Album call rescues
published: Friday |
October 3, 2003
Tyrone Reid, Staff Reporter
Steffens, chairman of the Reggae Grammy committee.
THE REGGAE Grammy died last
night. Cause of death - negligence. That could have been the headline if the
record companies that handle reggae did not pull up their socks.
Earlier this year, the powers
that be issued a warning that the category was suffering from a lack of
submissions, a condition which, if not attended to, would have resulted in its
death. Luckily, prompt responses from the various labels cured the ailment and
ensured that a miniature golden gramophone will be awarded to the winner of the
Best Reggae Album category next year.
Roger Steffens, chairman of the
Reggae Grammy committee since 1985, bore the news that will put a smile on the
faces of the advocates of the category and a frown on the faces of its
opponents. He told The Gleaner
that the crucial assessment meeting was
held on Tuesday in Hollywood.
"The good news is that the
Reggae Grammy has been saved. There will be a Reggae Grammy awarded next year,"
he said, sounding rather pleased. Steffens was not only satisfied that the
Reggae Grammy category had come off life support, but the manner in which it had
happened. He said: "We had a multitude of entries in the category, so people
heard the plea for help and they responded well."
Steffens said he is not allowed
to say exactly how many albums were submitted, but that it was more than two
times the minimum requirement of 25. Up to July of this year, only 17 had been
put up. This threatened to be the straw to cripple the category, as the downward
trend had been running for two years. It had seemed to be only a matter of time
till the bell tolled.
said one of the major reasons for the decline was labels were submitting only
albums they thought to be potential winners, unlike before when they would put
up any and everything. Steffens said that if the emergency call had not gone out
the Reggae Grammy would have been fed to the dogs and the battle to retrieve it
would not have been easy.
is well now, but the close scrape should not be forgotten, so it must be ensured
that there is no recurrence. Steffens believes that constant reminders of the
possible consequences of no or late submissions will help.
"Well, we have to keep
spreading the word next year that the time for nominations is near and that we
don't want to let the side down. Either we keep it or we lose it. And I think we
have had a warning and now we have to keep the category not only running, but we
have to keep it strong," he said.