Saturday, May 18, 2024

Grammy Legend Salute Set for LA in July Honoring Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Queen, Emmylou Harris


Some good news about the Grammy Awards and their ilk: I’m hearing the new annual Grammy salute concert for Lifetime Achievement will be in Los Angeles this year on July 14th.

Being honored are Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Queen, Emmylou Harris, the Meters and industry heavyweights like Sire Records’ founder Seymour Stein, composer John Williams, and the late great Bill Graham of Fillmore West and East fame.

The main thing is, Hal Blaine is getting a special honor. Hal Blaine is the most important drummer of the classic pop era, having played on hundreds– maybe thousands– of hits as part of the Wrecking Crew, the Phil Spector group that provided instrumentation for everyone from the Beach Boys to Ike and Tina Turner, the Fifth Dimension. When you hear that drum downbeat opening on “Be My Baby,” that’s Hal Blaine. Rolling Stone named him the 5th best drummer of all time. I’d put him right behind Ringo and Keith Moon on my all time list.

And think of it– Hal Blaine played on Neil Diamond records, Monkees records (Micky Dolenz) that Neil wrote, Herb Alpert and Tina Turner. There’s a lot of crossover.

Some of the performers being talked about for the show are Micky Dolenz, Herb Alpert, Emmylou Harris, and Ledisi with more name coming. The show will be taped for airing on PBS this fall. Last year’s show in New York was so spectacular I expect this one will be just as good if not better.

The Grammys are probably thinking of who should be in the next class of Special Merit recipients. A couple of names I’d like to see: Sam Moore of Sam & Dave; and the Fifth Dimension, certainly.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also 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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