1950's brought the world the Hula Hoop, the Cold War, The
Catcher in the Rye, and by 1958, the first annual Grammy
Awards. In honor of the year's most talented artists, the
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences held the
first annual Gramophone Awards in 1959,
a black tie affair celebrating the musical achievements
of the year. Named after the popular shape of the device
used to listen to music during the early 1900s, the first
Grammy ceremony recognized records from 1958 with Frank
Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mercer, and several other
elite musicians in attendance.
The event was held on May 4, 1959 inside the Grand Ballroom
of the Beverly Hilton while other Academy members gathered
on the East Coast in New York City at the same time. Billboard
Magazine declared the evening a success, outdoing established
award ceremonies like the Oscars and the Emmys thanks to
"its precision-like pace in the handling the presentations."
The First (1959 Grammys here)
were given to the best songs, albums and artists of 1958,
and that tradition continues through today. The 2012 Grammys
went to the 2011 winners. The 2013 Grammys go to the 2012
winners, and so on...
Only 28 categories were presented the first Grammy night,
the smallest amount in history, with the very first Record
of the Year and Song of the Year awards handed out to foreign
songwriter, Domenico Modugno, for his song "Nel Blu
Dipinto Blu (Volare)." Although Sinatra, who led the
competition with six nominations, did not take home the
big prizes, he did received Grammys for singing on his Lonely
Heart Album, for which he also won an award for as art director.
The following decades brought continued success as music's
biggest night got even bigger.
The 1970's brought the first live televised broadcast of
the Grammy Awards, with the 5th Dimension and Crosby, Stills
& Nash taking home big prizes. The eighties proved that
video didn't kill the radio star and Grammy broadcasts became
increasingly ambitious, marked by big winners like Michael
Jackson. Grunge and alternative rock earned more recognition
in during the last decade of the 20th century and the 2000s
have seen music's hottest stars come together to support
those in need during tragic times. Since its very first
broadcast, the Grammys have continued to evolve along with
the music scene, honoring the people who we sing-along with
on the radio.
The award was almost called the "Eddie" after
Thomas Edison, but they decided to name it after Edison's
invention, the Gramophone, the earliest record player.
Notable Record Holders
Irish rockers U2 are nothing less than Grammy royalty, holding
the record for most Grammy Awards won by a group (22) and
most Grammys won in a single night(5). Producer Quincy Jones
has been nominated his work 79 times and the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra has been honored with 60 Grammy Awards. LeAnn Rimes
and Luis Miguel are two of the youngest Grammy winners, who
received their own shiny gramophone at the age of 14. Michael
Jackson and Santana are tied for winning the most Grammys
in one night(8) and both Beyonce and Adele share the record
for most wins for a female artist in one night(6).