The Recording Academy® announced its Special Merit Awards recipients today, and this year's group includes: Julie Andrews, Roy Haynes, Juilliard String Quartet, The Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton, Ramones, and George Beverly Shea as Lifetime Achievement Award honorees; Al Bell, Wilma Cozart Fine and Bruce Lundvall as Trustees Award honorees; and Roger Linn and Waves Audio as Technical GRAMMY Award® honorees. The special invitation-only ceremony will be held during GRAMMY® Week on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
"It is a great honor to recognize and celebrate such a distinguished and dynamic group of honorees who have been the creators of such timeless art," said The Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "These influential performers and brilliant innovators have been of great inspiration to our culture and industry. Their legendary work has left a lasting impression and will continue to influence generations to come."
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 determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing Advisory Council and Chapter Committees as well as The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
Film and stage actress, singer, and author Julie Andrews made her Broadway debut in 1954 and has had an illustrious career that has spanned more than 60 years. She has entertained generations with her iconic roles and performances in films such as My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, the latter for which she won a GRAMMY for Best Recording For Children in 1964. She has also earned an Academy Award®, two Emmy®s, three Golden Globes and was given the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000.
Though he has played a wide range of styles from swing to bebop to jazz fusion, jazz drummer and bandleader Roy Haynes is known for his unique drum and cymbal techniques and instantly recognizable style of playing. In his more than 60-year career, he has played with many other jazz greats including MiLes Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. His 2006 release Wheras earned him his eighth GRAMMY nomination and his 2007 release of a 3 CD/ 1DVD box set entitled A Life In Time - The Roy Haynes Story, was listed as one of the best box sets of 2007 by The New Yorker magazine. Hayes has won two GRAMMYs including Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group for "Like Minds" in 1999.
Founded in 1946 at the Juilliard School in New York, the Juilliard String Quartet has long been recognized as the quintessential American string quartet. Currently the quartet-in-residence at both the Juilliard School and the Library of Congress, the quartet has recorded a wide range of classical music including both traditional and contemporary artists. Throughout its history, the quartet has won a total of four GRAMMY Awards.
Two-time GRAMMY winners The Kingston Trio helped launch the folk revival in the late 1950s, creating public demand for a genre that was dormant. Their refreshing style turned out to be timeless and was significant in altering the direction of popular music, specifically for folk/rock and Americana artists. The hit that catapulted their success, "Tom Dooley," earned a GRAMMY for Best Country Western Performance in 1958 and an entry in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1998.
Dolly Parton's nearly five decade-long career has been one of great diversity, having earned her success as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist. Known for such hits as "Coat Of Many Colors," "Jolene," "I Will Always Love You," and "9 To 5," Parton remains one of the most successful women in country music. She has been the recipient on many prestigious awards, including seven GRAMMY awards, CMA Entertainer of The Year, National Medal of Arts, and Kennedy Center Honors. In 2008 she released her most recent studio album, Backwoods Barbie, and recently wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical version of "9 To 5", based on the 1980 film in which she starred.
Known for blistering trademarked tracks such as "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Blitzkrieg Bop," and "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker," the New York-based Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The group was inspired by both pop and rock music of the 1950s and 1960s, but they played at a faster, up-tempo, manic pace and are often cited as the first punk rock group. The band released their final studio album in 1995 before disbanding, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
In his nearly 70-year career, George Beverly Shea became one of the most beloved and revered singers and composers of gospel music. He started as a youth singing in the church choir and became prominent in the Youth for Christ movement of the '40s and '50s. He began touring with the Billy Graham Crusades and was best known for his rendition of "How Great Thou Art" and for composing the popular hymn "The Wonder Of It All." Shea won a GRAMMY in 1965 in the Best Gospel Or Other Religious Recording (Musical) for his album Southland Favorites, and he was inducted into the GMA Gospel Hall of Fame in 1978.About the Trustees Award Honorees:
Al Bell began his record career in the 1960s with then up-and-coming Memphis-based label Stax Records, where he eventually became the executive vice president. While at Stax, he was a key player in the careers of Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Johnnie Taylor. In the 1980s, he worked closely with Berry Gordy Jr. and became president of Motown Records. Bell later founded his own label, Bellmark Records, which released the hit singles "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by the group Tag Team and Prince's "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World." Bell's most recent project is a new web-based venture hosting a successful online radio program, "Al Bell Presents: American Soul Music."
Producer Wilma Cozart Fine* is revered as one of the most important recording producers of classical music. As a vice president at Mercury Records in the 1950s and '60s, she produced recordings still admired today for their clarity, realism and impactful sound. Working with her engineer husband Robert Fine, she dubbed the recordings "Living Presence" for their real-life accuracy. Cozart Fine retired in 1964 to raise her family, but stepped back into the studio in 1989 to supervise the remastering of Living Presence recordings for Mercury Records.
Bruce Lundvall began his music career at Columbia Records where, during his 21-year tenure, he built its jazz roster into the largest of any major label. After serving as president at Elektra Records, he was offered the opportunity to create a pop music label for EMI called Manhattan Records. He was also given the task of reviving the Blue Note jazz label and surpassed all expectations by signing bright young talent such as Norah Jones and breathing new life into the label. In his 48-year career, he has been responsible for signing acts such as Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Richard Marx, Willie Nelson, and James Taylor.