18th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1975)

Held during a year of widespread disco dancing, wide lapels and bicentennial celebration, the 18th Annual GRAMMY Awards were hosted for the sixth time by Andy Williams. By this time, Williams was beginning to express a few complaints—albeit completely comedic ones for his monologue. “Although I’ve never won anything…one should not have to pay for one’s own parking, or share one’s dressing room with the Captain & Tennille’s bulldogs.” And in one of his racier lines, Williams also noted that the GRAMMY Awards were now 18 years old, adding, “So you can now take your GRAMMY across state lines without violating the Mann Act.”

True to Williams’ promise that “we’ll be opening more envelopes than the CIA,” the show got down to business following a rousing first performance of “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole (which would win Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female). Presenters Helen Reddy and Neil Sedaka then revealed that Cole had won the GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist. Before handing out the award for Best Jazz Performance By A Group—won by Chick Corea & Return To Forever—jazz vocal giants Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé offered one of the evening’s most spontaneous and winning performances with a master class in scatting. Academy President Jay Cooper then introduced Henry Mancini who narrated a tribute to the music of the Windy City, Chicago—from its rich legacy in the blues to classical. Celebrating the music of Academy Chapter cities would be a theme from 1976 through 1979, with Atlanta, Memphis and San Francisco saluted in addition to Chicago.

Producer and director Marty Pasetta peppered the 18th GRAMMY broadcast with a series of psychedelic graphic effects that made even Ray Steven’s rendition of “Misty” feel a little trippy. Indeed there was something nice and trippy about a year in which Stephen Sondheim won Song Of The Year for his Broadway ballad “Send In The Clowns,” while the Best Pop Instrumental Performance GRAMMY went to Van McCoy for “The Hustle.” Disco also emerged victorious in the Best R&B Instrumental Performance category where Silver Convention’s “Fly, Robin, Fly” rose to the occasion. With wins in both pop and R&B categories, disco was starting to show the short-lived hold it would soon have on the music world. Meanwhile, the ever-soulful Earth, Wind & Fire won their first GRAMMY in the Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus for “Shining Star.” That award was handed out by Aretha Franklin and the Lockers, the funky dance troupe who gave the watching world a little disco lesson.

But this was also a fine night for members of the ’70s singer/songwriter movement. Paul Simon, a defining figure in that genre, won Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, for his work on Still Crazy After All These Years. Janis Ian won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for her confessional ballad “At Seventeen,” while Larry Alexander, Brooks Arthur and Russ Payne were awarded the Best Engineered Recording—Non-Classical for Ian’s album Between The Lines. Another singer/songwriter on the show was a white-tuxedoed Barry Manilow who performed a crowd-pleasing version of “Mandy” weaving in a bit of “Could It Be Magic” for good mellow measure.

Duos of various sorts also fared well at this GRAMMY show. Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge won Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group for “Lover Please,” and the Captain & Tennille took home the GRAMMY for Record Of The Year for their debut pop smash “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

But ultimately, the most charming thank you of the night came from Paul Simon who earlier performed “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” from a small platform in the audience. Accepting the GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year, Simon thanked a list of people including his producer Phil Ramone and onetime partner Art Garfunkel. In the end, Simon got a tremendous laugh by concluding, “Most of all, I’d like to thank Stevie Wonder, who didn’t make an album this year.”

Record Of The Year
Love Will Keep Us Together

Captain & Tennille

Captain & Tennille (Daryl Dragon*, Toni Tennille), artist. Daryl Dragon*, producer.

Album Of The Year
Paul Simon
Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon*, artist. Paul Simon* & Phil Ramone, producers.

Song Of The Year
Send In The Clowns

Stephen Sondheim, songwriter (Judy Collins)

Stephen Sondheim, songwriter.

Best New Artist Of The Year
Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole, artist.

Best Instrumental Arrangement
The Rockford Files

Mike Post

Mike Post & Pete Clarence Carpenter, arrangers.

Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

Ray Stevens

Ray Stevens, arranger.

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
Between The Lines

Janis Ian

Brooks Arthur, Larry Alexander & Russ Payne, engineers.

Best Album Package

Ohio Players

Jim Ladwig, art director.

Best Album Notes
Blood On The Tracks

Bob Dylan

Pete Hamill, album notes writer.

Best Album Notes, Classical

Gunther Schuller

Gunther Schuller, album notes writer.

Best Producer Of The Year
Arif Mardin

Arif Mardin

Arif Mardin, producer.

Best Jazz Performance By A Soloist
Oscar Peterson And Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie, soloist.

Best Jazz Performance By A Group
Chick Corea
No Mystery

Chick Corea & Return To Forever

Chick Corea And Return To Forever (Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, Lenny White), artist.

Best Jazz Performance By A Big Band

Michel Legrand & Phil Woods

Michel Legrand & Phil Woods, artists.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
Janis Ian
At Seventeen

Janis Ian, artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
Paul Simon
Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon, artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus
Lyin' Eyes

Eagles (Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner), artist.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
The Hustle

Van McCoy

Van McCoy, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
This Will Be

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
Living For The City

Ray Charles

Ray Charles, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus
Shining Star

Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire (Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Johnny Graham, Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Fred White, Maurice White, Verdine White, Andrew Woolfolk), artist.

Best R&B Instrumental Performance
Fly, Robin, Fly

Silver Convention

Silver Convention, artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
Where Is The Love

Betty Wright, Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch & Willie Clarke, songwriters (Betty Wright)

Betty Wright, Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch & Willie Clarke, songwriters.

Best Soul Gospel Performance
Take Me Back

Andrae Crouch & The Disciples

Andrae Crouch, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
Willie Nelson
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

Willie Nelson, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group
Lover Please

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge, artists.

Best Country Instrumental Performance
The Entertainer

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins, artist.

Best Country Song
(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

Chips Moman & Larry Butler, songwriters (B.J. Thomas)

Chips Moman & Larry Butler, songwriters.

Best Inspirational Performance
Jesus, We Just Want To Thank You

The Bill Gaither Trio

Bill Gaither Trio (Bill Gaither), artist.

Best Gospel Performance (Other Than Soul Gospel)
No Shortage

The Imperials

Imperials (Armond Morales, Jim Murray, Paul Smith, Dave Will), artist.

Best Ethnic Or Traditional Recording
The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters, artist.

Best Latin Recording
Sun Of Latin Music

Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri, artist.

Best Recording For Children
The Little Prince

Richard Burton

Richard Burton, artist.

Best Comedy Recording
Is It Something I Said?

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, artist.

Best Spoken Word Recording
Give 'Em Hell Harry

James Whitmore

James Whitmore, narrator.

Best Instrumental Composition

Michel Legrand & Phil Woods

Michel Legrand, composer.

Album Of Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special
Best Cast Show Album
The Wiz

Stephanie Mills, Dee Dee Bridgewater

Charlie Smalls, composer. Jerry Wexler, producer.

Album Of The Year, Classical
Georg Solti
Beethoven: Symphonies (9) Complete

Georg Solti, conductor

Georg Solti, artist. Raymond Minshull, producer.

Best Classical Performance - Orchestra
Pierre Boulez
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe (Complete Ballet)

Pierre Boulez, conductor

Pierre Boulez, artist.

Best Opera Recording
Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte

Colin Davis, conductor

Colin Davis, artist. Erik Smith, producer.

Best Choral Performance, Classical (Other Than Opera)
Orff: Carmina Burana

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Robert Page, choral director

Michael Tilson Thomas, artist. Robert Page, choir director.

Best Chamber Music Performance
Schubert: Trios Nos. 1 In B Flat, Op. 99 And 2 In E Flat, Op. 100 (Piano Trios)

Pierre Fournier, cello; Artur Rubinstein, piano; Henryk Szeryng, violin

Artur Rubinstein, Henryk Szeryng & Pierre Fournier, artists.

Best Classical Performance Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (With Orchestra)
Ravel: Concerto For Left Hand And Concerto For Piano In G/Faure: Fantaisie For Piano And Orchestra

Alicia De Larrocha, piano

Alicia De Larrocha, artist.

Best Classical Performance Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (Without Orchestra)
Bach: Sonatas And Partitas For Violin Unaccompanied

Nathan Milstein, violin

Nathan Milstein, artist.

Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
Mahler: Kindertotenlieder

Janet Baker

Janet Baker, artist.

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe (Complete Ballet)

Pierre Boulez, conductor

Edward (Bud) T. Graham, Milton Cherin & Ray Moore, engineers.