Recipients of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical Grammy Award were announced today. Joan Baez
, Booker T. & The MG's
, Maria Callas
, Ornette Coleman
, The Doors
, the Grateful Dead
and Bob Wills
will receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. Estelle Axton
, Cosimo Matassa
and Stephen Sondheim
will be honored with The Academy's Trustees Award. David M. Smith and Yamaha Corporation have been named recipients of the Technical GRAMMY Award.
"This year's group of accomplished honorees are as diverse as they are influential as creators of the most renowned and prominent recordings in the world," said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. "Their contributions exemplify the highest artistic and technical standards that have positively affected the music industry and music fans."
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 decided by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing members and The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
Formal acknowledgment of these special merit awards will be made at an invitation-only ceremony during GRAMMY Week, as well as during the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:
, Bobby Krieger
, Ray Manzarek
, and *Jim Morrison
) — As one of the most influential and controversial rock bands of the '60s, The Doors' music included socially, psychologically and politically influenced lyrics. The band formed in 1965 — when Morrison and Manzarek were film students at UCLA — with a sound that was dominated by Manzarek's electric organ and Morrison's deep, sonorous voice with which he sang his highly poetic lyrics. Blending blues, classical, Eastern music, and pop into sinister but beguiling melodies, the band sounded like no other. The group's first album, The Doors, featuring the hit "Light My Fire," was a massive success, and endures as one of the most exciting, groundbreaking recordings of the psychedelic era. The Doors' music and Morrison's legend continue to fascinate succeeding generations of rock fans.
The Grateful Dead
, Mickey Hart
, Bill Kreutzmann
, Phil Lesh
, and Bob Weir
) — The Grateful Dead were the psychedelic era's most beloved musical ambassadors as well as its most enduring survivors, spreading their message of peace, love and harmony across the globe for more than four decades. The ultimate cult band, the Dead were known for their unique and eclectic songwriting style, fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, psychedelia, and gospel, and for live performances, featuring long jams. The band released more than 50 albums
, and was music's top-grossing live act year after year. As strong and passionate supporters of numerous educational and humanitarian charities, they established the Rex Foundation. Today, more than 10 years after Jerry Garcia's death, the legions of fans — called Dead Heads —have only grown larger and stronger.
— As one of the most accomplished interpretive folk singers of the '60s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a career that is still going strong after more than 45 years. Possessed of an instantly recognizable soprano, Baez has received eight gold albums, a gold single, six GRAMMY Award nominations, and the 2003 Recording Academy San Francisco Chapter Governors Award.
Booker T. & The MG's
, Donald "Duck" Dunn
, *Al Jackson
, Booker T. Jones
, and Lewie Steinberg) — As the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, Booker T. & The MG's had tight, impeccable grooves that can be heard on classic hits by Otis Redding
, Wilson Pickett
and Carla Thomas
, to name a few. They also were one of the top instrumental outfits of the rock era, recording classics including "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight," and "Hang 'Em High." As a band that featured two blacks and two whites playing as a cohesive group in the highly-charged south of the '60s, they set an example of how music can transcend social ills.
— Among her contemporaries, Maria Callas had the deepest comprehension of the classical Italian style, the most musical instincts and the most intelligent approach, with exceptional dramatic powers. She had a wide range from high E to the F below the staff, and an innate feel for the style of bel canto roles, but she was most notable for bringing a commitment and intensity to her dramatic portrayals that was unprecedented at the time. Her fame has transcended the usual boundaries of classical music, and she has been the inspiration for several movies, an opera, and a successful Broadway play.
— One of the most notable figures in jazz history, American jazz saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman is considered one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the '60s. He has influenced virtually every saxophonist of a modern disposition and nearly every jazz musician of the following generation. Coleman's timbre is one of the most easily recognized in jazz: his keening, crying sound draws heavily on the blues. From the beginning, his music and playing were unorthodox, and his sense of harmony and chord were not as rigid as most swing music or bebop performers and were easily changed and often implied. His growing reputation placed him at the forefront of jazz innovation, and free jazz was soon considered a new genre.
— Bob Wills' name will forever be associated with Western swing. He is credited with popularizing the genre and changing its rules. Wills' band, The Texas Playboys, combined dance music, blues, jazz, pop, and country into a uniquely popular form. The band gained fame playing for eight years on a Tulsa, Oklahoma radio station and ultimately influenced generations of country and pop artists with its iconoclastic approach and individual sound.
Trustees Award Honorees:
— As co-founder of the legendary Stax Records — home to Otis Redding
, Sam & Dave
, and Isaac Hayes
— Estelle Axton was known as "Lady A" to the artists who recorded for her. Stax was widely renowned as the premier label in the rich history of Memphis music. During the turbulent '60s, Stax brought together black and white musicians who collaborated, creating the distinctive Stax soul sound which is recognized worldwide today. Axton's influence as a mentor and facilitator was crucial to the development of the Stax stable of artists and songwriters and their role in generating a defining sound in American music in the '60s and '70s.
— Cosimo Matassa was essential to the development of the New Orleans R&B, rock and soul sound of the '50s and '60s. As an engineer and proprietor of J&M Studios and Cosimo Recording Studio in New Orleans, he was skilled at microphone placement and capturing the sound of New Orleans R&B with a naturalistic feel. Matassa developed the "Cosimo Sound," which consisted of strong drums, heavy bass, light piano, heavy guitar and a light horn sound with strong vocal lead. From Little Richard
and Fats Domino
to Dr. John
and Allen Toussaint
, some of the greatest artists recorded their work at these studios.
— Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as one of the greatest Broadway show composers and lyricists. A winner of six GRAMMY Awards, Sondheim ranks with such masters as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe and arguably even Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin of an earlier era. Sondheim received his first big break when he wrote lyrics to Leonard Bernstein's score for West Side Story. Since then, Sondheim's shows have been amazingly daring in terms of subject matter, with unusual musical ideas and stunningly original lyrics.
Technical GRAMMY Award Honorees:
*David M. Smith
— A pioneer in high-resolution audio, David M. Smith's technical prowess at trouble- shooting anything in the studio, as well as his humble leadership, earned him wide respect from the music industry. Many landmark recordings were made under Smith's stewardship, and he built devices that preceded their commercial counterparts. From 1995 until his death in 2006, Smith served as Vice President of Audio Technical Engineering at Sony Music Studios where he oversaw and updated two dozen multi-format rooms encompassing every facet of audio production, installed a succession of "New York's first" consoles and personally designed custom mixing and mastering consoles in both analog and digital configurations. As a frequent consultant to the audio industry, he oversaw the transfer and digitizing of priceless master tapes sent from all over the world.
— Since 1887, Yamaha Corporation has grown from producing reed organs to becoming one of the world's largest manufacturers of musical instruments and professional audio products. For more than 40 years, Yamaha Corporation of America has provided the professional audio recording industry with analog and digital products. In the forefront of chip and software design for effects and mixing, it began manufacturing its own DSP chips specifically for audio applications. Many of their products have become the industry standard for professional engineers, producers, recording studios and post production facilities worldwide. Today, Yamaha continues its successful history of further advancing its technology to provide powerful recording solutions that benefit the music industry.