LaFayette, Ga., native Lance Ledbetter has a chance to claim a couple more trophies at the 60th annual Grammy Awards tonight.
Ledbetter's Atlanta-based record company, Dust-to-Digital, which specializes in "high-quality, cultural artifacts," produced "Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams," nominated for Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes. The album is an homage to a Texas gospel and blues singer (1880-1954) who accompanied himself on a "manzarene," a pair of attached zithers that produced an otherworldly sound, according to music historians.
The label, which is operated by Ledbetter and his wife, April Ledbetter, has been nominated for projects 11 times previously, winning in 2008 for Best Historical Album for "Art of Field Recording Volume I."
He's not the only tri-state talent to pocket one of music's biggest prizes, though not all qualify in the announcements that get the most TV time.
The tri-state's accolades go back to at least 1964, the seventh Grammy Awards presentation, with a nomination for The Impressions for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for "Keep on Pushing." The original group was founded by Chattanooga natives Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks. The Impressions are also 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees for their hit "People Get Ready."
Who else makes the list of Grammys' tri-state greats?
-Alabama: The band from Fort Payne had 13 nominations over the years, including two wins for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, for "Mountain Music" in 1982 and "The Closer You Get" in 1983.
-Forrest Robinson: The Memphis-raised percussionist and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga alumnus was featured on India.Arie's "Voyage to India," which won two Grammys in 2003 (Urban Alternative Album of the Year and Urban Alternative Song of the Year for "Little Things").
-The Happy Goodmans: The gospel group that featured belter Vestal Goodman from Fyffe, Ala., won Grammys for Best Gospel Performance in 1967 for "The Happy Gospel of the Happy Goodmans, the first Grammy for a gospel group, and in 1978 for "Refreshing."
-Dr. Jose Valentino Ruiz: The Lee University professor has been nominated for two Latin Grammy Awards.
-The Louvin Brothers: The Recording Academy bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 to the country pioneers, born Ira and Charlie Loudermilk in Section, Ala.
-Nathan Chapman: The Lee University grad has won twice as a producer on Taylor Swift albums: "Fearless," which won Album of the Year and Best Country Album in 2010 (and was nominated for Record of the Year for "You Belong To Me") and Album of the Year for "1989" in 2016. Chapman also was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Country Album for Swift's "Red" in 2014.
-Norman and Nancy Blake: The Rising Fawn, Ga., couple have found success together and in other projects. Norman, a Chattanooga native who grew up in Sulphur Springs, Ala., played on the album "Raising Sand" by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which won five Grammy Awards, and on the soundtrack "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," which won a Grammy for Album of the Year. He and Nancy received Grammy nominations in the Best Traditional Folk Album category for "Blind Dog" (1989), "Just Gimme Somethin' I'm Used To" (1992), "While Passing Along This Way" (1995), "The Hobo's Last Ride" (1996) and "The Morning Glory Ramblers" (2004).
-Todd Suttles: The LaFayette native sings baritone with the Gaither Vocal Band, which was nominated in 2016 for Best Roots Gospel Album for "Better Together," the group's first with Suttles.
-Usher: The former Chattanooga resident, now living in Atlanta, has won eight Grammys out of 22 nominations, with his Best Male R&B Performance wins stretching from 2002 with "U Remind Me" to 2013 with "Climax."
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.