29th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1986)

Paul Simon’s performance of “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo from the Graceland album opened the 29th Annual GRAMMY Awards on a boldly beautiful and global note, offering a soulful reaffirmation of the reach and relevance of truly great music. It also provided first time host Billy Crystal with a devilishly funny opening line. “Is it just me,” the comedian wondered aloud, “or did Art Garfunkel look different?”

Simon — still sans Garfunkel — would ultimately return to the stage when Whoopi Goldberg and Don Johnson — in matching Miami Vice suits — presented him with the final award of the evening, Album Of The Year. In his gracious acceptance speech, Simon ended by expressing “my deep admiration and love for the singers and musicians from South Africa who worked with me on Graceland… They live — along with other South African artists and their countryman — under one of the most repressive regimes on the planet today and still they are able to produce music of great power and nuance and joy. And I find that just extraordinary, and they have my great respect and love.”

Simon wasn’t the only rock veteran winning on this GRAMMY night. Steve Winwood, in the midst of a major comeback, also felt some “higher love” from The Academy. The Bangles and Live Aid leader Bob Geldof presented the former Traffic leader with the first GRAMMY of the night for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. Winwood also won Record Of The Year for “Higher Love,” the soulful single on which he was joined by Chaka Khan. Meanwhile, the GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, went to Barbra Streisand for The Broadway Album. For Streisand, this validation represented “a reaffirmation of the stature and quality of this timeless material.” She also pointed out that she had a hunch she might win since the show was on Feb. 24 and 24 was her lucky number — that she had been born on the 24th, had her son at 24 and won her first GRAMMY 24 years earlier. “So with your continued support and a little bit of luck, I might just see you again 24 years from tonight.”

Even by the eclectic standards of the GRAMMY Awards telecast, this show offered some wild stylistic shifts. Billy Idol beat out his Stax remake “To Be A Lover” in a boxing ring that could barely contain his post-punk energy. The fast-rising Beastie Boys behavior in presenting the GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance, Male, to Robert Palmer was such that the New York Times’ John J. O’Connor wrote, “Among the sprinkling of younger faces, a group called the Beastie Boys did its best to be outrageous while presenting an award, but ended up looking like the Three Stooges.”

But it wasn’t all Beastie. One of the biggest ovations of the evening came for legendary lyric soprano Kathleen Battle and classical guitarist Christopher Parkening for a stunning rendition of “Ave Maria.” The audience also gave a well-earned standing ovation for an inspired and inspiring group of R&B greats — B.B. King, Albert King, Etta James, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Big Jay McNealy, Dr. John and recent sensation Robert Cray — who managed to let the good times roll during a salute to the blues that featured the backing of guitarist Ry Cooder, bassist Tim Drummond and drummer Jim Keltner. Also impressive were three of country’s bright new male stars — Steve Earle, Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam — who all gave strong performances before the Best Country Vocal Solo Performance, Male, award for which they were nominated went to veteran Ronnie Milsap.

The award for Song Of The Year went to Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for “That’s What Friends Are For” — which became a heartening, conscious and inescapable fundraising response to the AIDS crisis as recorded by the fabulous foursome of Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder (according to Sager this night, the song had raised $750,000). That recording was also recognized with the GRAMMY for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. And on this night, Warwick, Knight and Wonder performed it with the accompaniment of Bacharach himself on piano.

Accepting the Song Of The Year award, Bacharach seemed genuinely moved. “Of all the songs that I’ve written, [this is] the one song when I still hear on the radio or hear in performance, I get a little teary in my eyes and a little touched — goose bumps,” Bacharach confessed. “I think it goes way beyond the song — it’s a good song, I’m proud of the song. I think it goes to the outer fringe of what that song has meant to so many people — in joy, sadness, heartbreak and hope and friendship and love.” 

Record Of The Year
Higher Love

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood, artist. Russ Titelman & Steve Winwood, producers.

Album Of The Year
Paul Simon

Paul Simon, artist. Paul Simon, producer.

Song Of The Year
Elton John
That's What Friends Are For

Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager, songwriters (Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)

Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager, songwriters.

Best New Artist
Bruce Hornsby & The Range

Bruce Hornsby & The Range

Bruce Hornsby And The Range (Bruce Hornsby, David Mansfield, George Marinelli, John Molo, Joe Puerta), artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
The Broadway Album
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
Higher Love

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood, artist.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Elton John, Stevie Wonder
That's What Friends Are For

Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder

Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder, artists.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance, (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
Top Gun Anthem

Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens

Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens, artists.

Best New Age Recording
Down To The Moon

Andreas Vollenweider

Andreas Vollenweider, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
Back Where You Started

Tina Turner

Tina Turner, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
Addicted To Love

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer, artist.

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Missionary Man

The Eurythmics

Eurythmics (Annie Lennox, David Stewart), artist.

Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
Peter Gunn

The Art Of Noise Featuring Duane Eddy

Art Of Noise (Anne Dudley, Jonathan Jeczalik, Gary Langan) & Duane Eddy, artists.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female

Anita Baker

Anita Baker, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
Living In America

James Brown

James Brown, artist.

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

Prince & The Revolution

Prince And The Revolution (Matt Blistan, Mark Brown, Lisa Coleman, Matt Fink, Eric Leeds, Wendy Melvoin, Prince, Bobby Z.), artist.

Best R&B Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
And You Know That


Yellowjackets (Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Ricky Lawson, Marc Russo), artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
Sweet Love

Anita Baker, Gary Bias & Louis A. Johnson, songwriters (Anita Baker)

Anita Baker, Gary Bias & Louis A. Johnson, songwriters.

Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental
Double Vision

David Sanborn & Bob James

Bob James & David Sanborn, artists.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female

Diane Schuur

Diane Schuur, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male
'Round Midnight

Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group
Free Fall

2+2 Plus

2+2 Plus (Mary Hylan, Angie Jaree, Bob Joyce, David Joyce, Darlene Koldenhoven, John Laird, Darryl Phinnessee), artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist

Miles Davis

Miles Davis, soloist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
J Mood

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis, artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
The Tonight Show Band With Doc Severinsen

The Tonight Show Band With Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
Whoever's In New England

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire, artist.

Best Country Vocal Solo Performance, Male
Lost In The Fifties Tonight

Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap, artist.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)

The Judds

Judds (Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd), artist.

Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
Raisin' The Dickins

Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs, artist.

Best Country Song
Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)

Jamie O'Hara, songwriter (The Judds)

Jamie O'Hara, songwriter.

Best Gospel Performance, Female
Morning Like This

Sandi Patti

Sandi Patti, artist.

Best Gospel Performance, Male

Philip Bailey

Philip Bailey, artist.

Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group, Choir Or Chorus
They Say

Sandi Patti & Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams & Sandi Patti, artists.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
I Surrender All

Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
Going Away

Al Green

Al Green, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus
Let My People Go

The Winans

Winans (Carvin Winans, Marvin Winans, Michael Winans, Ronald Winans), artist.

Best Latin Pop Performance
Le Lo Lai

Jose Feliciano

Jose Feliciano, artist.

Best Tropical Latin Performance

Rubén Blades

Rubén Blades, artist.

Best Mexican-American Performance
Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio

Flaco Jimenez

Flaco Jimenez, artist.

Best Traditional Blues Recording

Robert Cray, Albert Collins & Johnny Copeland

Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland & Robert Cray, artists.

Best Traditional Folk Recording
Riding The Midnight Train

Doc Watson

Doc Watson, artist.

Best Contemporary Folk Recording
Tribute To Steve Goodman

(Arlo Guthrie, John Hartford, Richie Havens, Bonnie Koloc, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Prine and Others)

Al Bunetta, Dan Einstein & Hank Neuberger, producers.

Best Polka Recording
Another Polka Celebration

Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones

Eddie Blazonczyk, artist. (TIE)

Jimmy Sturr
I Remember Warsaw

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra

Jimmy Sturr, artist. (TIE)

Best Reggae Recording
Babylon The Bandit

Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse (Selwyn "Bumbo" Brown, Alvin Ewen, David Hinds, Alphonso Martin, Sidney Mills, Steve "Grizzley" Nisbett), artist.

Best Recording For Children
The Alphabet

(The Sesame Street Muppets)

Jim Henson, Kathryn King & Geri Van Rees producers.

Best Comedy Recording
Those Of You With Or Without Children, You'll Understand

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby, artist.

Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording
Interviews From The Class Of '55 Recording Sessions

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Sam Phillips, Rick Nelson & Chips Moman

Carl Perkins, Chips Moman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison & Sam Phillips, narrators.

Best Musical Cast Show Album
Follies In Concert

Original 1986 Cast

Thomas Z. Shepard, producer.

Best Instrumental Composition
Out Of Africa

John Barry

John Barry, composer.

Best Music Video, Short Form
Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms

Dire Straits

Dire Straits (Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, Mark Knopfler, Terry Williams), artist.

Best Music Video, Long Form
Bring On The Night

Sting, artist. Michael Apted, video director. Sting, video producer.

Best Arrangement On An Instrumental
Suite Memories

Bill Watrous & Patrick Williams

Pat Williams, arranger.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals

Barbra Streisand

David Foster, arranger.

Best Album Package

Miles Davis

Eiko Ishioka, art director.

Best Album Notes
The Voice - The Columbia Years 1943-1952

Frank Sinatra

Andrew Sarris, Frank Conroy, Gary Giddins, Jonathan Schwartz, Murray Kempton, Stephen Holden & Wilfrid Sheed, album notes writers.

Best Historical Album
Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947-1974, Vols. 1-7

Brook Benton, Ray Charles, The Coasters, The Drifters, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding & Others

Aziz Goksel & Bob Porter, producers.

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
Back In The High Life

Steve Winwood

Jason Corsaro & Tom Lord-Alge, engineers.

Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, producers.

Best Classical Album
Vladimir Horowitz
Horowitz - The Studio Recordings, New York 1985

Vladimir Horowitz, artist. Thomas Frost, producer.

Best Classical Orchestral Recording
Georg Solti
Liszt: A Faust Symphony

Georg Solti, conductor

Georg Solti, conductor. Michael Haas, producer.

Best Opera Recording
Bernstein: Candide

John Mauceri conductor; Erie Mills, David Eisler, Maris Clement, John Lankston, Joyce Castle, Etc.

David Eisler, Erie Mills, Jack Harrold, James Billings, John Lankston, Joyce Castle, Maris Clement & Scott Reeve, artists. John Mauceri, conductor. Elizabeth Ostrow, producer.

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

James Levine, conductor; Margaret Hillis, choral director

Margaret Hillis, choir director. James Levine, conductor.

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (With Or Without Orchestra)
Vladimir Horowitz
Horowitz - The Studio Recordings, New York 1985
Best Chamber Music Performance
Yo-Yo Ma
Beethoven: Cello And Piano Sonata No. 4 In C & Variations

Emanuel Ax, piano; Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Emanuel Ax & Yo-Yo Ma, artists.

Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
Mozart: Kathleen Battle Sings Mozart

Kathleen Battle, soprano

Kathleen Battle, artist.

Best Contemporary Composition
Lutoslawski: Symphony No. 3

Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

Witold Lutoslawski, composer.

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
Horowitz - The Studio Recordings, New York 1985

Vladimir Horowitz, piano

Paul Goodman, engineer.

Classical Producer Of The Year
Thomas Frost

Thomas Frost

Thomas Frost, producer.