Television: The Recording Academy to Bring Their Grammy Legends Special to PBS' Great Performances

by VVN Music News Feed

The Recording Academy will honor its 2018 Special Merit Awards recipients with "Grammy Salute To Music Legends," an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. 

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Hal Blaine, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Louis Jordan, the Meters, Queen, and Tina Turner. Additional Special Merit Awards honorees to be celebrated include Bill Graham, Seymour Stein, and John Williams, who are this year's Trustees Award honorees, and Tony Agnello and Richard Factor, who are the Technical Grammy Award recipients. 

Also being honored is Melissa Salguero, this year's recipient of the Music Educator Award. Led by Grammy-nominated industry icon Greg Phillinganes 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 eight-time Grammy winner Herb Alpert, who will honor Blaine; past Grammy nominee Micky Dolenz, who will be honoring Diamond; Grammy winner Sammy Hagar, who will pay tribute to Graham; 13-time Grammy winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Harris; past Grammy nominee Ledisi, who will salute Jordan; and three-time Grammy winner Trisha Yearwood, who will pay tribute to Harris. Presenters for the evening include actress Angela Bassett and Grammy winner Henry Rollins. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly.

"We are thrilled to once again partner with THIRTEEN Productions and PBS to bring our 'Grammy Salute To Music Legends' awards show and tribute concert to life at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "We look forward to celebrating the tremendous contributions of our Special Merit Awards recipients and honoring their outstanding accomplishments."

The Recording Academy will produce "Grammy Salute To Music Legends" in partnership with THIRTEEN Productions as part of the "Great Performances" series on PBS, set to air later this year. Previously held during Grammy Week, this is the third year the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone TV 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 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.

ABOUT THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREES

Starting his career in the 1950s, Hal Blaine is best known as the primary drummer and founder of the legendary Wrecking Crew. He has recorded with iconic artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, and many more. He lent his artistry to Phil Spector’s "Wall of Sound" productions, creating one of rock and roll’s most recognizable beats. However, Blaine’s talent does not stop at the conventional drum kit. Some of his best-known songs include him drumming on Sparkletts water jugs for the Beach Boys' "Caroline, No" and dragging tire chains across a concrete floor for Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." During his impressive career, Blaine has worked on nearly 6,000 tracks; of those, 350 have been Top 10 hits, and 40 have been No. 1s (including fellow honoree Neil Diamond’s "Song Sung Blue"). He worked on six consecutive Record Of The Year Grammy-winning tracks between 1965 and 1970.

Throughout an illustrious and wide-ranging musical career, Neil Diamond has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide and has dominated the charts for more than five decades with 38 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums. Before becoming one of the most noted and successful recording artists in the world, Diamond’s early recognition came as a songwriter. His recorded songs have become a part of the fabric of America’s songbook with a wide range of international hits that include "Solitary Man," "Cherry, Cherry," "Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon," "I'm A Believer," "Red Red Wine," "Holly Holy," "Thank The Lord For The Night Time," "Sweet Caroline," "Kentucky Woman," "Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show," "Cracklin' Rosie," "I Am…I Said," "Song Sung Blue," "You Don’t Bring Me Flowers" (with Barbra Streisand), "September Morn," and "Heartlight," among many others. Diamond has won a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award, the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. In 2009, he was honored as MusiCares® Person Of The Year.

A 14-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Fame member, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings including Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, and Lyle Lovett. Harris’ distinctive voice has allowed her to cross musical boundaries and made her one of the most influential and admired women in contemporary country music. Few in music have achieved such honesty or revealed such maturity in their writing. Forty years into her career, Harris keeps proving that she never stops looking ahead.

Louis Jordan enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s as the King of the Jukebox. The American musician, songwriter, and bandleader helped pioneer the sound of rock and was dubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the Father of Rhythm & Blues and the Grandfather of Rock and Roll. Jordan’s talent, combined with his comedic flair, helped him shatter race barriers, achieving popularity with both black and white audiences. Throughout his lifetime, he was able to duet with some of the biggest artists of his day, including Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.

The Meters—Art "Poppa Funk" Neville, George Porter Jr., Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, Cyril Neville, and Leo Nocentelli—are considered by many to be the founding fathers of funk and, for more than 50 years, they have grooved their way around the globe. They have toured and performed with such artists as the Rolling Stones, Dr. John, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Earl King, Allen Toussaint, and Lee Dorsey. Their trademark sound of syncopated layered percussion intertwined with gritty grooves on guitar, bass, and organ, blends funk, blues, and dance rhythm with a New Orleans vibe that is regarded as one of the most influential in music history. The Meters' unique place as a touchstone for countless artists across many genres and as one of the most sampled groups in all of hip-hop and pop music, have kept them relevant to contemporary audiences in a way that few groups can claim.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Queen has amassed a staggering list of sales, awards, and hall of fame inductions. Their impressive string of No. 1 albums and top-charting singles continue to put Queen in the Top 10 of all-time iTunes sales. The band has received multiple Ivor Novello Awards, an MTV Global Icon Award, and two recordings enshrined in the Grammy Hall Of Fame®—"Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You"/"We Are The Champions," which also remain popular songs at sports events and arenas around the world. Recently, Queen became the first artist ever to sell more than 6 million copies of an album in the U.K. with their Greatest Hits album. Even with the tragic loss of their uniquely talented frontman Freddie Mercury*, Queen remains one of the most revered bands in rock and pop history, able to claim one of the most enduring song catalogs of all time. With their sterling song craft, virtuoso musicality, and colossal spectacle of their live performances, Queen—John Deacon, Brian May, Mercury, and Roger Taylor—captured hearts and conquered charts, a legacy that continues to live through the ongoing work and concert performances fronted by May and Taylor, presently joined for concert performances by the extraordinary American vocalist Adam Lambert.

Tina Turner has been the Queen of Rock and Roll since she started her musical career in the 1950s. She is well-known for her extravagant live performances and impressive raw voice. Globally, her concert ticket sales have broken records with every tour. Turner’s albums have all consistently charted on the Billboard 200 and have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. Her grandeur has been admired by many other prominent figures, including BeyoncĂ©, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and David Bowie. Her determination and sheer talent has crystallized her as a household name around the globe.

ABOUT THE TRUSTEES AWARD HONOREES

At the Fillmore Auditorium, Fillmore West, Winterland, and Fillmore East, Bill Graham created the modern rock concert. He discovered and managed artists such as Santana, and organized national tours for Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and George Harrison. Having arrived in America as a 10-year-old Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany with not much more than the clothes on his back, Graham raised millions of dollars for charitable causes by staging Live Aid as well as many other benefit tours.

Seymour Stein’s cutting-edge consciousness for the next wave in music can be traced all the way back to the late 1960s, when he began his career at Billboard magazine at the age of 15. Having founded Sire Records with producer Richard Gottehrer in 1966, Stein’s eccentric taste in music combined with his knack for predicting what the next big thing in music will be, has continuously proven to be prosperous. His talent has earned him the title of Vice President of Warner Bros. Records along with being co-founder of Sire Records, a subdivision of Warner Music Group, and inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Some of Stein’s most notable discoveries include Ramones, the Pretenders, Talking Heads, k.d. Lang, Barenaked Ladies, Echo & The Bunnymen, the Cult, the Cure, Tom Tom Club, Spacehog, Primal Scream, Seal, Madness, Madonna, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, Ice-T, and the Undertones.

John Williams is one of the most prolific and celebrated film composers of all time. He has won 23 Grammy Awards spanning the last 50 years, with various honors for composing/scoring, performance, and arranging. In addition to his Grammy Awards, Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven British Academy Film Awards, and four Emmys. His 1977 soundtrack to Star Wars was an Album Of The Year nominee and was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2007. Some of Williams’ most notable scores include Jaws, the Star Wars series, Superman: The Movie, the Indiana Jonesseries, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, the first three Harry Potter films, Catch Me If You Can, Memoirs Of A Geisha,War Horse, and Lincoln.

ABOUT THE TECHNICAL GRAMMY AWARD HONOREES

Tony Agnello and Richard Factor, through their company Eventide, have influenced the way we make records for nearly 50 years, inventing and producing a wide variety of original audio effects devices, creating the first rack-mounted special effects processors for studio use, and making sophisticated studio processors available to musicians. Founded in 1971 in the basement of Sound Exchange studio on West 54th St. in New York City, Eventide invented the first tape machine autolocator for the Ampex MM1000 multitrack recorder, allowing the operator to precisely and automatically rewind the tape to a specific location at the press of a button—a feature soon standard equipment on every professional machine. Since then, they've created myriad products that have forever changed the recording industry, including the landmark H910 Harmonizer® effects processor, whose underlying technology forms the basis of all pitch-shifting and pitch-correction devices today. It allowed the use of delay and pitch effects separately and in combination, impacting the sound of records such as David Bowie’s Low, Kraftwerk’s Computer World, AC/DC’s Back In Black, and Parliament-Funkadelic’s "Aqua Boogie."

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