A Glen Campbell Christmas, the first release on the TNN Classic Sessions label, won best country album at the Gospel Music Association’s 31st annual Dove Awards Thursday at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House.
The CD was released as a companion piece to a TNN holiday special in December 1998. The TV program was filmed in Missouri’s Ozarks and also featured special guests Collin Raye and the Kinleys.
In January the Yuletide CD received a Grammy nomination for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
“The concept behind the TNN Classic Sessions was to give artists and musicians an opportunity to make great music without the constraints often imposed by traditional record labels,” Martin Clayton, Vice President and General Manager, Interactive Media, CBS Cable, said earlier this year. “We wanted an alternative platform for artists to be heard, utilizing the resources of TNN and our Internet site, country.com.”
Combining a CD release with companion TNN programming was a logical move for the network, according to Brian Hughes, Vice President, Programming, TNN. “Glen is an amazing talent who is known worldwide,” he said. “We thought a Christmas album would be an excellent opportunity to gauge the reaction of the music community. They have exceeded our expectations.”
The Dove award comes as further validation.
While the singer’s out-of-print 1968 holiday album for Capitol, That Christmas Feeling, contains contemporary compositions by the likes of Willie Nelson and Roger Miller, A Glen Campbell Christmas is made up of nothing but traditional tunes. Among the CD’s 11 tracks are “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “What Child Is This,” and “The First Noel.”
The album features Campbell with Nashville session musicians Brent Rowan (guitar), Michael Rhodes (bass), Eddie Bayers (drums) and Dennis Burnside (keyboards). Bayers co-produced the project with Barry Beckett, whose credits include Tammy Wynette, Alabama, Neal McCoy and Lorrie Morgan.
A second TNN Classic Sessions project was released this year. Titled The Players, the CD is a showcase for Rhodes, Bayers and other top side musicians.