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The Recording Academy Launches "Give Fans The Credit"

New campaign to enhance fans' discovery of new music by ensuring all music creators are credited for their work on digitally released recordings

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

The Recording Academy has announced the launch of "Give Fans The Credit" — a new campaign that will help enhance fans' discovery of new music by ensuring all music creators are credited for their work on digitally released recordings.

Honorary Ambassadors who will help further awareness of this important initiative include: 12-time GRAMMY-winning producer T Bone Burnett; GRAMMY-winning songwriter Lamont Dozier; singer/songwriter/percussionist Sheila E.; singer/songwriter Skylar Grey; five-time GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Jimmy Jam; two-time GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter RedOne; and three-time GRAMMY-winning producer Don Was.

"The staggering pace of digital innovation gives consumers access to more and more information, but in this case — digitally released music without liner notes — the music fan is getting less information," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "We can watch movies online with the credits included, and the same should be true for digitally released recordings. If music devices can access millions of tracks in the cloud, we're confident we can find a way to acknowledge those who created the tracks here on Earth."

Songwriters, non-featured performers, producers, and engineers make significant contributions to recordings, but as liner notes are becoming less common, these creators rarely receive credit on digital music devices. Currently, the only credits consumers are generally able to see are the song title, album and artist; but music fans should have access to additional information: the songwriter who composed the work, the producers and engineers who shaped the sound and the musicians who brought the song to life.

The "Give Fans The Credit" campaign will address this issue on several fronts. First, music fans who want information about their favorite tracks can sign an online petition at www.givefansthecredit.com. Second, the campaign ambassadors and other leaders at The Recording Academy will begin a series of discussions with digital music services to brainstorm ways to deliver more robust crediting information on digital music platforms. At the same time, The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing will continue its efforts to ensure accurate data is contained within music files.

"By engaging consumers and the industry in this effort, we seek to give music fans the rich information and content they desire," said Daryl Friedman, Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer for The Recording Academy. "Discovery is a key part of today's digital music services. By knowing who wrote, produced and played on the tracks, consumers will be able to discover even more great music. This will give both creators and fans the credit they deserve."

For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

Pre-Order The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees Album Now
2013 GRAMMY Nominees album available for pre-order now

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Pre-Order The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees Album Now

Latest edition of best-selling series available Jan. 22, 2013; fans can pre-order the album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings and Capitol Records have teamed to release the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album, which will be available Jan. 22, 2013, in stores and via digital retailers. The 19th installment of the best-selling series will feature a bevy of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and hit songs across multiple genres. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation — two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy.

Following the success of last year's contest, music fans can log on to www.grammy.com/2013grammyalbum to pre-order the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"It's an honor to join forces with Capitol Records to deliver a truly diverse collection encompassing a variety of genres and highlighting today's most talented musicians," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "After the success of last year's pre-order enter-and-win sweepstakes, we're once again thrilled to give music fans the opportunity to experience Music's Biggest Night firsthand. And, it's gratifying to be able to continue our support of the crucial work that MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation carry out year-round."

Dan McCarroll, president of Capitol Records, added, "Capitol is honored to collaborate with The Recording Academy on this prestigious series. This year has been a remarkably strong year in music, and encompassing the highlights of 2012 on a single release supporting these charities is immensely gratifying."

The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" and culminates with the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. 

For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook

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Fear Of Flying

Lost or damaged musical instruments inspire musicians to seek a national policy for instruments carried onboard airplanes

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

If you thought the worst part about being a traveling musician was jet lag and bad food, then you've never tried to carry an instrument onboard a commercial airplane.

From lost or damaged instruments to hassles with flight attendants and gate agents, musicians of all stripes complain that inconsistent airline policies make traveling with their instruments nearly impossible.

"Try traveling with a $5,000 guitar that they won't let you carry onboard," says Los Angeles-based guitarist Michael Andrews, who tours as a solo artist and as part of the Greyboy Allstars. "It's just a nightmare."

"Every airline is so different with their rules, we don't ever know till we get there if we'll be allowed to carry our instruments on the plane or not," says country artist Terri Clark. "Sometimes it depends on the agent. And sometimes you can have the exact same airline and have two different agents telling you two different things."

The issue has ruffled enough feathers that The Recording Academy and the American Federation of Musicians have taken it to Congress. The Senate version of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, S. 223, includes language that sets a national policy for musical instruments carried onboard airplanes. A House version of the bill does not address musicians' needs.

S. 223 was an issue lobbied on at April's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, the music industry's only annual music lobby day. The goal is to ensure the Senate bill's musician-friendly language survives conference committee and makes it into the final legislation.

"We need a consistent policy, not airline by airline [or] gate by gate," says Daryl Friedman, The Recording Academy's Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer. "Right now musicians are faced with the choice of checking their instruments or buying a ticket for them — and even that is airline by airline."

Cellist Matt Walker learned that the hard way when his chamber ensemble traveled from Nashville to St. Paul, Minn., last November. Despite purchasing a ticket for his cello, and repeated assurances by the airline that a ticketed instrument posed no problem, a flight attendant still demanded Walker's cello be placed in the cargo hold.

Walker had no choice but to relinquish his cello and hope for the best. But airline employees failed to properly tag the instrument, and upon arriving in St. Paul it was left on the tarmac in 30-degree temperatures for more than half an hour.

"These things are not put together with screws and bolts, it's just wood and glue," Walker says of his cello. "You don't want to be looking at your cello sitting out on the tarmac in 30-degree weather."

Bluegrass musician Del McCoury found himself in a similar predicament last year when his prized 1957 Martin guitar was broken in airline transit, despite its fiberglass case.

"The thing is, the airline doesn't [care] about your instrument, they just don't," says Clark. "I've watched them through the window throwing guitars onto the belt. Not long ago they left ours out in freezing rain, just sitting on the tarmac. We had to watch while the guitars were getting rained on. You know, these are like $4,000–$5,000 instruments."

Los Angeles-based composer/musician Brian Tyler "cuts out the middleman" and ships his instruments ahead when traveling.

"I cut out the airline as much as possible," says Tyler. "I find the shipping companies are pretty careful with stuff. Their whole company relies on the fact that stuff has to get delivered safely."

Unfortunately, even employing due diligence offers no guarantees.

"You get a good flight case, you do all the right things, you hope for the best, but you can never absolutely count on it being there when you fly," says veteran artist manager Monty Hitchcock Jr.

Given these potential pitfalls, many musicians avoid flying completely. If a show is less than a 15-hour drive away, Clark takes a tour bus. Likewise, Walker will drive or, as on a recent trip to the Cortona Sessions in Cortona, Italy, use a rented instrument when he arrives. Playing an unfamiliar instrument is not ideal, "but it was the compromise I had to make, because I wasn't about to put myself through that ordeal again," he says.

Singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc, who is one of Hitchcock's clients, recently had his guitar destroyed en route to London for a European tour because a flight attendant wouldn't allow the instrument to be treated as a carry-on. The guitar arrived crushed, and LeBlanc had to tour with a replacement provided by Gibson. While he was grateful, the new instrument just wasn't the same.

"He said it was like wearing someone else's underwear," Hitchock recalls.

That's why The Recording Academy and AFM are working for a more permanent, legislative solution. Clark says a consistent airline policy would be a huge help.

"It would alleviate the stress," says Clark. "I just hope it doesn't take 10 years to get passed."

(Lisa Zhito is a Nashville-based writer covering country and contemporary Christian music.)

GRAMMY Museum To Host GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program Celebration
GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program participants (l-r) Yi Lei Hao, An Qi Lv, Yajing Su, Fang Liang Ning, and Yi Chen Yang attend GRAMMY Camp Guest Professionals Day at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles on July 17

Photo: Getty Images

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GRAMMY Museum To Host GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program Celebration

Weeklong program for Chinese music students to culminate with a performance at the Museum on July 20

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On July 20 The Recording Academy, GRAMMY Foundation, Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, and China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, together with Gucci retail partner, Chong Hing Jewelers, will host an exclusive musical performance at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles to celebrate the students of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program. A finale performance by the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet will conclude a weeklong program, recently established in partnership with The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation, that's dedicated to nurturing talented young musicians across Greater China.

In January 2012 Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, in collaboration with CSCLF, announced the launch of the Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund, an initiative that provides scholarships to talented students from prestigious Chinese music establishments such as the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Xi'an Conservatory of Music and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The most exceptional students from the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet were invited to participate in the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program taking place July 16–21 in Los Angeles.

As part of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program, today the students participated in the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Camp Guest Professionals Day, which featured artists and music industry professionals conducting question-and-answer sessions, workshops and master classes with participants of GRAMMY Camp's interactive 10-day residential summer music experience at the University of Southern California. Additionally, the exchange students will participate in several community music clinics and performances with alumni from the GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session program. On July 18 the two groups will perform for students from three Southern California youth music programs, including the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District's Beyond the Bell Branch at the Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy. On July 19 students will perform at the Expo Center for students from the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

Additionally, a special behind-the-scenes video documenting the exchange students' unique journey will be shot and produced by students participating in the GRAMMY Camp's Music Journalism track, and will be available to view beginning July 20.

A limited number of tickets to the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program finale performance on July 20 at the GRAMMY Museum are available exclusively at Chong Hing Jewelers' three Southern California locations in San Gabriel, Los Angeles' Chinatown and Rowland Heights. For addresses and store hours, visit www.chonghing.com.

Pre-Order The 2015 GRAMMY Nominees Album
The 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album, now available for pre-order

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Pre-Order The 2015 GRAMMY Nominees Album

Best-selling series available Jan. 20; pre-order the album now and enter to win a trip to the 57th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 5, 2014 - 06:00 pm

The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings and RCA Records have teamed to release the 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album, which will be available Jan. 20, 2015, in stores and via digital retailers. The 21st installment of the best-selling series will feature an array of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and hit songs across multiple genres. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation — two Recording Academy-affiliated charitable organizations.

"We are truly proud to partner with RCA Records to present our annual compilation featuring a group of highly talented artists across a variety of genres," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This great collection of music, coupled with the sweepstakes opportunity that will allow two lucky fans a chance to experience Music's Biggest Night firsthand, constitutes an extremely fulfilling project, with proceeds supporting the crucial work our charitable foundations perform throughout the year."

"It is an absolute honor to work with The Recording Academy on the 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album and celebrate Music's Biggest Night," said Tom Corson, president and COO of RCA Records. "This album will showcase the year's top nominated songs by artists from across all genres. We are also proud to participate in The Academy's charitable endeavors, which include the continuing support of music education across the country."

In conjunction with "A Very GRAMMY Christmas," which airs Friday, Dec. 5 at 9–10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, music fans can log on to www.grammy.com/2015grammyalbum to pre-order the album and enter for a chance to win a trip for two to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (No purchase necessary to enter or win.)

For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.