Each year, in addition to presenting GRAMMYs® to recognize the year’s best recordings, The Recording Academy® honors a handful of musical icons through its Special Merit Awards, which include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award. One of the highlights of the GRAMMY program book is the Special Merit Awards section, in which legendary honorees are paid tribute via page-long testimonials by noted artists and musicians. Others who have worked with the honorees, grew up as fans or whose lives and careers were altered by the honorees’ gravitational pull also contribute powerful testimonials within each program.
Until now, these appreciations have only been seen and enjoyed nearly exclusively by those fortunate enough to attend the GRAMMY Awards® ceremony. Now for the first time, The Recording Academy and Hal Leonard Books have collected two decades of these tributes in A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends (January 2017, $29.99).
The 88 honorees featured in A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends have made extraordinary contributions to blues, classical, country, R&B, rock, rap and other forms of music either as performers or behind the scenes as producers, engineers, songwriters, executives or technical innovators. The collected tributes are sometimes touching, sometimes humorous and always inspiring.
Editor David Konjoyan writes in his introduction:
“As with other innovations, whether science-, technology-, or business-related, none happen in a vacuum and all have deep reverberations. That’s what this book is all about: The sources of those reverberations and the revelations of those who were impacted by them and filtered them into their own groundbreaking work.”
In some cases, the relationship between the writer and legend is obvious (Quincy Jones honoring Michael Jackson or Miranda Lambert writing about Dolly Parton); in others the influence is less direct (Queen’s Brian May paying tribute to Doris Day or Carol Burnett writing on Julie Andrews). Sometimes the reverberations transcend music entirely, as when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) writes about his friendship with the Grateful Dead.
For music fans of all kinds, the essays in A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends offer a glimpse into how artists are personally affected by other artists, and the debt of gratitude, influence and inspiration they owe each other. Additional honorees highlighted in the collection include The Beatles; David Bowie; Leonard Cohen; Earth, Wind & Fire; Carole King; Run DMC; Barbra Streisand; and many more.