Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

20

Beatles, Oscars, Grammys & Overachieving: The Best Cliché Ever, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Carl L. Hager By

Sign in to view read count
So... the awards season is over. From the Golden Globes to the Grammys, the Winter Olympics to the Oscars, it's been a long and winding road.

Among people competing for the various honors and annual awards, one of the more popular topics of conversation was: OK, let's say I am the winner—what then? Good question.

Of those who believed they deserve the recognition (which is all of them) only those who had previously received one of the honors knew that the little statue at the top of the mountain doesn't really hold more career opportunities, more money, more love or better sleep at night. But it's okay, because the real payoff is something more valuable than all those things: the admiration of your peers. After a lifetime of being ignored, denied, rejected, underpaid and invalidated, to have your hard work acknowledged at last means that you can go back to liking yourself again.

But some odd things can happen at the top of the mountain. Celebrity, for example, when the artist becomes the object of that admiration, instead of the art.

The nominees for Record of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammys ceremony held on March 1, 1975, were:

Elton John—Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Roberta Flack—Feel Like Making Love
Joni Mitchell—Help Me
Olivia Newton-John—I Honestly Love You
Maria Muldaur—Midnight at the Oasis



Of the five nominees, only one of the songs failed to survive the 1970s. Four of the five got admitted to the big circus tent of "classic rock," which by now includes nearly any popular music (aside from gutbucket blues or straight-ahead jazz) written in 2/2, 2/4, 4/4 or 6/8 between 1955 and 2005, from jump blues to rockabilly to soul to R&B to rock & roll to folk rock to hard rock to progressive rock to grunge to whatever you call what Beck does. It includes every related musical form—from the sharpest on the edges to the smoothest in the middle—once played on AM and FM radio stations and now on their internet equivalents.

Perversely, it was that very song that history has left behind which actually won the top Grammy honors in 1975 for Record of the Year. It was the sort of marshmallow-soft confection that no one ever seems to want to claim association with in retrospect. Call it pop, short for "popular," or pop as in the sound bubblegum makes when it deflates on contact with anything solid or pointed.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Opinion
Jazz and Assault Rifles: A Peace Barrage
By Victor L. Schermer
March 26, 2018
Opinion
Trumpet Miming in Film: Mostly Jive
By Steve Provizer
June 23, 2017
Opinion
NEA Dismantling: Let's Do The Time Warp Again
By Homer Jackson
April 12, 2017
Opinion
Chuck Berry: 1926-2017
By C. Michael Bailey
March 21, 2017
Opinion
New York Times Downsizes Jazz Coverage: A Response
By Victor L. Schermer
March 7, 2017
Opinion
Hentoff helped pave way for jazz journalism’s acceptance
By Jim Trageser
January 12, 2017
Opinion
A giant of jazz journalism silenced
By Jim Trageser
January 8, 2017