Beautiful Jim wins Programmer’s Choice Award at Crossroads Film Festival!

Earlier this week, Beautiful Jim (the documentary about Jimbeau's life) played at the Crossroads Film Festival in Mississippi and won the Programmer's Choice Award! We're so proud! Congratulations to Jimbeau, Brenda, Rex, and everyone else involved with the film!


Source: Crossroads film festival instagram account


"Beautiful Jim" screening takes place on Saturday, April 19
at the Green Hills Regal Cinemas in Nashville, Tennessee

Country hitmaker celebrates with special concert at
The Listening Room on Sunday, April 20

Nashville, TN (April 2, 2014) -- For more than four decades, songwriter Jimbeau Hinson has been shaping the country music industry with his cleverly penned and prolific songs, but now he is entering into new territory with his new documentary film, Beautiful Jim, which makes its premiere at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival on Saturday, April 19. The screening will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Green Hills Regal Cinemas.

Renowned for writing hits for artists such as David Lee Murphy, Brenda Lee, Patty Loveless, Steve Earle and the Oak Ridge Boys, Jimbeau talks candidly throughout the film about his life as an open, formerly active, bisexual man which resulted in his diagnosis with HIV. Living over a decade under the secret of his infection for personal and professional reasons, he is now considered HIV-undetectable. Jimbeau has come close to dying from the AIDS virus on two occasions, miraculously beating the odds each time, all of which is documented in Beautiful Jim.

Happily and faithfully married to Brenda, his wife of 34 years, they both talk about their resolve together in the face of life's toughest challenges. It is at once a poignant, heartfelt and inspirational love story.

The documentary also features musical performances recorded live at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe and Douglas Corner by Jimbeau, Jon Michaels, Marc-Alan Barnette and friends, as well as music from Roy August, Kim Tribble, David Lee Murphy, Dillon Dixon and Billy Dawson.

The film was produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Rex Jones of the Southern Documentary Project at the University of Mississippi in association with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Beautiful Jim has also become an official selection of the Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, MS, as well as the Crossroads Film Festival in Jackson, MS.

The following day on Sunday, April 20 from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Jimbeau will perform a special concert at The Listening Room in celebration of the documentary and his latest album, Strong Medicine, which is available on Wrinkled Records and iTunes. The unplugged writer's round will be hosted by Dillon Dixon and feature performances by Jimbeau and several of his favorite Nashville songwriters friends.

"I'm just so grateful I'm still here to talk and sing about my experiences," says Jimbeau at 62 years of age. "Hopefully, people will hear and see themselves in my music and my life ... to know they are not alone ... that we are all in this together."

To view trailer from "Beautiful Jim" click here

For more of the latest news and information on Jimbeau Hinson, visit or follow him on

For more information on the 2014 Nashville Film Festival

For more information on Rex Jones or the Southern Documentary Project visit

Schatzi Hageman / Hot Schatz PR
PH: 615-782-0078

Jones’ “Beautiful Jim”

"Beautiful Jim" is an intimate documentary portrait of bisexual singer-songwriter and raconteur Jimbeau Hinson. The film, which Rex Jones directed, conveys Hinson's life experience through a series of candid interviews and segues during his musical performance. Jones balances the expository, sometimes provocative narration with photographic stills, shots of memorabilia and well-placed non-verbal sequences that show the full dimension of Hinson's story.

#As a boy growing up in Newton, Miss., Hinson earned recognition as a singer at an early age. When his voice changed radically at the age of 14, his singing career lost momentum. Determined to be a songwriter instead, he followed his dreams to Nashville where he eventually found success. Best known for his work with The Oak Ridge Boys, the self-described "first openly bisexual man in the county music industry" faced numerous challenges in life and career. Hinson was diagnosed with HIV in 1985. Since then, he's survived two, near-fatal bouts of full-blown AIDS but has lived to continue writing, recording and performing his music.

#Rex Jones is a filmmaker on staff with The Southern Documentary Project ( The project is affiliated with the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. SouthDocs is also a division of The Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

#"As a documentary filmmaker, it's my job to make films about Mississippi and the South," Jones says. "With such wonderfully fertile ground for telling stories, I have a lot of rich material to work with."

#A native of Hickory, Miss., Jones began his professional career in computers. In 1992, he graduated from Mississippi State University with two degrees, a master's in business administration and a bachelor's in computer science. He worked in IT for 15 years. Somewhere along the way, he became fascinated with documentary film as a creative way to effect change in the world. Though he knew very little about the process, he eventually shot his first movie.

#"I had a grave dowser come to my ancestral church and use his supernatural powers to find unmarked graves in the cemetery," Jones says. "It was amazing to watch. I thought, what better topic than this for a documentary? I bought a cheap Handycam and went out there and followed him around the cemetery."

#To Jones' surprise, several film festivals accepted the film he put together, titled "Dowsing Spring Hill." Ready for a change of vocation, Jones built off the success of his first effort, applied to film school and enrolled at Montana State University.

#In 2009, he returned to Mississippi with a master's degree in science and natural history filmmaking.

#"Beautiful Jim" is Jones' 12th production under the auspices of SouthDocs and his first feature-length film. Through serendipity and Google, he discovered Jimbeau Hinson in a blog entry about bottle collecting in Newton, the singer-songwriter's hometown, just eight miles from Hickory.

#"I was fascinated by his story," Jones says. "He's overcome so much adversity in his life and has done so many wonderful things. I was drawn to his story and to him. Being from the same neck of the woods as myself, I knew I had to reach out."

#Hinson's response was affirmative and enthusiastic, setting the tone for the film that took about six months to complete. Between Hinson's generosity and the depth of Jones' interest and appreciation, the film telegraphs an immediacy of rapport and open communication

#"It's a collaboration," Jones says. "I'm very fortunate to be able to quickly reach a level of comfort and intimacy with people when I'm doing these films. It really helps when you're doing that exchange of information."

#Shot in multiple locations in Tennessee and Mississippi, Jones' film displays a fine eye for landscape and frame. Throughout the film, he plants moments of contemplation—a time-lapsed sunrise over a fallow field; a silent shot of Hinson sitting on a bench in Newton with the town water tower hovering in the distance— purely visual moments that evoke a sense of place and regional identity.

#"Beautiful Jim" is one of three LGBT films included the 2014 Crossroads Film Festival. Though Jones did not set out to make a film in that category, he hopes the documentary will be relatable to a broad range of people.

#"If I can reach the LGBT community and the HIV AIDS community, the songwriting community or small town MS and people from the south, then that's the reason for the movie," Jones says. "We all embody people who have struggled. If they're an underdog, then it's even better."

#"Beautiful Jim" screens at 3:15 p.m. April 5 on Screen A.


“Beautiful Jim” Documentary Screening and Concert

For everyone near Jackson, MS (or those who feel like taking a roadtrip...) there's a special screening of Beautiful Jim at Duling Hall on March 27! Jimbeau will be there as well! Read on for the details and a message from Jimbeau.


The film is about Jackson native and singer-songwriter Jimbeau Hinson's battle with HIV. Hinson, his wife Brenda and Ken Somerville perform. Tonya Boyd-Cannon performs before the screening. Proceeds benefit Hearts Against AIDS.
When: Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Duling Hall, Jackson
Cost: $10, $5 students with ID buy tickets
Contact Phone: 601-292-7999
Categories: All, Charity Fundraisers, Singer/songwriter, Soul / R&B, Film

Jimbeau Hinson & Tonya Boyd Cannon – Live @ Duling Hall, March 27th

We are very excited to announce that we will have two very talented and special people – Jimbeau Hinson and Tonya Boyd Cannon – join us for a night of fun and learning! The event will be held at Duling Hall in Fondren on Thursday, March 27, 2014, beginning at 7PM. Tonya Boyd Cannon will open the night with a few songs. Then, we’ll hear from Jimbeau Hinson and watch

We’ll provide more details as the date of the event nears!

We hope to see you there!

Below is a brief message from Jimbeau himself:

Brenda and I are so looking forward to being at the Duling Hall on March 27th with musical friend Ken Somerville in tow for the showing of Rex Jones’ intimate portrait of my life, BEAUTIFUL JIM. It is an honor to share my story with my birthplace, Jackson, MS. Please come… let’s talk about what nobody is REALLY talking about, the current rise of HIV in modern day America. After a successful run being a hit country songwriter most of my life, I tested HIV positive in 1985, wasted away to skin and bones twice… but today I am a miraculously healthy and non-detectable 62 year old grateful soul! My wife of almost 34 years has continuously tested negative. We have the real life experience to answer whatever questions you may have concerning living with and avoiding HIV. Brenda and I would love to shake your hand, hug your neck and offer whatever advice you might be in need of. Go by and hear my new Wrinkled Records CD of songs written during the hiding and dying years. Sounds depressing but I assure you it is anything but. Songs of hope, fortitude, forgiveness and of course… monogamy. There is a link there to to purchase if you feel like contributing to the cause. Your support would be appreciated. We’re an American couple on a mission to spread the word… that nobody is talking about… and should. Sincerely Jimbeau Hinson.


Films starring Clive Owen, Lena Dunham, Ray Liotta, Jude Law and Tom Hardy top just-announced Nashville Film Festival lineup

The Nashville Scene did a great article about the upcoming Nashville film festival, and Jimbeau gets an honorable mention! Which such a star studded line up, we are so proud to be a part of it! You'll be able to see the documentary about his life on April 19th. Full schedule details available here.


The Nashville Film Festival is billing itself this year as "The Week Nashville Goes to the Movies."

It's more like the week the movies are taking over Nashville.

In its 45th year, the city's annual celebration of independent features, music films, documentaries and shorts is spilling over all its old boundaries. Now running April 17-26, it's expanding from its typical weeklong run to the 10-day, two-weekend schedule favored by standard-setting festivals such as Toronto and Sundance. It's overflowing its traditional campus at Regal's Green Hills megaplex to a secondary outpost downtown at Walk of Fame Park — the better to draw the estimated 70,000 visitors in town for the Country Music Marathon April 26.

It's adding a screenwriting competition that's already drawn more than 1,500 entries, partly on the strength of judges such as Harmony Korine, former Universal chief Tom Pollock, veteran casting director Laray Mayfield and Nicole Kidman's production company Blossom Films. With the aid of corporate sponsor Nissan, it's also adding a "multicultural village" downtown that will be the site of nightly screenings, parties and events. Such plans will require 100 additional volunteers, bringing the total to 600.

Much of that logistical burden falls on three people: NaFF executive director Ted Crockett, artistic director Brian Owens and communications director Deb Pinger. For the past several months, teams of advance viewers have been screening 3,133 film submissions from 125 countries, helping Owens whittle that number down to roughly 200 official selections. On Monday, in the festival's calm-before-the-storm Rains Avenue offices, Owens and Crockett unveiled a star-studded slate that they hope will boost NaFF — already one of the oldest film festivals in the country — to skyscraper status on the arts skyline.

Some highlights:

Narrative features. At least two Nashville-filmed features are among the most anticipated items on this year's NaFF slate, beginning with Dustin Marcellino's musical drama The Identical. Nashville screenwriter Howard Klausner (Space Cowboys) spins a tale inspired by what might have happened if Elvis Presley's twin brother hadn't died at birth. Its fine cast includes Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano and newcomer Blake Rayne, some of whom are tentatively scheduled to attend.

Perhaps even more intriguing is When the World's on Fire, the long-awaited debut feature by Nashville writer-director James Clauer, whose short film "The Aluminum Fowl" made a splash back in 2006 at Sundance and Cannes. A longtime collaborator with his childhood friend Korine, Clauer shot his film in 'Scope with a cast that mixes professionals (among them Joshua Elrod and Travis Nicholson) and non-actors; all we know is that the guerrilla shoot attracted unwanted police attention on at least one occasion.

Those seeking films with starpower and recognizable names won't be let down by special presentations featuring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche (Fred Schepisi's scholastic battle-of-wits comedy-drama Words and Pictures); Tom Hardy (the character study Locke, from Eastern Promises screenwriter Steven Knight); Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham (Joe Swanberg's domestic comedy-drama Happy Christmas); Jude Law, Richard E. Grant and Demian Bichir (The Matador director Richard Shepard's gangland comedy Dom Hemingway); and Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church (Megan Griffiths' closing-night drama Lucky Them).

World cinema. The various programs, including the Narrative Competition, New Directors Competition and World Vanguard slates, are studded with international directors of note, such as Poland's Pawel Pawlikowski (the black-and-white Ida), Mexico's Fernando Eimbcke (Club Sandwich), Canada's Denis Côté (Vic + Flo Saw a Bear) and Ingrid Vininger (The Animal Project), the U.K.'s Mark Cousins (with his The Story of Film follow-up A Story of Children and Film) and China's Vivian Qu (who will attend with her surveillance-state drama Trap Street). The lineup also includes two films by one of the most talked-about directors on the current festival circuit, Josephine Decker, whose Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely got a high-profile boost in recent weeks from New Yorker critic Richard Brody and Indiewire.

Tennessee First. Talented Knoxville filmmaker Paul Harrill arrived in 2001 with his award-winning short "Gina, an Actress, Age 29"; he'll be at NaFF this year with his first feature, a romantic drama titled Something, Anything. Documentarian Shara Lange follows ethnomusicologist Lee Bidgood to the Czech Republic in search of faraway downhome roots music in Banjo Romantica: American Bluegrass Music and the Czech Imagination. Another promising music doc, Rex Jones' Beautiful Jim, profiles Jimbeau Hinson, country music's first openly bisexual singer-songwriter.

Graveyard Shift. The festival's late-night slot for cinematic extremity has amassed a die-hard following over the years. The 2014 edition definitely shows the influence of new programmer (and Scene film writer) Jason Shawhan, from the style exercise The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears — the latest from Belgian giallo revivalists Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani — to Yann Gonzalez's kinky French provocation You and the Night. The animated sci-fi drama The Congress, from Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman, enlists the voices of Robin Wright and Harvey Keitel in the story of an aging actress offered a chance to stay young forever — for a price.

Indie filmmaker Swanberg, a past NaFF visitor, goes before the camera in Scalene director Zack Parker's utero-horror tale Proxy. The Tennessee-shot indie Wild Domestic begins with a bloody, spacesuited man staggering from a cornfield; another stranger, the enigmatic hero of Alex von Warmerdam's Borgman, emerges from the earth to seduce and menace a bourgeois couple. Neither, however, may be a match for the gruesome folklore demon who rises to rip apart victims in the South African horror thriller Blood Tokoloshe, a North American premiere.

Documentaries. Owens points out that this year's lineup features no fewer than four Oscar-winning or -nominated filmmakers, starting with Paradise Lost co-director Joe Berlinger, who returns to NaFF with another controversial subject: notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. Berlinger's Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger uses the crime boss' trial last summer to examine the web of institutional corruption behind his rise to power. Marshall Curry was last represented at NaFF by the remarkable 2010 eco-doc If a Tree Falls; he's back with Point and Shoot, the harrowing saga of an idealistic Baltimore videographer who winds up in the thick of the Libyan rebel army's uprising against Gaddafi.

The Last Days co-director James Moll follows six young people who represent the future of America's Farmland. "It's the year of the farming documentary," says Owens, who grew up on a farm himself and considers Moll's film the best of a bumper crop. Trading bushels for beatdowns, the subjects of "Saving Face" Oscar winner Daniel Junge's Fight Church — some from Middle Tennessee — find a unique way to reconcile their mixed martial arts skills with their beliefs.

The struggle for human rights, both at home and abroad, informs many of this year's entries — including opening night selection The Case Against 8, in which Good Ol' Freda director Ryan White and Ben Cotner chart the progress of the legal team that battled California's anti-gay Proposition 8. Acclaimed documentarian Stanley Nelson continues his chronicle of the civil rights movement in Freedom Summer, and Rachel Goslins' Besa: The Promise tells a little-known story from the Holocaust: that of Albanian Muslims who risked their necks to shelter almost 2,000 targeted Jews from occupying Nazis. Marco Wilms' Art Wars takes the fight to the streets of Egypt, where teenage graffiti artists defy the threat of all-too-literal bombings.

Of special note are Jesse Moss' Sundance hit The Overnighters, a study of redemption in the oil fields of North Dakota; Cary Bell's Butterfly Girl, which follows a honky-tonk hopeful beset by a mysterious skin malady; and Paul Lazarus' SlingShot, a portrait of Segway inventor Dean Kamen's obsessive 15-year quest to remedy the Third World's lack of drinkable water. And save a slot for Agnes Sós' Stream of Love, which recounts the lusty courtship of a Hungarian village's 25 widows by its pool of octogenarian suitors.

Music films. The film likely to draw the most attention among the NaFF's fleet of music docs is Glen Campbell … I'll Be Me, director James Keach's portrait of the country great in the wake of his Alzheimer's diagnosis and his subsequent farewell tour surrounded by family members. Celebrity fans and well-wishers are already lining up for a red-carpet gala, as are some of the subjects of Martin Shore's Take Me to the River, a celebration of Stax Records and the Memphis blues tradition featuring a roster of greats from Mavis Staples and Bobby Rush to Charlie Musselwhite.

Closer to home, Jace Freeman's The Ballad of Shovels & Rope details the breakout Americana duo's rise dating back to their humblest local club dates, while a master instrumentalist shares information every American should know in the world premiere of Béla Fleck: How to Write a Banjo Concerto. Other subjects range from former Dr. Dog drummer Justin Stens' tour of cross-country collaborations (Andrew Stubbs' I Lay Where I Fall) to a legendary, perhaps apocryphal 1969 concert at an obscure Maryland youth center (Led Zeppelin Played Here, from Heavy Metal Parking Lot maker Jeff Krulik).

"Here, pack this away for later," says Owens. He hands over a box of Kleenex — advance notice for the Sundance audience award winner Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, in which a social worker introduces iPods stocked with vintage music to a nursing home of Alzheimer's patients, with stunning results. If you couldn't make it through the sentimental NaFF favorite Young at Heart without a dry sleeve, consider yourself warned.

Online ticketing is scheduled to begin Monday, April 7, at Watch the Scene and our arts blog Country Life for festival updates and a full preview.

- Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene

Jimbeau at Jackson, MS Film Festival!

Beautiful Jim, the documentary featuring about our very own Jimbeau, will be shown at the Film Festival in Jackson, MS! This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone interested. Trust us when we say this documentary will be well worth it. Read on for a message from Jimbeau!

Brenda and I are so looking forward to being in Jackson, MS at the Duling Hall on MARCH 27th, with musical friend Ken Somerville in tow for the showing of Rex Jones' intimate portrait of my life, BEAUTIFUL JIM. It is an honor to share my story with my birthplace, Jackson, MS. Please come... let's talk about what nobody is REALLY talking about, the current rise of HIV in modern day America. After a successful run being a hit country songwriter most of my life, I tested HIV positive in 1985, wasted away to skin and bones twice... but today I am a miraculously healthy and non-detectable 62 year old grateful soul! My wife of almost 34 years has continuously tested negative. We have the real life experience to answer whatever questions you may have concerning living with and avoiding HIV. Brenda and I would love to shake your hand, hug your neck and offer whatever advise you might be in need of. Go by and hear my new Wrinkled Records CD of songs written during the hiding and dying years. Sounds depressing but I assure you it is anything but. Songs of hope, fortitude, forgiveness and of course... monogamy. There is a link there to to purchase if you feel like contributing to the cause. Your support would be appreciated. We're an American couple on a mission to spread the word... that nobody is talking about... and should be!

Grammy stories from Music City: Little Big Town, B.J. Thomas and more

B.J. Thomas

“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” inducted into The Grammy Hall of Fame

B.J. Thomas recorded “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” almost 45 years ago for the soundtrack to “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” At the time, it seemed like everything was against him.

Thomas came down with laryngitis near the time of the recording, was their third choice — behind Ray Stevens and Bob Dylan — to perform the song and then was panned by music critics when the song was released.

But Thomas has nothing but fond memories of those days and called the recording session “one of my greatest memories.”

“I remember everything about it,” said Thomas, 71. “There were 100 musicians there. About 80 horns and strings, the full symphonic ensemble and, of course, the rhythm section and then on top of that we had Burt Bacharach up on a stand directing the orchestra.”

Thomas sang live with the orchestra and recalled it was “quite an experience” to have Bacharach at the podium.

“I just knew it was going to be huge, and then when it came out it got terrible reviews,” he said. “They said it was the worst song ever written and it should be on the cutting room floor. … When the movie came out for the Christmas release it was such a good movie, it became a smash, and the song broke wide open and sold about 100,000 copies a day for about three years. You know, the critics don’t know what’s happening.”

As for the song’s induction, Thomas said he’s “all the clichés.”

“I’m very honored and pleased,” he said. “I get a lot of satisfaction from that.”

— Cindy Watts, The Tennessean
Photo credit: George Walker IV

Bobby Karl Works The Room

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy (NARAS), and the celebration began on Sunday evening (Jan. 12) at its annual Grammy Nominees Party.

“We’re here to celebrate our nominees,” said chapter board president Jeff Balding. “And the Nashville chapter was founded in 1964. This is our 50th anniversary, and we’re going to be celebrating all year long.”

So even before most of the nominees walked the red carpet, 10 of the 20 living former chapter presidents gathered for a celebratory group photo. In addition to Balding (2013-15), they included Harold Bradley (1964-66), Jim Black (1983-85), Ralph Murphy (1985-86), Jimmy Gilmer (1989-91), Katie Gillon (1994-96), Garth Fundis (1998-2000), Tony Brown (2000-02), Doug Howard (2004-06) and Dan Hill (2010-12).

Bradley, the first president, recalled that the chapter formed in response to the facts that the 1958 “Country” Grammy Award went to The Kingston Trio and the 1962 “Country” Grammy went to Burl Ives. Black noted that he was proud to be the board president the year that the chapter became financially viable. Gillon remains the only female board president to date. Fundis went from chapter prez to the national board presidency and spearheaded the organization’s transition into its current mode.

Expect to see more evidence of the “50 Years of Grammy Gold” anniversary commemoration at chapter events throughout the year.

The nominee party was held, once again, at The Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel. By the way, the public/lobby/bar/restaurant areas of this venue have been totally transformed. Go see.

Walking the red carpet were such new Grammy nominees as Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Tim O’Brien, Buddy Miller, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Guy Clark. B.J. Thomas, whose “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” is being inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame, was also there. Other RSVPs to the party invitation (please note: the word is “invitation;” the word “invite” is a verb, not a noun), included Matt Maher, TobyMac, Connie Harrington, Jason Roy of the CCM band Building 429, Ryan Stevenson, Jamie Moore, Chad Carlson and Justin Niebank.

In addition to being the first major Nashville music biz party of the year, it is also one of the very best. Loews really does a top job with its catering. Guests sampled beef sliders with pimento cheese, pickled fried chicken biscuits with cider apple preserves, white bean hummus on corn bread, duck tater tots with peach ketchup, shrimp and grit cakes, pulled pork in red potato skins and veggies with sundried tomato ranch dip, plus spicy meats and cheeses.

Mingling among the party’s giant gold Grammy statuettes were Mark Collie, Eddie DeGarmo and Sandy Knox. I congratulated Nashville TV star Jonathan Jackson(“Avery”) on landing a Country recording contract. He said he hasn’t chosen a producer yet. His TV co-star Charles “Chip” Esten (“Deacon”) was also amiably socializing. Both of them are super-nice, by the way. And they love our fair city. Attendee Carolyn Corlew is about to tour as Ms. Senior America. The Charlie Daniels backup singer says she sang the Etta James hit “Tell Mama” as her talent to win her title.

Music-biz fabulons working the room included Tim Fink, Earle Simmons, Pat Higdon, Charlie Monk, Karen Clark, Jeff Walker, Jed Hilly, Andrew Kintz and Erika Wollam-Nichols. The current Nashville NARAS board was well represented by CCM star Brandon Heath and singer-songwriter-producer Victoria Shaw, plus Scott Hendricks, Scott Robinson, Leslie Roberts, Leslie Fram, Fletcher Foster, Allen Brown, Lori Badgett, Ben Fowler, Steve Gibson, Pat McMakin, David Corlew, Rod Essig and Woody Bomar.

“Isn’t this a fun party?” asked NARAS regional director Susan Stewart. “We have so many genres [in this year’s Grammy nominations]. We are in 18 genres this year. It’s incredible. It’s always great to see the respect that the Grammy voters have for Nashville.”

She and Balding recognized national vice president Nancy Shapiro and MusiCares exec Debbie Carroll. The party was extra special because national board chair Christine Albert attended.

“I travel to chapters around the country,” she said. “Nashville is really near and dear to my heart. I love this city.” It turns out that this Texan is former Maypop staff songwriter. Who knew?

The event was well covered by media mavens. Hacks and flacks on the scene included Storme Warren, Jimmy Carter, Ronna Rubin, Tom Roland, Janet Bozeman, Hunter Kelly, Susan Niles, Doak Turner, George Walker IV, Ed Morris and MusicRow‘s fearless leader Sherod Robertson.

Photo credit: Ed Rohe
Article Credit: Bobby Karl/MusicRow

Nashville Grammy nominees gather to celebrate

Nashville's Grammy nominees for this year had a party this past weekend to celebrate their nominiations! Among them was none other than our very own BJ Thomas. The Tennessean wrote a nice article about it. Read on for the details!


Country music’s most popular quartet, a legendary songwriter and the man who sang “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” walked into a ballroom Sunday night — and so did dozens of other Nashville music-makers, who gathered at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel to celebrate their nominations at the upcoming Grammy Awards.

Among the stars who stopped by Nashville’s annual Grammy nominee party: Little Big Town, who is up for best country/duo group performance for its hit “Your Side of the Bed.”

In Phillip Sweet’s words, members were “blown away” by the nod, but wished they had another country group to share the excitement with: Most of their fellow nominees are collaborations, including Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

“It seems like there should be two categories (for) collaborations and groups, because I think the groups in country music have done some great work this year,” said LBT’s Karen Fairchild. “And the collaborations are incredible, but mainly it’s because I don’t want to get beat by Kenny and Dolly. I’m just kidding — we worship them.”

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Guy Clark also made his way down the press line to reflect on his latest Grammy nomination. His first studio album in four years, “My Favorite Picture of You,” is a contender for best folk album.

“The more I make records, the more I leave out,” he said. “Simpler is better. Less is more. It’s fun to do.”

B.J. Thomas was certainly in a reflective mood on Sunday. The singer’s iconic recording of “Raindrops” is being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and he said he remembers everything about its recording session, with composer Burt Bacharach and roughly 100 musicians. It’s been 44 years since the song topped the charts, and Thomas has been in and out of Music City almost as long.

“We feel like Nashville’s our hometown, too,” he said.

Grammy nominee TobyMac has called Middle Tennessee home for a few decades now, and the Christian pop mainstay said he’s happy to see the wide range of musicians who’ve represented Nashville in recent years.

“People are coming here and stretching the city artistically in beautiful ways, and I’m excited to be a part of that. It makes me proud.”

The 56th annual Grammy Awards take place Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The televised portion will air live on CBS at 7 p.m.

Photo credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean


Nashville, TN—The iconic song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” recorded by the legendary B.J. Thomas, a five-time GRAMMY and two-time Dove Award winner who has sold more than 70 million records, has been announced as a new inductee to the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.

“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, a #1 charting hit song, was released in 1969 for the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song; and David and Bacharach also won Best Original Score.

B.J. Thomas is ranked in Billboard’s Top 50 most played artists over the past 50 years, and is known for his other worldwide hits, “Hooked On A Feeling,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”, “I Just Can’t Help Believing”, “Most of All”, “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Eyes of a New York Woman”, “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love”, “Everybody’s Out of Town”, and many more.

Thomas’ “Raindrops” was featured in “Spider-Man 2” in 2004, and underscored the singer’s continued place as an identifiable cultural touchstone. In recent years—he continues to perform 60-80 shows annually throughout the U.S. and internationally--everywhere from Australia to Hong Kong, to Paris. Thomas released “The Living Room Sessions” earlier this year – an album of duets with Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Keb ‘Mo, Richard Marx, Isaac Slade, Steve Tyrell, Sara Niemietz and Etta Britt.

For more information visit: or