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Contemporary Christian Music Watch
By Jim Galipeau

Heart-shaped cards, candies and cakes. You've got to love February -- the month of love! It's also the month record companies are doing marketing campaigns that would make Super Bowl advertisers envious. Why? Grammy nominees were announced in early January for the yearly awards show to be held on March 1 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In addition to all the pop, soul, R&B, rock, children's and an endless list of others, there were several nominees in the Gospel categories. One of my favorite albums of '94, The Light Inside by Gary Chapman, was nominated for the Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album along with Steven Curtis Chapman's Heaven in the Real World, Andrea Crouch and Mercy, Louisville's Larnelle Harris' Beyond All the Limits, and First Christmas from BeBe & CeCe Winans. The Winan siblings were also nominated in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal Category for "If Anything Ever Happened to You." (They should get some kind of award for being nominated to a category with more than 10 words!)

The popular Newsboys received a nomination for their latest Star Song release, Going Public, in the Best Rock Gospel Album Category, along with Steve Taylor's unique Squint. Degarmo & Key were also nominated for To Extremes and Petra for Wake Up Call; Strong Hand of Love - A Tribute to Mark Heard featuring various artists rounds out the nominations.

Yet another Gospel category is the Best Contemporary Soul Album. Another of my favorites and probably the winner is Take 6's Join the Band. Commissioned, another all-male group, was nominated for the album Matters of the Heart. There are three ladies in the bid for the Grammy: Yolanda Adams with Save the World, Helen Baylor and The Live Experience, and Tramaine Hawkins' To a Higher Place.

Some in the Southern Gospel field may wish they would divide this next category due to the amount of talent and music in each field. Nominated for the Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album are Tell It AgainBy Wendy Bagwell & the Sunlighters, The Cathedrals for High and Lifted Up, Charlie Daniels' The Door, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow from Alison Krauss and the Cox Family, and The Torchmen's Just Stopped By.

The 37th Annual Grammy awards will be televised on CBS at 8 p.m., March 1, and will go until the early morning hours. I'll let you know which Christian artists take home the coveted award.

December and January were tough months for Al Denson. On Dec. 18 Denson was aboard a small plane that crashed in a wooded field near the San Antonio International Airport. He suffered numerous fractures to the bones in his face and other injuries, requiring more than 400 stitches. Al also broke his arm and leg and had some vision problems. Unfortunately, flight instructor Grant Milner died in the crash, while another flight instructor, Doug Adkins, walked away from the crash with minor injuries.

Al is recovering at home but will have to undergo some more surgeries. In the meantime the album he had been working on has been postponed and his concert schedule has been cancelled until further notice. If you want to drop Al Denson a note, write him at Celebration Ministries, 2318 Creekside Circle South, Suite G, Irving, TX 75063.

If you've seen the Young Messiah Tour, get ready for the Hymns & Voices Tour. Hymns & Voices will be released in March by Sparrow which will team up with Proper Productions to create a tour to correspond with the album. Artists on the tour include Twila Paris, Steve Green and Larnelle Harris, plus speakers, authors, and host Max Lucado. The tour will be in full swing during May, August and September, produced by Norman Miller . . . who, by the way, also produced the Young Messiah Tour.

Speaking of tours, Amy Grant and Gary Chapman come to Lexington March 26 at Rupp Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 reserved. Group rates are available by calling 317-839-1092. March 17 Steve Green will be at Memorial Auditorium. And the date has been set for Joy Jam '95: June 24. I'll tell you who's going to be there once the lineup is finalized. In the meantime, if you need any concert information call the WJIE Concert Line at 966-0547.

WJIE PICS

My Heart's Already There Newsong

In Jesus Name Randy Stonehill

Sierra Sierra

What a Friend Greg Long

A Little More Like Jesus Brent Bourgeois

Dancing With The Dinosaur Steven Curtis Chapman

He Believes In Lost Causes Phillips, Craig & Dean

Song of Reconciliation Aston, Becker & Dente

Hard Times Wayne Watson

Deep Calling Deep Margaret Becker

Jim Galipeau is the Music Director for WJIE Radio

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