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GRAMMY GEARS UP

Lifetime Achievement, Trustees Award, Technical Grammy Recipients Named
If it’s January, it must be time to get ready for the Grammys in February. To that end, the Recording Academy (a.k.a. the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, or NARAS for short) has announced its gala lineup for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, Trustees Awards and Technical Grammy Awards.

In the Lifetime Achievement department, awards will go to rock pioneer and explorer David Bowie, recently revived British power trio Cream, outlaw country stalwart Merle Haggard, Delta blues legend Robert Johnson, opera singer and humanitarian Jessye Norman, comic Richard Pryor and folk quartet The Weavers.

Damn. That’s a lot of achievement. Kinda makes us feel small. Wait a minute, we are small. Never mind.

This year’s Trustees Awards will go to Island Records founder/entrepreneur Chris Blackwell, producer/former Decca Nashville President Owen Bradley (Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells) and engineer Al Schmitt (George Benson, Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra).

Technical Grammys will be bestowed upon legendary engineer/producer/Manhattan Project physicist Tom Dowd (Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Coltrane, Eric Clapton, Chicago, Rod Stewart) and Bell Labs and Western Electric. The two audio technology companies (now part of Lucent Technologies) were responsible for advances in recording and broadcasting including the invention of the condenser microphone, stereo radio and the development of the transistor.

“This year’s honorees are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have contributed some of the most distinguished and influential recordings,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, his trademark niceness in full effect. “Their work exemplifies the highest artistic and technical standards, creating a timeless legacy that has positively affected multiple generations, and will continue to influence generations to come."

The awards will be handed out during a pre-Grammy ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and the recipients will be acknowledged during the Grammys themselves, to be held at Staples Center in L.A. on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. eastern and pacific time.
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