Recipients of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award were announced today by The Recording Academy®. Burt Bacharach, The Band, Cab Calloway, Doris Day, Itzhak Perlman, Max Roach and Earl Scruggs will receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. Clarence Avant, Jac Holzman, and Willie Mitchell will be honored with The Academy's Trustees Award. AMPEX Corporation and John Eargle have been named recipients of the Technical GRAMMY Award. A special by invitation-only ceremony will be held during GRAMMY Week on Saturday, Feb. 9, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
"This year's recipients are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have crafted or contributed to some of the most distinctive recordings in music history," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "These profoundly inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, creative architects and technical visionaries. Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their craft have created a timeless legacy."
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium while the Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity. Both awards are determined by 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 as well as The Academy's Trustees. 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:
Burt Bacharach — Performing and recording for more than four decades, Burt Bacharach is one of the most important composers of popular music in the 20th century. He brought the world such songs as "The Look Of Love," "Walk On By," "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head." He has written more than 70 Top 40 hits and has garnered six GRAMMY Awards throughout his illustrious career.
The Band (Rick Danko*, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, *Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson) — As one of the most popular and influential rock bands in the late '60s and early '70s, the Band produced music that crossed generational and historical borders. They fused various musical elements including old country and early rock and roll, though their rhythm section often evoked the Stax and Motown sound. The Band, in 2004, was ranked No. 50 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and they were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
*Cab Calloway — A talented jazz singer and a superior scatter, Cab Calloway — the "Hi De Ho" man — became one of the greatest and most beloved figures on the entertainment scene in the early '30s. In 1931, Calloway wrote his first hit, "Minnie The Moocher," which sold more than 1 million copies. A "larger-than-life" figure, immortalized in cartoons and caricatures, he also led one of the most talented swing orchestras. After more than 60 years of performing, he conquered every branch of show business from nightclubs to radio and film and television to theater.
Doris Day — Considered to be one of the hottest, sultriest swing band vocalists of the 1940s, Doris Day has recorded more than 76 chart-topping singles including "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," "Everybody Loves A Lover" and "Sentimental Journey," which is one of the most impressive songs in the fields of swing and popular jazz. Aside from Day's commanding and beautiful voice, her success was also based on her ability to sing a song that projected a unique intimacy with not only a crowd or a mass audience but also with each individual listener.
Itzhak Perlman — Itzhak Perlman is undeniably one of the reigning virtuosos of the violin who's reached unprecedented widespread exposure and popularity. His flawless technique and irrepressible joy of making music has captivated audiences for years. Since Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, he has appeared with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals throughout the world. He also has appeared on such television programs as "Sesame Street," "The Tonight Show," "David Letterman," and various specials on the PBS network. His career continues to yield numerous triumphs, placing him among the top musicians in the classical realm.
*Max Roach — Percussionist, drummer and jazz composer, Max Roach revolutionized jazz drumming making him one of the most important drummers in the history of jazz. Early in his career, Roach began to experiment with a musical style that was to become known as bebop jazz, or bop. Instead of the swing approach of spelling out the pulse with the bass drum, he shifted the emphasis to the ride cymbal and developed a flexible, flowing rhythmic patter that allowed soloists to play freely. In 2002, Roach toured with his quartet and continued to record and compose until a few years before his death in 2007.
Earl Scruggs — Earl Scruggs revolutionized and popularized the banjo and developed what is now known worldwide as the "Scruggs Style Picking." His style of picking is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. For more than 20 years, Scruggs performed with vocalist and guitarist Lester Flatt forming the most famous band in bluegrass history. But Scruggs parted with Flatt and in 1969 formed Earl Scruggs Revue with his three sons. In 2003, Scruggs received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in that same year he and Flatt were ranked No. 24 on "CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music."
About the Trustees Award Honorees:
Clarence Avant — Clarence Avant is a renowned industry executive known for his keen business sense and unique deal-making skills. Throughout his career, he has been a torch bearer for the African-American community, blazing paths and opening up countless opportunities for individuals such as Lalo Schifrin, Antonio "L.A." Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Through Sussex Records/Tabu Records, his own record company, Avant signed recording artists Bill Withers, Dennis Coffey, the Presidents and Wadsworth Mansion. In 1993, he was named Chairman of Motown Records and, four years later, he became the first African-American to serve on the International Management Board for Polygram.
Jac Holzman — As the founder of both Elektra Records and Nonesuch Records, Jac Holzman signed legendary acts such as the Doors, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and folk singer Judy Collins. After selling his music interests to Warner Communication Inc., he continued his association with the label and discovered or produced such artists as Bread, Harry Chapin, Carly Simon, and Queen. From 1973 through 1982, Holzman was the senior vice president of Warner Communications Inc. and chief technologist, ushering the company to an early year entry into home video and the first interactive cable television system. In 1982, as chairman of Panavision, he helped turn the financially troubled company around. In 2005, Holzman introduced an electronic-only label Cordless Recordings, which serves as a home for vital new music and introduces artists to new fans.
Willie Mitchell — Willie Mitchell is a Memphis music legend whose production and arranging expertise has contributed to the success of artists such as Booker T. & The MG's, Al Green, and Ann Peebles. In 1959, he signed with Hi Records, located around the corner from Stax Records, in the neighborhood that would become known as Soulsville. Often credited as the creator of the often-copied "Hi Sound," Mitchell was a popular concert attraction in his own right throughout the 1960s. He took the helm of Hi Records in 1970 and with the success of his collaboration with Al Green, led Hi to unprecedented success. Mitchell co-produced and engineered all of Green's albums from 1970 through 1976, including such seminal soul classics as "Tired Of Being Alone," "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)," and "Let's Stay Together."
About the Technical GRAMMY Award Honorees:
AMPEX Corporation — Founded in 1944, AMPEX Corporation developed the audio tape recorder and among its many contributions are the development of the first practical videotape recorder, the introduction of helical scan recording and the invention of slow motion instant replay. The first audio recorder made its debut in 1948 when it was used to record "The Bing Crosby Show." And during the early 1950s, AMPEX began marketing 1- and 2- track machines using 1/4" tape. The line soon expanded into 3- and 4-track models and by 1968 the company introduced a 16-track version, the MM-1000, which was the world's first 16-track professional tape recorder. The AMPEX Recording Media Corporation was sold in 1995 to Quantegy Inc. and is now known as Quantegy Recording Solutions.
*John Eargle — Considered by many to be the foremost expert in the audio engineering field, John Eargle spent more than 30 years in the industry. He began with JBL Professional in the mid-1970s as senior director of product development and applications. By 1980, Eargle became director of recording for Delos International until his passing in 2007. He recorded and/or produced about 275 compact discs and authored several books that have become hallmarks of the audio reference library including The Handbook Of Recording Engineering; The Microphone Book; The Handbook Of Sound System Design; Music, Sound And Technology; and The JBL Story: 60 Years Of Audio Innovation. Eargle received degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, as well as an engineering degree from the University of Texas and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Sciences and Art.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. In its 50th year, The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com.