A few notes about this weekend’s Juno Awards in London, Ont….

  • the Juno Awards, Canada’s Grammys, were first publicly presented in February 1970. They had existed before as the “RMP Gold Leaf Awards,” established by the late Walt Grealis, founder and editor of RPM magazine, Canada’s music industry trade magazine
  • the first Juno award presented was a country award, Best Country Female Artist and it went to Dianne Leigh
  • until 2001, awards were presented in various country categories, including Male and Female Artist and Group of the Year. Since country music had their own awards show, many categories were eliminated leaving just Best Country Artist/Group in 2002 (with a Best New Country Artist/Group, too), which was renamed Country Recording of the Year in 2003 and finally renamed the current Country Album of the Year in 2010, the only country category at the Junos
  • nominees this year for Country Album are Tim Hicks’ “New Tattoo,” Brett Kissel’s “We Were That Song,” Jess Moskaluke’s “A Small Town Christmas,” Meghan Patrick’s “Country Music Made Me Do It” and The Reklaws’ “Feel Like That” (who are also scheduled to perform on the awards show)
  • Jess Moskaluke is the only nominee this year to have won a Juno before in the Country Album category, doing so in 2017 with “Kiss Me Quiet”
  • Brett Kissel is the only other nominee to have won a Juno previously. He did it in 2014 for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, a category open to all genres of music. Meghan Patrick is nominated in that category this year and The Washboard Union is nominated in the Breakthrough Group category
  • BTW, the late Rita MacNeil won Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1987. Among the other nominees she beat in that category that year was Celine Dion!
  • Members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences vote for the awards, except in some categories where a panel of experts in a specific genre do the voting. The first time I was asked to do so was in 1992 (I still have my ticket stub from the awards show that year) and I’ve done it a few more times since then. I’m looking forward to being on the red carpet this Sunday!