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CMA Awards: the maybe not so great prognosticator (part 2)

Jeffrey Remz  |  November 9, 2010

When it comes to the Country Music Association awards for Single of the Year and Song of the Year, I would suspect that many fans out there aren't sure exactly what the difference is between the two.

The former is for an individual song only, while the Song of the Year goes to the songwriter. There are a few differences. For a song to be Single of the Year, it must have gone top 50 of Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart, Country Aircheck Chart or Music Row Country Breakout Chart. Rest assured that making the Top 50 is a certainty for any song hoping to win this award. Any record label exec will tell you that only reaching the top 50 is a big dud of a song.

Aside from the top 50 part, there is not a huge difference between the categories. Therefore, it probably is no surprise that four of the five songs in each category were the same.

Song of the year (award goes to songwriter) nominations:
A Little More Country Than That, (Easton Corbin; Songwriters: Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress and Wynn Varble)
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum, Songwriters: Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Josh Kear)
The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert, Songwriters: Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin)
Toes (Zac Brown Band; Songwriters: Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, John Driskell Hopkins and Shawn Mullins)
White Liar (Lambert, Songwriters: Miranda Lambert and Natalie Hemby)

Single of the Year nominations:
A Little More Country Than That, (Corbin)
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum),
The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
White Liar (Lambert)
Hillbilly Bone (Blake Shelton)

So, the only difference was that Toes was nominated for Song of the Year, while Hillbilly Bone made it into the single category. Who can figure?

Hillbilly Bone was too cutesy and yet another one of those songs telling you how northerners - in this case New Yorkers - don't know a damn thing about anything south of Queens. Ho hum and very dumb.

That leaves four very good songs for single of the year. I like the sound and emotion of Hillary Scott in her delivery of Need You Now. Like most of Lady A's material, it's not all that strong on country, but it is a very catchy pop song.

Corbin did great with A Little More Country Than That, scoring a number one single for himself on a song that George Strait could have sung.

White Liar rocks too much for my taste, a problem with Miranda Lambert. I wish she would have not strayed so much from country. However, don't leave Lambert out of the running. The House That Built Me is a fine song on which Lambert nails for the idea of going back home and remembering a different time. It's not one of those hokey, syrupy nostalgic tunes, but sets forth a lot of emotion. The song is certainly relatable.

I can't say that I could go a different way on Song of the Year considering that would have to mean Toes is a better song. Good melody. Nice touch with the Mexican sound, and Brown sings well, but it's not as good.

So by my ears, Lambert and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin ought to take the single and song awards.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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