No, they aren’t mainstream country awards, but the Grammys are considered the most prestigious multi-genre awards show in the music industry. It’s where artists and industry insiders can vote for projects outside their format, showing how far a genre of music, an artist or a project can really reach. And whether or not it means anything to country music fans, it usually means quite a bit to the artists.
We enjoy the Grammys because, a lot of times, artists that may not be as widely recognized through mainstream outlets are rewarded for their tremendous artistry. And then sometimes, artists blow the doors off of radio and sales charts and a Grammy is the icing on the cake. In this edition of Rare Country’s 5, we have a little bit of both as we look at five of our favorite Grammy-winning country albums.
He was the very first country artist to win a Grammy for an album, and he was so worthy that Roger Miller took it two years in a row—1964 and 1965. “The Return of Roger Miller” was just Roger’s second album, but it boasted two tunes, “Do-Wacka-Do” and “King of the Road,” that became signature songs for the often comedic performer. Other tracks from the album, like “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd” and “Atta Boy Girl,” remain quintessential Roger Miller tracks and locked this album in as a favorite for families on cross-country station wagon road trips.
Although Chris Stapleton had been kicking around Nashville and playing in bands for the requisite decade, it wasn’t until he released “Traveller” in 2015 that the entire world learned what Music City and a loyal legion of Stapleton fans already knew. This man is a star, an artist and one of the best singers, songwriters and musicians in the biz. And his debut solo studio album earned him the Best Country Album Grammy that same year.
“Traveller” also went on to sell over two million copies, earning double-Platinum status. It also added a truckload of new supporters to his ever-growing fan base, as traditional fans latched on to his traditional-leaning voice and arrangements, and contemporary fans savored the sound of something different than what they typically hear on mainstream country radio.
There are three more collections that made Rare Country 5’s list of favorite Grammy-winning country albums, but boy, oh boy, there are so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow that list down to just five. What is your favorite country album that took home that coveted trophy? Please share it in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to a future list.
And be sure to come back later in the week when we have more of the fun and news from in and around country music in Rare Country’s 5.