The Grammys Will No Longer Hippety-Hop For The Year’s Best Polka Recording

noah | June 5, 2009 9:30 am

Sure, the Grammy Awards have been accused of being stodgy and out of touch with the way people consume music in the recent past, a charge that was perhaps fortified when the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences announced that its cutoff date for next year’s awards ceremony would be a month earlier than this year’s, thus setting the stage to allow albums released on Sept. 1, 2009 to be flogged by the ceremony in early 2011. Perhaps as a way to offset this change, the Academy has decided to shake up some of the niche categories–and among those changes is the elimination of the Best Polka Album category, which was last won by Jimmy Sturr’s Let The Whole World Sing. The full list of changes, which will reduce the number of awards being given out on Grammy Night 2010 to 109, after the jump.

Due to the continued growth of traditional music, The Academy has split the category Best Contemporary Folk/Americana into two categories: Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Americana Album. Additionally, the Folk Field has been renamed American Roots Music, which will now include the Best Traditional Blues Album, Best Contemporary Blues Album and Best Bluegrass Album categories. In the Latin Field, the Best Latin Urban Album will now be combined with Latin Rock or Alternative into Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album. To ensure the Awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape, the Best Polka Album has been eliminated, which brings the total number of GRAMMY categories to 109.

While I’m sure writers covering the Grammys will miss their favorite go-to “funny” category when they’re writing up the nominations later this year, the combination of the Best Latin Album categories seems stranger to me than the 86ing of polka. Why, at a time when the Latino population of this country is expanding, would you want to consolidate three categories that on the surface don’t seem like they fit very well together? Why not consolidate “Best Latin Urban Album” with “Best Latin Pop Album”? Let’s end this post with a reminder of happier times–nearly 30 years ago:

Academy Spring Trustees Meeting Results Announced [naras.org] [NYT]Jimmy Sturr – Polka Fever Commercial [YouTube]
Tags: