Saturday, February 20, 2016

Country's Lifetime Achievement Grammy Honorees


The reviews of this year's Grammy show haven't been kind, and that is being kind.  Among the biggest gripes were the too-short tribute to Glenn Frey (the surviving Eagles were joined by Jackson Browne to sing the song that started the Eagles' career, "Take It Easy" [Browne co-wrote the song with Frey]), the too-long tribute to David Bowie by Lady Gaga (which, according to some, was like having Ozzy Osbourne do a tribute to Hank Williams), sound problems, and, as I lamented earlier this week, the fact that only eight out of 83 awards were actually presented during the show.  

The Grammys aren't necessarily bad, however.  The show is for ratings, so that's why you don't see Jason Isbell or Rosanne Cash getting their awards on the televised portion.  CBS's problem with wanting ratings doesn't minimize the significance of the Grammy, which is still the most prestigious award in music.

One of the "special awards" in Grammy world is the Lifetime Achievement Grammy.  This wasn't televised, either (which is even more troublesome given two of this year's recipients -- R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire and legendary rock band the Jefferson Airplane -- had members die this year [Jefferson Airplane lost two members on the same day] and received no recognition similar to Bowie's or Frey's).  This award is given by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for "performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance."

Here are the country or country-related recipients through the years:

1971:  Elvis Presley
1984:  Chuck Berry 
1987:  Roy Acuff, Ray Charles, Hank Williams
1991:  Kitty Wells
1993:  Chet Atkins, Bill Monroe
1995:  Patsy Cline
1997:  Every Brothers, Buddy Holly
1998:  Roy Orbison
1999:  Johnny Cash
2000:  Woody Guthrie, Willie Nelson
2004:  Doc Watson
2005:  Eddy Arnold, Carter Family, Jerry Lee Lewis
2006:  Merle Haggard
2007:  Bob Wills
2008:  Earl Scruggs
2009:  Gene Autry; Brenda Lee
2010:  Loretta Lynn
2011:  Dolly Parton
2012:  Glen Campbell, George Jones
2014:  Kris Kristofferson
2015:  Louvin Brothers
2016:  Linda Ronstadt

I'll be adding this achievement to their information in the "Dates of Note in Country Music" segments.

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