MONICA, Calif. — The Recording Academy® will honor
country music legend Charley Pride at its 2017 Special Merit Awards with
an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Tuesday, July 11, 2017,
in New York City. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees also
Sly Stone, and
the Velvet Underground. Led by GRAMMY®-winning industry icon Paul Shaffer
as musical director, the tribute concert will feature rare performances
by honorees and never-seen renditions by those they've inspired.
Currently scheduled to appear are past GRAMMY® nominee Andra Day, who
will be honoring Simone; 12-time GRAMMY winner Kirk Franklin,
who will pay tribute to Caesar; six-time GRAMMY winner Randy Newman, who
will honor Ostin; and two-time GRAMMY winner Dwight Yoakam,
who will salute Rodgers. Additional performers will be announced
shortly. Tickets for the event will be on sale via Ticketmaster
June 5, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
Additional Special Merit Awards honorees to be celebrated include Thom Bell, Mo Ostin, and Ralph Peer,
who are this year's Trustees
Award honorees, and Alan Dower Blumlein, who is the Technical GRAMMY® Award recipient. Also being honored is Keith Hancock,
this year's recipient of the Music
"We are thrilled to once again partner with THIRTEEN Productions
and PBS to bring our 'GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends' event to life in
an extraordinary fashion," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the
Recording Academy. "We look forward to celebrating the exceptional
contributions and accomplishments of our honorees at New York City's
famed Beacon Theatre, and the event serves as the perfect kickoff to
the exciting lead up to the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, which will also take place in The Big Apple for
the first time in 15 years."
Now in its second year, the "GRAMMY
Salute to Music Legends™" event will be produced
in partnership with THIRTEEN
as part of the "Great
Performances" series on PBS, set to
air later this year. Previously held during GRAMMY Week, this is the
second year the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit
Awards with a stand-alone event and musical tribute. In addition to the
tribute concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their
award statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages
celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to the music industry
and our cultural heritage.
A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, "GRAMMY Salute
to Music Legends" will be written by David Wild and directed for
television by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer, and David Horn
and Neil Portnow as executive producers.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made
contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of
recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in
areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by a vote of
the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY
Award recipients are determined by vote of the Academy's Producers
& Engineers Wing® Advisory
Council and Chapter Committees. The award is presented to individuals
and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical
significance to the recording field.
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:
Three-time GRAMMY winner Charley
Pride taught himself to play guitar in his early teens,
but he dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. After
playing in the Negro American League, he was signed by RCA Victor and
in 1967 he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry (Later, in 1993, Pride
became an official member). "Just Between You And Me"
launched Pride to stardom, earning him his first GRAMMY nomination for
1966. In 1969 Pride scored his first No. 1 country hit with "All I
Have To Offer You (Is Me)." The recognition led to a long and
auspicious career for Pride, who is considered the first black
superstar in country music.
A deeply spiritual and affecting gospel singer, Shirley Caesar's
emotive vocal talents were discovered in a church choir when she was 10
years old. She is arguably best known for her eight-year tenure with
the Chicago-based gospel group the Caravans, whom she joined after
appealing to Albertina Walker to sing a solo with the group. Electing
to pursue a solo career in 1966 alongside her own choir, the Caesar
Singers, she subsequently carved out a profile that earned her the
title of First Lady of Gospel Music. Caesar's roll call of achievements
includes 11 GRAMMY Awards, 14 Stellar awards, 15 Dove awards, a NAACP
Image Award, a Soul Train Music Award, and two recent 59th GRAMMY
A prodigy who began playing piano at age 3, Ahmad Jamal started
performing professionally at 14 and was signed to Okeh Records by age
21. Trained in both traditional jazz and European classical piano
styles, Jamal has been labeled as a jazz innovator who helped pioneer
"cool jazz," which had a significant influence on Miles
Davis, among others. With a catalogue spanning seven decades, he is
known for wonderful renditions of pieces such as "Poinciana"
and "Dolphin Dance," original compositions such as
"Ahmad's Blues," the fantastic compilation Complete Live At The Spotlight Club
1958, and his most well-known album, 1958's At The Pershing: But Not For Me.
is widely regarded as the Father of Country Music. In 1961 he became
one of the first three people inducted into the Country Music Hall of
Fame. In 1970 he was a part of the inaugural class of songwriters voted
into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1986, the first year of Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame inductions, he was inducted under the early
influencers category. Rodgers has three recordings in the GRAMMY Hall
Of Fame® — "Blue Yodel (T For Texas)"
and "In The Jailhouse Now" (both from 1928) and "Blue
Yodel #9 (Standing On The Corner)" (1930).
Dr. Nina Simone*,
known as the High Priestess of Soul, was a child prodigy whose dreams
of becoming a classical musician were deferred by the color of her
skin. Her fearlessness and deep commitment to the civil rights movement
gave birth to such classics as "Mississippi Goddam,"
"Four Women," and "To Be Young, Gifted, And Black."
Her approach to music was so versatile she labeled her style black
classical. From R&B and rock to jazz, gospel, blues, folk, and
Broadway, Simone brought her unique style to each genre. Her
interpretations of "Feeling Good" and "Sinnerman"
are classics that fans around the world still enjoy. Her version of
"I Loves You, Porgy," which became a Top 20 single in 1959,
was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2000.
Stone" Stewart is an iconic American musician,
songwriter and producer most famous for his role as frontman of Sly
& The Family Stone. Classic hits penned by Stone, including
"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," "Everyday
People," "Dance To The Music," and "There's A Riot Going
On," played a critical role in the development of soul, funk,
rock, and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s. Sly & The Family
Stone were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The
group has four recordings in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.
Despite a relatively brief lifespan and limited commercial success, the
Underground are now recognized as one of the most
influential rock bands of all time. Comprising Lou Reed*, John Cale, Sterling Morrison*,
"Moe" Tucker, the band was, perhaps, ahead of
their time, both visually and sonically. Often dubbed the
quintessential proto-punk band, they have been continually cited as the
benchmark for countless modern-rock movements over the past 50 years.
The Velvet Underground's seminal 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground &
Nico, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2008.
Trustees Award Honorees:
Bell was one of the cornerstones of the Philadelphia
Soul legacy. He was a prime architect in the development of a '70s soul
sound that moved beyond the grit of Southern soul and the effervescence
of Motown by building complex and sophisticated arrangements around
smooth strings, elegant horns and a driving rhythm that anticipated the
rise of disco. With the Delfonics, the Stylistics, the Spinners and
others, Bell established his trademark sound with sweet strings and
muted brass led by the French horn. Hits such as "I’ll Be
Around" and "Betcha By Golly, Wow" cemented his stature
as one of the all-time great songwriter/producers, and his partnership
with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff helped create the quintessential sound
is one of the greatest record executives in music history. While he
started out at Verve, it was helming Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records
where Ostin came into his own. With Reprise Records and ultimately
Warner Bros., Ostin discovered and worked with the seminal artists of
the generation, such as Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Prince, and Neil
Young, while also developing a staff that was legendary in their own
right. With an artist-friendly disposition, Ostin led with the idea
that great art made great business — most of the bands signed under his
watch made both critically acclaimed and profitable records. Ostin was
honored with The Recording Academy's President's Merit Award at the
2006 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons®.
Ralph S. Peer*
was a successful recording executive, archetypal A&R man and music
publisher whose career spanned from 1919 to 1960. Through his work as a
music executive, he continually broadened the palate of genres that
music makers and audiences embraced. He was the executive producer of
the Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues," the first blues record that
sparked the genre, James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout,"
considered by historians to be among the first jazz piano solo
recordings, and Fiddlin' John Carson's "The Little Old Log Cabin
In The Lane," the first country record released. He was the
producer of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, considered the "Big
Bang" of country music, where he discovered Jimmie Rodgers and the
original Carter family. He broadened his focus by publishing Latin
music in the U.S. and around the globe. Fifty-nine recordings produced
or published by Ralph S. Peer have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall
Technical GRAMMY Award Recipient:
Blumlein* received 128 patents on his way to becoming
one of the most significant audio inventors of his time. His most
noteworthy patent was for the stereo in 1931, a development that was
spurred by a visit to the cinema and being frustrated that the sound
from a single speaker didn't match with the actors and action on
screen. He also invented the Blumlein Pair microphones, a stereo
disc-cutting head and a shuffling circuit, among other audio inventions.
The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters,
producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to
ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared
cultural heritage, The Academy honors music's history while investing
in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports
music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the
GRAMMY Awards — music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest
achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we
work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.
For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com.
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Charley Pride / 1.9MB
Music In My Heart