Four winners were chosen at random from hundreds of entries.
December 22, 2010: NARM is happy to announce the winners of the first Give the Gift of Music contest, which concluded this past Friday, December 17th. Entrants were asked to submit their favorite music gifting memory for a chance to win GRAMMY tickets, giftcards or a holiday music gift basket. Thank you to everyone who participated, and to The Recording Academy, J&R Music World, and the RIAA for providing wonderful prizes.
The winning entries, chosen at random, are below:
Grand Prize: Jerry – Grand Rapids, MI
“One Sunday afternoon, as my Nana prepared the corn bread, black eye peas and rice, fried chicken, potato salad, and other southern inspired items, she pulled me aside and asked me to follow her downstairs. As Nana led me to the living room, she asked me ever so kindly to take a seat. Nana looked me deep into the windows of my soul and said, “Jerry, I am proud of you, son! You say you’re doing this music thing, so you have to know where you’re coming from, before you can know where your going.” Next, Nana points to a three foot stack of vinyl records that lay in the corner of the living room – all original LPs, some still encased in plastic, dating as far back as 1949. I lost my mind! I shrieked, I squealed, I yelled, I hugged her and I kissed her, I brushed off the decades of dust and cobwebs and read the names aloud – John Coltrane, Red Foxx, James Brown, Black Moses, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, B.B. King, Elton John, and the list went on. Nana said, “Jerry, this is our family’s collection of records. This music has helped us through the good times, bad times, times of celebration and times of demonstration. Now it’s yours. What are you gonna do with it?” She put her hands on her knees, grabbed her muumuu and walked upstairs, leaving me sitting there speechless. She got to the top of the stairs and yelled, “Boy, you better come upstairs before this food gets cold!” Thank you, Nana! I keep the Black Moses album jacket in my vocal booth to this day as a reminder of that day.”
First Prize: Kristie Sue – Palm Beach, FL
“My mother used to sing around the house. Her voice was so beautifully in tune as she would sing along to the little white transistor radio, which my uncle had rigged up to a big stereo speaker. The sound was amazing! As a kid, I would try to sing like my mom, spending hours in front of that speaker. I would pray that God would help me write beautiful music someday. As I grew up into my teens, I would sing in the church choir, and, as often as I could, I would sing along to all songs on the radio including Motown and R&B. As I composed my own lyrics as well, I prayed I would find someone who could write music to my lyrics. Little did I know, God does answer prayers. Four years ago, I met my husband in Las Vegas as he was playing guitar on the lounge stage in one of the major casinos. I was drawn to the music so magically, as if I had heard him play before. I became so mesmerized that I had to sit down and listen to his performances. He noticed me and, during his break, he came to me and introduced himself. I was star struck. We started talking and to my amazement he said to me that he had prayed that morning for a lyricist to write words to his music. I could not believe it. I was that lyricist! The more we talked, the more I fell in love with him and his music. Little did I know my lyrics would fit perfectly into songs he had composed years ago … even a text message containing a poem I had written for him, he set to music. We eloped a year later in Las Vegas. As he played one of our songs during our wedding, I knew it was meant to be. Soon after the wedding, I gave my mom one of his CDs and she too was mesmerized. My husband is my answered prayer and my mom is my inspiration. As I hear our music come to life now in our house, through the chords and melodies of his guitar and speaker, I can’t help but sing along and cry. The lyricist and the musician. A mother and a daughter. Today I am so thankful for the gifts I have been given … love and music.”
Second Prize: Jennifer – Chicago, IL
“When I was young, I really wanted Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ albums for Easter instead of a basket full of candy. My parents kept telling me that the Easter Bunny would never be able to do that. Then, of course, on Easter morning I found those two albums in my basket. It was sweet! I still have both of those albums to this day.”
Third Prize: Joe – Southampton, NJ
“As a shy teenager, the gift of music has helped to make my life complete. When I was about 12, I received my first guitar from my parents as a gift. I had no idea what that guitar would mean to my future. Every single day, for at least a couple hours, I play guitar or keyboard, or write songs. Without music, I would be lonely. It is my passion and outlet for letting me be myself. It has been a way of helping me to open up to others, and now I am in a band with a few kids from school. I hope to write music to make people feel something from my songs. Even if I never become famous, I am fortunate to have had music in my life.”
To read more of the entries, click here.