Jimmy Carter (no, not the peanut-farming ex-prez) on 96.9 “The Kat” from North Carolina in his “Wednesday Dirt Alert” segment called the recently-released Academy of Country Music awards nominations “super-political” and asserts that he was specifically told that Carrie Underwood got snubbed for nominations from her label so that fellow label-mate Miranda Lambert would get some much needed press. Both Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are distributed by Sony.
Miranda Lambert. Is she the most popular act in country music? I don’t think so. I think she has gotten the most publicity because the machine is behind her. Is she more popular than Carrie Underwood, who didn’t get a nomination at all? It’s crazy political. . . You have to just say, “OK, these awards are what they are. They’re bragging rights, they’re an infomercial for the record label.” And like I was told off the record yesterday…that Miranda Lambert got all those nominations because the record label had to decide. Are they going with Carrie Underwood this year, or Miranda Lambert? Both are on the same label. They figured it would help Miranda more than it would help the career of Carrie Underwood.
Jimmy Carter also took the flamethrower to Curb Records when he said:
Tim McGraw. His record label is crappy. That is why he has never gotten the attention critically that he has deserved over the years.
Curb has its own history country award shows. Mike Curb battled with the CMA Awards in 1999 when it was discovered that big distribution companies that work with multiple labels were monopolizing the performances at the CMA’s. Mike Curb resigned from the performance committee that year because they refused to let Curb’s LeAnn Rimes perform. This was also the same year that George Jones was asked to sing an abbreviated version of his song “Choices”, and Alan Jackson protested by launching into “Choices” half way through his performance.
Jimmy Carter also turned their crosshairs on the Randy Rogers Band:
DJ: How does Randy Rogers band get up for group, and Rascal Flatts doesn’t?
Jimmy Carter: …I’ve met them, they’re very nice. I met them at Willie Nelson’s picnic this year. But they’re basically a Texas group. That does real well in Texas like Pat Green has done over the years. But bigger than Rascal Flatts? I don’t think so.
Jimmy Carter’s argument is that Miranda Lambert is not as popular as Carrie Underwood, and so thus, does not deserve these nominations. But should popularity be the only, or the majority measuring stick for who gets nominated? How about creativity, originality, or quality? It is probably fair to say that most country critics would label Miranda Lambert a “top shelf” artist in regards to quality and authenticity when looking at mainstream acts. Miranda is generally seen as more country than Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift for example. So is it a bad thing if “the machine” as Jimmy Carter puts it, is behind Miranda?
It is if the people who have a vote don’t represent their true feelings, but work from a tabulation formula in conjunction with other voters so that desired artists from certain labels are given preferential representation. And according to Jimmy Carter, this is exactly what happens when it comes to doling out nominations for the ACM Awards.