A few last thoughts on the Grammys, for better or worse.

“Soul Man” Sam Moore – whom I’ve known and worked with over the last decade — turns 75 this October. He put on a sizzling show at the LA Convention Center, the official Grammy party, with Brenda Russell, starting around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday night. A thousand people or so crowded through the main ballroom and pressed up against the stage. It’s rare for anyone to hear an unaugmented singer, no synthesizers. Just real music, the Earth Wind and Fire horns, Ivan Bodley’s funk assemblage. It’s all real.

Sam just opens his mouth and this gorgeous R&B rainbow of a voice can go high, sustain notes and then sweep low. At least two people rushed by me, saying, “He still has it!” The set list comprised “Soul Man” and some Sam & Dave hits, the blues number “I’ve Got News for You,” and a rave up on Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler must have been smiling in heaven. Pickett, too.

Sam Moore is the last great R&B soul star. He deserves a Kennedy Center award and his own star on Hollywood Boulevard. I can’t be objective. Sam practices a dying art. And he is very much alive…

Many other parties: All the rappers wound up at a bar called Guys and Dolls…LA Reid did a dinner at Cecconi’s…Warner/Atlantic ‘ despite what seems to be a new scandal in house ‘ boogied on…So did EMI, at the new W Hotel, suddenly making a comeback thanks to the Beatles and some new releases…I felt like I ran into EMI’s new leader, Elio Leoni Sceti everywhere over Grammy weekend. He seems like he’s enthusiastic and wanting to have successes…Bravissimo!…

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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