WBIR - Odds are you've certainly heard of one local nominee up for a Grammy on Sunday. But there's another who, while not widely known among music fans, is respected in the study of music history.
Singer Kelsea Ballerini, a Knoxville native, is a competitor in the "Best New Artist" category. She'll also perform during the 59th annual Grammy Awards show, to be broadcast starting at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Ballerini, a Central High School graduate, has been a rising star in country music over the last 18 months. She put on a sold-out show in November at the Tennessee Theatre.
It'll be a competitive category. Others nominated are Chance the Rapper, the Chainsmokers, Maren Morris and Anderson .Paak.
Another East Tennessean has a shot at a Grammy. He's a repeat nominee.
Dr. Ted Olson teaches courses in Appalachian music history at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. He's also music section editor for The Encyclopedia of Appalachia.
Olson and Tony Russell, a music historian from London, England, are nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Album Notes" category.
Olson has been nominated for a Grammy several times.
He and Russell teamed up to write the album notes for “The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp.” It's a boxed set painstakingly compiled of recordings made from the fall of 1929 through the spring of 1930 at the old St. James Hotel in downtown Knoxville.
The hotel was located on Wall Street overlooking Market Square on what's now the TVA towers.
The set was released last year by Bear Family Records, a European company.
Bradley Reeves of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound in Knoxville was a principal involved in researching and finding the music.
The recordings spanned many Southern artists of all kinds - from jazz to bluegrass to Appalachian mountain music. More than 100 recordings were collected, and most proved very rare.
Russell and Olson previously have worked together on compilations about similar recording sessions that took place in Bristol and Johnson City.
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