It is so interesting……. Sew What? has provided soft goods and concert stage drapes for the Grammy® Awards on numerous occasions over the years, however when recently quizzed at the lunch table I was unable to actually answer any questions regarding the history or the origin of the awards. So – rather than go out and get cold, this rainy lunch break I have decided to do a little research and learning – and thought I would share with you a summary of my findings – really quite interesting!
The Grammy® Awards actually had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s. As the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame (Tabinda Walk) committee worked to compile a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard. As such, a decision was made to create an award given “by the music industry” and “to the music industry”, and it would be somewhat similar to the already established “Oscars” and “Emmys”. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of what to call it; one working title was the Eddie, to honor the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison. Following this theme, they finally settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone.
A Grammy Award (originally called Gramophone Award) is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. It is the music equivalent to the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for stage performances, and the Academy Awards for motion pictures.
The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, and it was set up to honor musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Until 1971, awards ceremonies were held in both New York and Los Angeles, with winners accepting at one of the two. Nomination processes are detailed and lengthy, with various judging processes in place to conclude the winners. Since the early years with few categories, the awards have grown to become quite a complex and diverse presentation with many categories being honored. In the year 2011 there were in fact 109 official categories.. I am perhaps not alone in my inability to sit and watch 4 hours of programming – and as such in 2012 there was a major category overhaul – reducing the number of official categories in 2012 to 78. I believe the most notable category variance being that of no longer distinguishing between male and female solo artists.
The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a widely viewed televised ceremony. From the first telecast in 1959 thru to the 1971 introduction of “Live telecast” it has been a viewer favorite for the various broadcasting stations who over the years have hosted the programming. Now it is bigger and better than ever with incredible web presence throughout the year and a dedicated website. Broadcasts are televised live and there are no expenses spared in putting together the musical and visual spectacular. There is plenty for the viewer with awards ceremonies, musical production interludes, artist interviews and all the fun of televised after parties.
With 31 Grammy Awards, Sir Georg Solti is the artist with the most Grammy wins. Recording artist of worldwide fame Alison Krauss is the biggest winner among female artists with 27 awards. Big hitters U2, with 22 Grammy Awards, holds the record for most awards won by a group.
We recently produced for the 2012 “Latin” Grammys in Las Vegas some custom stage skirting / draping – Blue Satin for Blue Man Group – Gold crushed sheers for PitBull . We even built some softgoods for Michael Telo’s performance. Over the years, we have been privileged to provide custom stage drapes, band backdrops, kabukis and much more for many Grammy Award-winning artists, including Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Green Day, Linkin Park and many many more.