1988 Grammy Winners

31st Annual GRAMMY Awards (1988)

Following Whitney Houston’s inspired opening performance of “One Moment In Time” — a song she recorded for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea — host Billy Crystal proclaimed, “This year promises to be a kinder, gentler GRAMMY,” borrowing one of then-President George H.W. Bush’s stated objectives for the nation.

Ultimately, it wasn’t all kinder and gentler — however it was a year in which Bobby McFerrin’s famously upbeat “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was named Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, not to mention another McFerrin win for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male, for a different song (“Brothers”). McFerrin — billed by Crystal as “the GRAMMY Symphony Orchestra” — also performed a wide-ranging and witty history of music, vocalizing as Crystal spoke.

Yet this was also a very big year for Tracy Chapman, whose “Fast Car” spoke powerfully to real life worries and the eternal desire for escape. By the end of the evening at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Chapman was named Best New Artist and took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Best Contemporary Folk Recording.

Other performing artists brought a welcome edge to the 31st proceedings, including the always-interesting Sinéad O’Connor performing “Mandinka” from her debut album, The Lion And The Cobra, and Lyle Lovett, who brought his brilliantly offbeat brand of down-home music to a country sequence that also featured a memorable duet by Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens on “Streets Of Bakersfield.”

But it was the addition of some new metal at the 31st GRAMMY Awards that would prove more controversial. During the show, Crystal explained, “Not too long ago heavy metal was confined to the underground, but times change and the GRAMMYs change with the times. And we acknowledge the art form that is keeping the rebellious essence of rock and roll alive, and have added a GRAMMY Award in that category for the first time this year.” The new category was called Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental, and Crystal then introduced one of the nominees — Metallica. The group performed a characteristically intense and explosive version of “One” from the album ...And Justice For All (which likely included the first use of machine gun sound effects on the GRAMMYs). However, when Alice Cooper and Lita Ford came out to present the award, the GRAMMY went to veteran rock act Jethro Tull — a fine group of longstanding musicians, but arguably the least hard or metal of the nominees. The category and Metallica performance were proof of GRAMMY’s ambition, though the category proved too broad. The next year it would be dubbed more purely Best Metal Performance, and Metallica’s “One” would take the prize.

In an ever changing musical world, the 31st Annual GRAMMYs also significantly marked the very first year of the Best Rap Performance category with the award going to D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” during the pre-telecast ceremonies. As presenter Kool Moe Dee eloquently commented: “On the behalf of all MCs, my co-workers and fellow nominees — Jazzy Jeff, J.J. Fad, Salt-N-Pepa and the boy who’s bad — we personify power and a drug-free mind, and we express ourselves through rhythm and rhyme. So I think it’s time that the whole world knows rap is here to stay.”

Linda Ronstadt, meanwhile, showcased her Mexican-American heritage with a fine performance of “La Charreada” from her winning Canciones De Mi Padre, complete with a mariachi band and dancers. She followed this performance by taking home the Best Mexican-American Performance GRAMMY.

Other moments on this show were reminders of the GRAMMY Award’s unique ability to blend genres and bring together generations with ease and grace. Three Lifetime Achievement Award recipients — Leontyne Price, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie — all gave vital, crowd-pleasing performances, and famed violinist Itzhak Perlman made an excellent point when he noted that he was happy to see classical music doing so well in the “race for space on the GRAMMY show. We may not sell as many records as our associates in the pop, rock and country fields, but you must admit our hits last a long time.”

On the GRAMMY Awards telecast, it’s all good in the end. As Billy Crystal rightly said in his closing thought for the night: “The more you love music, the more music you love.”

Record Of The Year
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy

Linda Goldstein, producer

Album Of The Year
 
winner
George Michael

George Michael, producer

Song Of The Year
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin, songwriter (Bobby McFerrin)

Best New Artist
 
winner
Tracy Chapman
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
 
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Tina Live In Europe
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Simply Irresistible
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
U2
Desire
Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Carlos Santana, GRAMMY winner
Blues For Salvador
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal Or Instrumental
 
winner
Crest Of A Knave
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Giving You The Best That I Got
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'arby
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Love Overboard

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Best R&B Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Chick Corea
Light Years
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
 
winner
Giving You The Best That I Got

Anita Baker, Randy Holland & Skip Scarborough, songwriters (Anita Baker)

Best Rap Performance
 
winner
Parents Just Don't Understand
Best New Age Performance
 
winner
Folksongs For A Nuclear Village
Best Jazz Fusion Performance
 
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Look What I Got!
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male
 
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group
 
winner
Spread Love
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance Soloist (On A Jazz Recording)
 
winner
Don't Try This At Home

Michael Brecker, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
 
winner
Blues For Coltrane - A Tribute To John Coltrane
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
 
winner
Bud & Bird

Gil Evans & The Monday Night Orchestra

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
 
Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
 
Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Give A Little Love

The Judds

Best Country Vocal Collaboration
 
Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
Best Bluegrass Recording (Vocal Or Instrumental)
 
winner
Southern Flavor
Best Country Song
 
winner
Hold Me

K.T. Oslin, songwriter (K.T. Oslin)

Best Gospel Performance, Female
 
winner
Lead Me On
Best Gospel Performance, Male
 
Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group, Choir Or Chorus
 
winner
The Winans Live At Carnegie Hall

The Winans

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
 
winner
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
 
winner
BeBe Winans
Abundant Life
Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus
 
Best Latin Pop Performance
 
winner
Roberto Carlos
Best Tropical Latin Performance
 
Best Mexican-American Performance
 
winner
Linda Ronstadt
Canciones De Mi Padre
Best Traditional Blues Recording
 
winner
Hidden Charms
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
 
winner
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
Best Traditional Folk Recording
 
winner
Folkways -- A Vision Shared: A Tribute To Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly

(Various Artists)

Best Contemporary Folk Recording
 
winner
Tracy Chapman
Best Polka Recording
 
winner
Jimmy Sturr
Born To Polka
Best Reggae Recording
 
winner
Ziggy Marley
Conscious Party

Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers

Best Recording For Children
 
Best Comedy Recording
 
winner
Good Morning, Vietnam
Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording
 
winner
Speech By Rev. Jesse Jackson
Best Musical Cast Show Album
 
winner
Into The Woods

Stephen Sondheim, composer; Stephen Sondheim, lyricist; Jay David Saks, producer (Various Artists)

Best Instrumental Composition
 
winner
The Theme From LA Law

Mike Post, composer (Mike Post)

Best Album Of Original Instrumental Background Score Written For A Motion Picture Or Television
 
winner
The Last Emperor

David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto & Cong Su, composers (David Byrne, Cong Su & Ryuichi Sakamoto)

Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television
 
winner
Phil Collins
Two Hearts (From Buster)

Phil Collins & Lamont Dozier, songwriters (Phil Collins)

Best Performance Music Video
 
winner
U2
Where The Streets Have No Name

Meiert Avis, video director; Ben Dossett & Michael Hamlyn, video producers

Best Concept Music Video
 
winner
Weird Al Yankovic

Jay Levey, video director; Susan Zwerman, video producer

Best Arrangement On An Instrumental
 
winner
Memos From Paradise

Roger Kellaway, arranger (Eddie Daniels)

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)
 
winner
No One Is Alone

Jonathan Tunick, arranger (Cleo Laine)

Best Album Package
 
winner
Tired Of Runnin'

Bill Johnson, art director (O'Kanes)

Best Album Notes
 
winner
Crossroads

Anthony DeCurtis, album notes writer (Eric Clapton)

Best Historical Album
 
winner
Crossroads

(Eric Clapton)

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
 
winner
Roll With It

Tom Lord-Alge, engineer (Steve Winwood)

Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)
 
winner
Neil Dorfsman
Best Classical Album
 
winner
Robert Woods
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Robert Shaw, artist; Robert Woods, producer

Best Orchestral Recording
 
winner
Rorem: String Symphony; Sunday Morning; Eagles

Louis Lane & Robert Shaw, conductors (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
 
winner
Georg Solti
Wagner: Lohengrin
Best Choral Performance (Other Than Opera)
 
winner
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Robert Shaw, conductor (Atlanta Symphony Chorus; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra)
 
winner
Vladimir Horowitz
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23

Vladimir Horowitz, artist (La Scala Opera Orchestra)

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist(s) (Without Orchestra)
 
winner
Albeniz: Iberia, Navarra, Suite Espagnola
Best Chamber Music Performance
 
winner
Georg Solti
Bartók: Sonata For Two Pianos & Percussion
Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
 
winner
Luciano Pavarotti In Concert

(Symphony Orchestra Of Amelia Romangna)

Best Contemporary Composition
 
winner
Adams: Nixon In China

John Adams, composer

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
 
winner
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Jack Renner, engineer (Robert Shaw, conductor)

Classical Producer Of The Year
 
winner
Robert Woods