Contemporary Christian Music Watch
By Jim Galipeau

Nominations for this month's Dove Awards turned a few heads in the music industry recently, but not as many as were turned when Maranatha Music walked away with a mainstream Grammy Award. CCM's oldest record company, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year, was the talk of the industry when they were awarded the Grammy in the Children's Music Category for A Cappella Kids. Maranatha Music was joined by Take 6 who captured "Best Jazz Vocal Performance" for "He Is Christmas."

In the Gospel categories: Steven Curtis Chapman took home the honors for "Best Pop Gospel Album" with For the Sake of the Call; Sparrow labelmates BeBe & CeCe Winans received"Best Soul Gospel Album" for Different Lifestyles; "Best Rock Contemporary Gospel Album" went to Russ Taft for Under Their Influence; and the Gaither Vocal Band's Homecoming won the Grammy for "Best Southern Gospel Album."

In case you haven't heard, Sparrow Records and BMG Publishing have entered into a new relationship. BMG, the fifth largest music publishing company in the world, has purchased 50% of Sparrow's current catalogue of music. They will also receive half of all publishing interest developed by Sparrow during the five year contract. Sparrow will handle print for itself and for BMG's Gospel Division. BMG will give Sparrow worldwide distribution by representing their catalogues across the country and in twenty other countries.

The group Harvest will become world travelers soon, as they head to Barcelona, Spain for the '92 Summer Olympics. They have no plans to compete, but they will be performing during one of the major festivals. Harvest is the only Christian band that has been invited to perform during the Summer Olympics.

From other points around the world: Benson recording artist Carman just finished his "Addicted to Jesus" world tour in South Africa. More than 52,000 people attended nine concert dates. Meanwhile, in South America, the group Glad thrilled the people of Ecuador as they recorded "A Simple Song of Praise." The song, which features an Equadorian children's choir, will show up on Benson's new project Generation to Generation. The album also features songs recorded by various artists with their children.

BeBe & CeCe Winans will enjoy their new exposure on prime time TV. The brother and sister combo have been selected by McDonald's to appear on their new television ads. You'll catch them with their tour bus and a choir. From a less visual perspective, BeBe and CeCe will gain exposure in cinemas with their song "I'm Going Up," which is featured on the soundtrack of the new motion picture "White Men Can 't Jump."

Some record labels have hit the ground running this spring, with new releases. Benson artist Billy Sprague is back after a two-year absence following the death of his fiance' and close friend. Torn Between Two Worlds is Billy's best album to date. Also from Benson are Al Denson's The Extra Mile and Steadfast HeartBy Kelly Nelon Thompson. Matthew Ward fans will be thrilled to find some of his early hits now available on compact disc with the release of The Matthew Ward Collection.

From the Word label comes Al Green's Love Is Reality, was well as two new artists: Cindy Morgan with her first pop effort Real Life and the rockers Legend with their self-titled project. Established artist Randy Stonehill has some fun with Wonderama on Words' Myrrh label and from yet another Word label, Dayspring, comes Kenny Marks' Fire of Forgiveness.

In the next few months, expect new projects from Larnelle Harris, Allies, David and the Giants, Rick Cua, Steven Curtis Chapman and John Fischer. Fans of classic Christian music will be excited with compilations from the 2nd Chapter of Acts, Margaret Becker and Terry Clark.

Remember to tune in the Dove Awards April 9, at 9 p.m., on the Nashville Network. Next month: a look at what happened that night in Nashville.

CCM Music Picks for April

"You Remain Unchanged" Margaret Becker

"Weary By Now" Ron David Moore

"Carry Your Heart To Me" - The lmperials

"Why" 4-Him

"Chain of Grace" Dallas Holm

"Heaven Is A Long Hello" Billy Sprague

"You Know Better" Steven Curtis ' Chapman

"Calling Out Your Name" Rich Mullins

"Ask Me" Amy Grant

"In Christ Alone" Michael English

Jim Gallipeau is Music Director for WJIE FM