From multiplatinum country superstars and an Americana up-and-comer to an acclaimed Broadway belter and a late, great folk icon, Oklahoma was well-represented when the nominations list for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were unveiled tonight (Wednesday night).
For the fifth year, the nominees in the top categories were revealed on the CBS special “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night,” co-hosted this year by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift.
As expected, several Oklahomans earned nominations in the country music categories. Three artists with Sooner State ties are nominated in the Best Country Solo Performance alone: Checotah native Carrie Underwood for her chart-topping story-song “Blown Away,” Tishomingo resident Blake Shelton for his hit power ballad “Over” and former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn for his timely anthem “Cost of Livin’.”
Dunn and Phillip Coleman also got a nod for Best Country Song for penning “Cost of Livin’,” while Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins are nominated in the category for writing Underwood’s “Blown Away.”
Shelton’s wife and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert earned a Best Country Album nomination for her fourth effort, “Four the Record.” The 11-piece Western swing band The Time Jumpers, which counts Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill among its members, earned a nod in the category for its self-titled studio debut.
The Norman-born and Oklahoma City-bred singer/songwriter/musician co-wrote and provides the lead vocals on “On The Outskirts Of Town,” which garnered The Time Jumpers a nomination in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Gill’s propensity for musical collaborations is apparent among the nominations: He, Dunn and Lawton-born Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell are among the guest stars on Jamey Johnson’s “Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran,” another of the Best Country Album nominees. Also, Gill, Midwest City High School graduate Kevin Welch and Soper native Ray Wylie Hubbard are featured on “This One’s For Him: A Tribute To Guy Clark,” which is nominated for Best Folk Album.
Bearden native John Fullbright earned a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album with his debut studio effort, “From the Ground Up,” which he recorded at 115 Studios in Norman and released on his own Blue Dirt Records label.
Four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara, who was born in Elk City and raised in Edmond, shares principal soloist duties with Matthew Broderick on the Broadway cast recording of “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.
The lasting legacy of Okemah native Woody Guthrie is represented among the nominations, which is particularly appropriate since much of the musical world has spent 2012 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the folk icon’s birth. Although he died in 1967, Guthrie’s name appears in several Grammy categories:
Elizabeth Mitchell’s “Little Seed: Songs For Children By Woody Guthrie” is nominated for Best Childen’s Album. Art director Fritz Klaetke is competing for Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for “Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection.” In addition, Jeff Place and Robert Santelli, compilation producers, and Pete Reiniger, mastering engineer, are nominated for Best Historical Album for “Woody At 100.”
Art director Noah Wall is nominated for Best Recording Package for “Love This Giant,” the collaborative album for Tulsa-born singer/songwriter/musician St. Vincent and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Byrne.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS.
The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean and Kanye West top the nominations with six each; the Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel each received five nods; and producer Jeff Bhasker, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig and Nas are each up for four awards.