Dick Tracy reporting here. Sorry indie musicians hoping to catch the break I did. In my book, I describe myself as the ball that got between the legs of the Bill Buckners of the industry. Well, they lobbied hard, and got a much bigger glove. Our balls have just been cut off, and the dicks won.

The Academy met last week to “reevaluate” the system set up for determining who the lucky 5 will be to get nominated for Grammys in all categories.

It appears now that luck will have nothing to do with it, and neither will a democracy.

They have put together what they call a “Nominations Review Committee”.

It of course is their prerogative to make or change the rules. And in fact, these committees had been in place for certain categories so the suits could control, Cha-ching.

(The Grammys generated 28 million viewers this year!) (That’s almost how many albums I sold!)

When I was nominated, there was no “Nominations Review Committee” in Americana. I was honored by being chosen by a large number of voting members who had no clue who I was, and made their decision solely based on the music they heard. Wow, right?

Grammy viewing audience for the 54th was 39.9 million. (They must have heard rumors that I was going to perform.) Would you believe I actually thought I might be invited to play the year I was nominated? That’s a knee slappah!

(One last plug for Emotional Jukebox. Get it and see why I got the nod!)

If there had been a committee, I would have been cock blocked for sure.

What do these committees have the power to do? They take the top 15 artists voted in from the general members in the given category. Then they have 2 wild card slots. In other words, this select committee can actually suggest 2 artists that did not even get voted in at all. They are then considered for the top 5. So you could have the most votes, and not get in at all….and you could have the fewest, and get in! These members secretly vote from this list of 17 artists, to get the final five.

After my nomination, the following year, during the voting process, without releasing this information to hopeful musician/members wanting a chance at a slice of the pie, NARAS slipped in one of these National Review Committees, lets just call them NARCS. This was not just for Americana, but across the board in all roots categories. So any Folk, Blues, or Americana Artist out there hitting the pavement, banging their head against the wall, because anyone who sees them knows they “got it”, who has not been fortunate enough to be signed to a label….is OUT. (You are welcome.)

I was aware of this at the time, and called the press. Nobody gave a shit.

And interestingly enough, the year after I was nominated, another indie got through the legs of “EDM.” (Electronic Dance Music). And naturally they did not have this asinine committee.

Well, guess who has a committee this year according to the list below which came from the top of The Academy?  Yup, EDM. How tragic it must have been, devastating, that one of the underdogs got some recognition for his work. THE SKY IS FALLING!! AHHHH! Call in a SWAT team! (Although, Grammy Nominee Al Walser didn’t receive death threats, like I did.)

NOTE: The information below conflicts with the link’s info, which shows that Dance/Electronica is still in the democracy category, as well as New Age. So, either they are in the process of NARCING these 2 categories, or one of the lists is just wrong. I will have to investigate further! Stay tuned.

And now folks, if you are in any of these categories and genres, you still have a chance to get nominated solely based on your craft and democracy:

The fields in which the top five selections from the general voting membership’s first ballot automatically become the nominees now include:
·         Alternative Music
·         Comedy
·         Musical Theater
·         Pop
·         Rap
·         Reggae
·         Rock
·         Spoken Word
·         Traditional Pop
·         Visual Media (soundtracks)
·         World Music
You may view the on-line conflicting list:  http://www.grammy.com/awards/voting-process-infographic
And they are actually considering making more changes, and adding more NARCS.
I find it rather interesting that the Christian categories have a committee. Is that what Jesus would have wanted them to do? It is so atypical of any affiliation with religion wanting to control. And rumor has it that God actually told Michelle Bachman she should be one of the NARCs.
I was interviewed by NPR in Los Angeles, last month by Mandalit Del Barco, who actually did seem to give a shit about these rules, and I am patiently waiting for that report to come out…which will hopefully include a head’s up on my book, which is full of more useless information!
Well, Linda Chorney reporting live from my living room. Getting ready for my next Musical Book Tour show in Cheshire, CT at the library, to honor the ROCK DOC! And if you are in New Jersey, come to my book release party show in Asbury on June 5th at the Watermark!
Just had my first official, published review…here it is.
Get the book! Learn the truth, and hopefully have a laugh at my expense!
P.S. I’m almost done with my next album. Looks like I’ll have to go for ROCK next time, unless they NARC that, too.


  1. May 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    At least you are getting back up on your saddle and ride your way to a Grammy. In saying that, I truly believe that you can make a difference. Like this Psy guy. How his music or so call music when crazy this year. Your music is easy to listen to and you can relate to what you are singing. I have you up there with Bob Dylan, he has put out some great songs for as long as I have been listening to music. Your music we all can relate too, the new artists I can barely hear the words and the amplified vocal machines, make me wonder what they really sound like. Thank you for having the guts to teach us all more about how music gets to be a hit. Please don’t get me wrong that I am putting down all music.

  2. June 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Linda, The narcs have been around for a long time. See this post from the LA Times in 1999. http://articles.latimes.com/print/1999/feb/21/entertainment/ca-10032 \

    Jazz (one of my the categories I’d like to one day win) has been narc’d for decades. *sigh* And let us not forget the ONE year there was a disco category – “I Will Survive” won and they promptly deleted the category.

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