(By First Time GRAMMY Nominee Jonathan Sprout “Best Musical Album for Children”)
Many of you have asked for an account of my adventures at The GRAMMYs. Here goes…
I flew into Los Angeles on the Thursday before the Sunday night GRAMMYs. That afternoon, I rehearsed “Doctor” and “Chocolate King” for the first time ever with some of the people who helped write, perform, engineer and produce AH#3 -- Dave Kinnoin, Jimmy Hammer, Leslie Chew and Hillary Black. It was the first time we’d all ever been together in the same room. The rehearsal was magical. Right away, I knew we were going to be able to pull off our “unplugged” version of these two songs at The GRAMMY Museum in two days. We practiced late into the evening and then went to a restaurant in Encino with Regina Kelland, our marketer/publicist, who had flown in from Florida to be part of the weekend. We stayed late into the night, proposing toasts to The GRAMMYs and were the last customers to leave the restaurant. By the time I was back in my room at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, it had been 22 hours since I’d awakened in PA that morning.
Friday night was rehearsal #2 back in Encino at Jimmy Hammer’s studio. We continued working out and memorizing our parts late into the night.
Saturday began at 8:30 with a breakfast gathering of children’s music makers at a restaurant next to The GRAMMY Museum. Nearly 100 children’s singer-songwriters, publicists, and marketers were on hand to network. My fellow GRAMMY nominees and I were introduced before we headed off for a sound check on the GRAMMY Museum stage. Things were a little hectic at the sound check, but we got our few minutes to sing a song , and then it was back to the network breakfast to meet some of my fellow children’s music makers and shakers.
I met Debbi Derryberry, the voice of Jimmy Neutron, and numerous other people I’d only heard of for years. Just before it was time for me to head for the “green room” before our performance, I was interviewed outside on a café table by John Wood and Dan Crow of Kidzmusic.com (where my CDs are available).
The 200 seat state-of-the-art sound stage at The GRAMMY Museum had hosted a Ringo Starr appearance a few days earlier. We six nominees in the Children’s Music category were asked to perform a couple of songs each. Everyone came -- Milkshake (Baltimore, MD), Ziggy Marley (Jamaica), Buck Howdy (San Diego), Cathy & Marcy (Washington, DC), Greg & Steve (CA), and me.