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Give Grammy an Award

Dr. Spin looks at the music award industry.

by Dr. Spin
February 10, 2003

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Give Grammy an Award_Dr. Spin-Dr. Spin looks at the music award industry. Dear Dr. Spin,

I am thinking of getting a new haircut. Should I go with John Lennon, circa 1967 or Elvis Costello, circa 1980?

Due for a ‘do

Dear Do,

I have no idea what you look like, so I have no idea if either would look good on you. The fact is, both cuts are out of date, and you should really try to look like one of the cast of “Friends.” Also, before heading to the barbershop, I would listen to Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Almost Cut My Hair,” just for a reference point. Finally, let me say that you should get a cut that’s best for you, and not try to look like your Rock ‘n’ Roll idols. John Lennon and Elvis Costello’s cuts worked for them; you have to find what works for you.

Dr. Spin,

Do the Grammy Awards have any merit, or are they a joke, as many seem to think they are?

Sam I. Am

Dear Sam,

The Grammys are to the music industry what the Oscars are to the movies. Read into that what you will.

Originally, the Grammy Awards were a reaction to the booming Rock genre. Evidence this by the fact that the Beatles only won 2 Grammys (best new act 1964, best album cover, 1967) during their entire career. The Grammys were set up by the older generation to award artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Barbra Streisand. Since then, the Grammys have been perpetually behind the times, giving the very first Heavy Metal award to Jethro Tull.

One of the biggest problems with the Grammys is the same song can be nominated for several categories, and often for inappropriate categories. Depending on the band, a song can be nominated (and win) Best Song, Best Recording, Best Recording By A Band, Best Male Vocal, Best Rock Song, Best Pop Song, Best Latin Song (which is separate from the Latin Grammys), Best Single, Best Cross-Over and The Song That Got The Most Awards Song (okay, I made the last one up.) For Best Album, the winner of each category for Best Genre Album (Rock, Blues, Gospel, etc.) should all compete. Personally, I think the Grammy Awards would be a lot better and have more credibility if they defined their categories a little better, and even did away with a few awards.

Yet despite the many flaws of the Grammy system, it is still the most prestigious award in the music industry, more that the American Music Awards, and certainly more than the Billboard Awards (I thought being #1 on Billboard WAS the reward). I know I am proud of my Grammy and keep it well-polished in my trophy case.

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