Grammy Awards are the Oscars of the music industry. The music industry launched its own awards thirty years after the Academy Awards were established. The Grammys, the Gramophone Awards–as originally named, were created in 1957 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
The Grammys were conservative. At that time, rock and roll was not included in the nominations, since it was considered a fad. Although the committee consisted of representatives from pop, jazz, classical, R&B, country etc, most innovators never won any awards for years to come.
The first Grammy Awards were presented for the year 1958, on May 4, 1959. Although Elvis Presley’s records were half of the music sold that year, The King wasn’t even nominated.
It is said that Frank Sinatra, the chairman of the board, had a hand in this, since he did not appreciate Rock’n Roll, and in the second year, when Bobby Darin was granted the Record of The Year Award for 1959 for “Mack the Knife,” Sinatra despised the new music even more. During the later years, however, Sinatra recorded the same song.
The end of the sixties still stayed conservative, although with Woodstock and with the push for following along with the times, the middle-of-the-road choices started to take hold. In 1969, the group 5th Dimension proved to be a godsend with their soft jazzy rock music, winning two awards for the same song, “Aquarius–Let the Sunshine in.”
The traditionalist view lost its hold during the seventies when the Grammys relaxed the strict judging criteria and included the rock music artists like the Eagles and Stevie Wonder.
A slap in the face came to Grammys with their biggest scandal when the Best New Artist Award was given to Milli Vanilli. Milli Vanilli were a twosome who had three singles at the number one spot. It was later discovered that the two never sang any of their songs, but lip-synched. Their German producer said afterwards, “We made a pact with the devil.”
The Grammys were broadcast on television for the first time by ABC until CBS bought the rights of telecast in 1973. The Grammys were held in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium for several years and then moved to the Staples Center because of the increase in the size of the audience and the categories. For years, New York and Los Angeles have competed for hosting the Grammys.
The Grammys now boast 108 categories with more than 20 genres of music and chapters in Atlanta, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Pacific Northwest, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
The 49th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony took place on February 11, 2007 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with Dixie Chicks becoming the big winners. In 2008, Grammy Awards will celebrate its fiftieth year, a milestone in the music awards business and will be held on a date to be yet announced at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.