A lot of talk this week about tonight’s Grammy awards: predictions, trends, favorites and dark horses.
Consensus is the music industry will share the wealth (Last year, Adele took everything home).
But I’m suspect. Outside of an occasional OMG, Grammys historically play it safe and are often late to catch up on trends.
Grammy memories I’d like to forget
In 1971, The Carpenters accepted the Grammy for Best New Artist. Karen and Richard beat out Elton John (Gratefully, the brother-sister act also beat out The Partridge Family).
In 1965, Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz won Record of the year for “The Girl from Ipanema.” The runner-up, The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
Consider some of the artists who have never won a Grammy.
Chuck Berry (I mean, really? The guy invented Rock and Roll.)
Dusty Springfield, Bob Marley, Queen, The Beach Boys, for gosh sakes, never won a Grammy.
Unfortunately, if the distribution of awards is spread out tonight, a lot of us will be saying, “Who? Never heard of him/her/them.” Back in the Sixties, when we still listened to music on AM radio, we’d hear the Rolling Stones, Supremes, Sammy Davis Junior, The Troggs (“Wild Thing”), and Tom Jones on the same station. Radio formats are now so tailored to specific audiences and genres that rockers don’t hear jazz, jazzers don’t hear Mumford & Sons, the Oldies formats don’t offer Fun, and the top 40 stations don’t play the gem coming in at number 41.
And no one gets the occasional Beethoven, who rocks.
I expect Frank Ocean will leave tonight with his hands full of Grammys, Mumford & Sons will take turns holding one, and it may not be a Fun night whatsoever.
For the list of nominees click here.
Want to see 54 artists who never won a Grammy? Go here.
If you like to explore new music of different genres, without the commercials, check out NPR’s All Songs Considered.