jason Houser, Jennifer Bohler, Peter Cooper, Karen Byrd, Ronna Rubin, Schatzi Hageman, Chris Keaton, Brad Schmitt, Bill VornDick…..

Like I said, just about everybody you’ve ever met in your life.


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