American Idol's Danny Gokey signs with 19/RCA Nashville

RCA Records announced today that they have signed Danny Gokey, the second-runner-up on 2009's cycle of American Idol to a recording contract, in conjunction with 19 Entertainment, the producers of Idol.  Who should work with Danny on the album?

From the time I first saw Danny Gokey appear on American Idol, I knew the rhaspy singer was desitned to be signed by a Nashville record label.  While I had suspected that RCA Nashville or one of their sister labels in the Sony house would pick him up, I also thought other labels would want him too.  Today RCA Nashville announced the signing of Danny to their roster.  It's a co-deal with 19 Entertainment, just like the one Kellie Pickler signed a few years back with 19/BNA. 

The 29-year-old will head into the studio to start recording his debut album after the Idol's concert tour ends in two weeks.  While the producer isn't known at this time, I think RCA would be smart to set Danny up with songwriter/producer Jeffrey Steele or Nathan Chapman.  Steele, whose songs Gokey sang on American Idol and on tour, has a voice similar to Gokey's along with a love for multiple styles of music.  Chapman is someone who could marry Gokey's soulful rhasp with popular production.  Brent Maher, who produced Johnny Reid's great records, would also be someone who could work with Danny.  Actually, why not have Danny cut some of Johnny's tunes given their similar vocal styles. 

Look for the debut single sometime later this fall and for Danny's album sometime early next spring.  After the rush-release of Kristy Lee Cook's record last year, RCA is smartly going to take it slow with Danny Gokey this time around, it's an approach that has worked with Chris Young and Kellie Pickler, both 'reality tv' veterans.