Inside D.C. entertainment

A few interesting things about the 2010 Wammie nominations

January 10, 2011 - 12:00 PM
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Is Grammy-nominated singer Raheem Devaughn the Susan Lucci of the Grammys? (publicity photo)

The Wammies, the Grammy-inspired local music awards organized by the membership-based Washington Area Music Association, have received much in the way of criticism over the years. The awards, which began in 1985, have been knocked for ignoring notable indie rock and blues musicians, focusing too heavily on already established acts rather than up-and-comers, and the nomination process itself, among other things.

Still, the Wammies are the largest, longest-standing, most genre-inclusive local music awards in the area. So, whether you think the awards are useful or not, there are some interesting things to note about this year's nominations, which were announced on Friday.

Chuck Brown could win a 2010 Grammy, but he won't win a 2010 Wammie (at least in the categories of Go Go Talker, Go Go Duo/Group or Go-Go instrumentalist). He has Wammie emeritus status in those races, meaning that he won so many times that he can no longer be nominated. (Cathy Fink, Ron Holloway, Seldom Scene, and Sweet Honey in the Rock are among the groups that enjoy Wammie emeritus status.

Brown could win, however, for his 2010 release, We Got This, or the Grammy-nominated song "Love." The other local 2010 Grammy nominees, Raheem DeVaughn and Carolyn Malachi, are both nominated for Wammies.

Speaking of DeVaughn: He has won one Wammie, for his album Love Behind the Melody, but he's been nominated for eight years in the Urban Contemporary Vocalist category, but has never won. Susan Lucci of the Wammies!

DaVaughn is in good company: Wale has never won a Wammie, either. And this isn't some major label shut-out: Richard Smallwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mya, and even Dru Hill are among the major label artists who've snagged Wammies in years past.

These United States are nominated in the Country Duo/Group category, but the group's excellent 2010 album, What Lasts, isn't nominated in the Country Recording category.

No Love for Mary Chapin Carpenter's 2010 disc The Age of Miracles. (No, she's not in the D.C. area anymore, but she's based right down the road in Charlottesville, Va. And she's won nearly 50 Wammies over the years.)

Surest bet: Bob Mould and Thievery Corportation have dominated in the electronics categories for the last few years, and will probably continue to do so.

Be'La Dona, an all-female go-go band, is nominated in the Urban Contemporary Group category again this year, rather than under the go-go categories.

Members of WAMA have until Jan. 21 to cast their ballots. The awards ceremony will be held Feb. 20 at the State Theatre in Falls Church.

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