Sunday, February 13, 2011


I always look forward to the Grammys, and, for the past few years, I've enjoyed watching the pre-telecast at This year, I'll say that the pre-tel (for me) may rival the tv broadcast: there will be performances by some of my favorite nominees, including Buddy Guy, Cyndi Lauper, Trombone Shorty, Mavis Staples and Betty Wright. I wonder if they'll all perform together - that seems like a lot of performances for the pre-tel, and they are all nominated in similar categories. But I'll definitely have it locked, I'm excited to see this.

For the past few years, Tia Carerre hosted the pre-tel (she is usually nominated for Best Hawaiian Music Album, and she is again this year). This year it's Best New Artist nominee Esperanza Spalding with Bobby McFerrin.

Back when I worked at VH1, I used to look forward to covering the Grammy Awards.  This would entail not just covering the regular show, but also the pre-telecast.  Over 100 awards are given out at the Grammys every year, but only about 1/10 are actually on the TV show - the rest are done in the pre-telecast.  For years, you would find out who won some of those awards during the show when they said, "Earlier this evening, so-and-so won the so-and-so Grammy..." and show a picture.  But lots of the coolest awards are given out at the pre-tel.

When I started covering the event, we had an interview room that we shared with (which back then wasn't as much of a priority to NARAS as it is now) so I interviewed anyone who won a Grammy who came through our room, regardless of whether they were of interest to VH1. So, besides getting to talk to some really cool musicians like Steve Earle and Lemmy, I also interviewed Tibetan monks, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Lord Of The Rings score composer Howard Shore. You'll see lesser known jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel and classical musicians, and they often appreciate the accolades more than the huge stars that win during the regular broadcast. So, if you're around, log on and  catch the pre-tel!

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