Saturday 4 May 2024

the recording academy (11. 540)

Originally presented as the Gramophone Award on this day in 1959, as our faithful chronicler informs, the first ceremony was hosted simultaneously in California’s Beverly Hilton and the Park Sheraton in New York City—though not televised live until 1971 (although the second confusingly took place later that same year, hosted by Frank Sinatra and was aired on NBC)—and had its roots in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project with industry executives realising that their top artists might not receive the same level of recognition as film stars. Following the tradition of the Oscars, Tonys and Emmys, the organisers first proposed calling the honours the Eddies after Thomas Edison (see also), inventor of the phonograph before eventually settling on the Grammys. Twenty eight trophies were awarded for the first ceremony including winners Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie with record of the year going to Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu (“Volare”) by Domenico Modugno and The Champs’ Tequila taking Best Rhythm and Blues Performance.