GRAMMY-winning country/pop singer Patti Page died on Jan. 1 in Encinitas, Calif. A cause of death was not disclosed. She was 85. One of the preeminent female artists in the '50s, Page charted several albums on the Billboard 200, including 1956's Manhattan Tower, which peaked at No. 18. She earned 19 Top 40 hits throughout her career, including "Allegheny Moon," "Let Me Go, Lover!" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte," all of which peaked in the Top 10. Page has been cited as the first recording artist to overdub harmony vocals onto her own lead vocal with the release of "Confess" in 1947. Page won the lone GRAMMY of her career in 1998 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for Live At Carnegie Hall — The 50th Anniversary Concert. That same year, Page's "The Tennessee Waltz" was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. Aside from music, Page served as host of several TV shows throughout the '50s, including "The Big Record" and "The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show." Page will be honored posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy in February.
(In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. In the days leading up to the 55th GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY.com will present the tributes to the 2013 Special Merit Awards recipients.)
For me, writing an appreciation for Patti Page could take many pages in this book, so I'll give you my abbreviated version of the respect and admiration this great singer has bred in me and countless others.
As a kid I remember loving her voice because it was smooth, ever-soothing, super-sensitive, and creatively classic. It was easy for me to fall in love with an infectious melody like the million-selling "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming," but it was the voice of "The Singing Rage" that would make me a lifelong fan.
She did not just sing the songs. She sang them as if she wrote them, like she owned them. She gave her heart to all of her recordings and you could hear and feel it. As a young performer, she was an inspiration of mine as I worked my way to a degree at Kent State University singing in clubs, making $12 a night as a "boy singer." Patti's interpretation of a song was always something I would cling to. You could hear her passion on recordings like "Old Cape Cod," "Allegheny Moon" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte," as well as her signature song "Tennessee Waltz," which stayed at No. 1 for 13 weeks. I was enamored when she would harmonize with her own vocals, which was a daring venture in the mid-'50s. More than a dozen of her singles became million sellers, an astounding feat. She reportedly sold more than 100 million records. Her version of the great standard "You Belong To Me" is still chilling.
Patti was a guest of mine on radio shows I've hosted over the years. Her professional attitude and friendliness are legend. Noticing a touch of jazz in some of her vocals in the latter years, I asked her about it. She not only confessed her love for jazz, but also a deep appreciation for the musicians who played it. Needless to say, her admiration for country music and music makers was endless. Her singing is unforgettable and her personal style was sparkling. She always looked like she was walking down a red carpet. She won the hearts of fans all over the world.
Patti was made aware she was receiving this award just weeks before her passing on Jan. 1, and I'm sure she was proud of the achievement and the recognition it represented. She is and always will be music royalty and will be fondly remembered forever.
(Jerry F. Sharell is a five-decade veteran of the music industry and former president & CEO of Society of Singers. He hosts "Sundays With Sinatra" on radio station KKJZ-FM in Long Beach, Calif., and hosted "Great American Songbook" on KGIL-AM in Los Angeles.)
The Recording Academy today announced its 2013 Special Merit Awards recipients. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Glenn Gould, Charlie Haden, Lightnin' Hopkins, Carole King, Patti Page, Ravi Shankar, and the Temptations; Trustees Award honorees are Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Leonard and Phil Chess, and Alan Livingston; and Ikutaro Kakehashi and Dave Smith, and Royer Labs are Technical GRAMMY Award recipients.
A special invitation-only ceremony will be held during GRAMMY Week on Feb. 9, 2013, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
"Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come."
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance. 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.
By Fernando Gonzalez
The GRAMMY Awards may get far more attention, but no event during GRAMMY Week is more significant or heartfelt than The Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards Ceremony. Taking place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Feb. 9, the ceremony recognized artists, technical professionals and executives who have made significant contributions to our culture in general and the music industry in particular.
Citing remarks once made by Bono at this event, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said, "This is the heart and soul of the Academy." And it felt that way.
This year's selections for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors performers, covered a broad spectrum of music styles, including pianist Glenn Gould, jazz bassist and bandleader Charlie Haden, Texas blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins, singer/songwriter Carole King, pop/country singer Patti Page, sitar master Ravi Shankar, and R&B group the Temptations.
The honorees of the Trustees Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry, other than performance, were songwriters Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Chess records co-founders Leonard and Phil Chess, and executive Alan Livingston. The Technical GRAMMY Award recipients were MIDI founders Ikutaro Kakehashi and Dave Smith and renown ribbon microphone manufacturer Royer Labs.
"We say if there is a dry eye in the house at the end we haven't done a good job," said Portnow, invoking a laugh from the audience. But there were many touching moments.
For example, the soft-spoken Haden helped himself to the stage with a cane. Haden is battling an onset of post-polio syndrome, an illness he suffered from as teenager that unexpectedly returned in 2010. But that didn't stop him from talking about the beauty of making music.
Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones spoke with humor and reverence for their father, Ravi Shankar, who passed away in December 2012.
"Someone was talking today about music for fun or getting laid," said Shankar. "Well, as many women are fond of telling me, he did a lot of that. But [he] was all about music."
And the evening only got better as everyone had a favorite moment to share or a reason to celebrate. Lightnin' Hopkins' granddaughter recalled how her grandfather would call himself Po' Lightnin'; the Bergmans were celebrating 55 years of marriage; and Carole King's daughters Louise Goffin and Sherry Kondor made a video of the audience wishing their mother, who is on tour in Australia, a happy birthday. King also sent a touching message via video.
There were also intriguing twists. As it turns out, Gould gave his last public performance at age 31 at this very same theater on April 10, 1964.
It all culminated with the Temptations, with the son of the late Melvin Franklin, Niquos Franklin, wishing the audience a "merry Christmas from the Temptations," with his father's signature deep baritone
For music lovers, it was Christmas in February.
It's that time again, when we gather some of the best new releases from the last month and deliver them straight to your front door. While it's always near impossible to choose just a handful of new releases to spotlight, we want to give you a little bit of everything — from pop, rock, hip-hop, country, and more. So without further ado, take a look back at the Monthly Music Roundup for May.
The Afghan Whigs, In Spades
This '90s alt-rock mainstay is back In Spades with their second release since reuniting in 2012. "Bolstered again by the louche and ravaged voice of singer Greg Dulli," writes Pitchfork, "the latest from the indie rock icons is delightfully stuffed with romance and rancor."
Diana Krall, Turn Up the Quiet
The sultry-voiced GRAMMY winner takes it back to basics for Turn Up The Quiet as she revisits standards such as "L-O-V-E," "Blue Skies" and "Night And Day" with alternating backing bands. Produced by GRAMMY winner Tommy LiPuma prior to his passing this past March, AllMusic.com says of the album, "The end result is so elegant, it seems effortless."
Natalia Lafourcade, Musas
Like many of her acclaimed albums, GRAMMY winner Lafourcade's Musas "serves as a mini lesson in Latin American music." A combination of Latin American standards and songs written or co-written by Lafourcade, she told Remezcla the album represents "patience" and "humanity."
Mary Lambert, Bold
The "Same Love" GRAMMY nominee is back at it with her latest, the crowdfunded EP, Bold, which Bust describes as a mix of "emotionally deep and thought-provoking songs" and "fun feel-good jams." Bold is an open and honest ode to living a full life and includes a little dancing, a little poetry and even a duet with her mom.
Lil Yachty, Teenage Emotions
With guests such as Migos, YG, Kamaiyah, and GRAMMY winner Diplo, Lil Yachty is ramping up with Teenage Emotions. The 21-song album reflects an empowering, "be yourself" message. "Don't be afraid to do you, to be you," Lil Yachty said on Instagram Live. "If you have vitiligo or if you're gay or whatever it is, embrace yourself. Love yourself. Be happy, positive."
Rapper Logic has taken his game to the next level withn Everybody, on which he tackles everything from mental health to his biracial identity. The album has already charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and XXLmag.com said it "further solidifies Logic['s] solid standing in hip-hop."
Paramore, After Laughter
Paramore's After Laughter is a "very of-the-moment" pop record that ditches the bubblegum but keeps the catchy hooks. Or, as Rolling Stone says, it's "a record that's so sunshine-bright it gives off a glare at times, rooted in fleet basslines and beats made for open-road drives and solo bedroom dance parties" that also has a bit of "cocked-eyebrow trepidation."
Perfume Genius, No Shape
Perfume Genius — aka Mike Hadreas — is back with his fourth studio album, No Shape. Produced by GRAMMY winner Blake Mills, the singer/songwriter continues his confessional brand of indie-pop in grand style. "These songs swoop and chatter like flocks of mad starlings, light up like religious paintings, … make the cosmos explode inside your ribs," Pitchfork writes. "No Shape rebukes tasteful minimalism and embraces beauty at its most transgressive."
Chris Stapleton, From A Room: Volume 1
His first album since winning the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for 2015's Traveller, From A Room: Volume 1 also embraces '70s-sounding outlaw country, including a cover of Willie Nelson's "Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning." While the record only runs approximately 30 minutes, Variety said, "Country has been holding out for a hero so long, even a display of superpowers as modest as From A Room feels epic enough."
Rapper Wale's fifth studio album, Shine, covers a lot of musical ground across 14 tracks. There's dancehall with a Diplo co-produce, a Latin connection with a J Balvin feature and a revisit of the seminal, "Smile." While Complex calls the album "a new dad rap classic" in light of its devotion to Wale's daughter, it's not a bad thing — the "different flavors" the album evokes are cause for celebration.
Roger Waters, Is This The Life We Really Want?
The former bassist for Pink Floyd, Waters' latest album hearkens back to a 1970s sound. GRAMMY-winning producer Nigel Godrich was given unusually strong oversite of the album. The result is an album that reaches from politics to the personal in a Floydian-esque package of the best kind. Waters told Entertainment Weekly, "It's about the transcendental nature of love and, I suppose, how it can transform anger into compassion."
Zac Brown Band, Welcome Home
Appropriately titled, this LP takes Zac Brown Band back to their roots of a more traditional country sound, including "Roots" and "Family Table." AllMusic.com says, "The sound of Welcome Home is a warm, comfortable bath" that "is the very definition of music as comfort food." For those who appreciate this melodically inclined country band, it will definitely be a Welcome Home.
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
A must-have for collectors, the 50th-anniversary super deluxe edition of the Beatles' classic 1967 album is packed with fabulous bonuses and extras. Aside from a new stereo mix of the album and track outtakes, the super deluxe set features 33 more recordings from the Sgt. Pepper sessions, unreleased mono mixes, surround-sound audio mixes, a documentary, and commemorative hardcover book.
With '90s nostalgia in full bloom, the 25th-anniversary deluxe edition of the Singles soundtrack is an alt-rock feast for the ears. The set features a remastered version of the original soundtrack, featuring Gen X classics by Alice In Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, and Chris Cornell, plus a bonus disc of previously unreleased songs and rarities, including songs heard in the film but not on the original soundtrack. Also included is a full EP from the late Cornell, featuring an early version of Soundgarden's GRAMMY-winning song "Spoonman."
Miley Cyrus, "Malibu"
Cyrus' "Malibu" does not come in like a wrecking ball. Quite the opposite, actually. A sweet love song that goes back to basics in its instrumentation, "Malibu" could be the soundtrack for your summer fling.
A move toward a more house-sound for Flume, "Hyperreal" features Australian singer Kučka. Her ethereal vocals compliment asymmetric synths and a darker backdrop with crunchy atmospherics.
Haim, "Want You Back"
A mid-tempo tune with the Haim sisters' signature vocals, "Want You Back" continues their brand of pop, this time with a love song. NPR adds that the track features "production that feels like several songs layered up and seeking maximum heart."
LCD Soundsystem, "Call The Police"/"American Dream"
Released as a "double A-side" to their upcoming comeback album, LCD Soundsystem evoke two separate moods with these two tracks. "American Dream" languishes with self-deprecating talk about love while "Call The Police" has instrumentals that, per Pitchfork, sound like "downed live wires …raring to go."