Saturday, April 13, 2024

“Grammy Salute to Sounds of Change” Ratings Disaster, But Show Was A-Plus: Maybe CBS Should Have Promoted It


I received not one press release or communication about “A Grammy Salute to the Sounds of Change” special that aired last night on CBS. I didn’t even know it was coming until I saw a promo for it on Monday on CBS by accident. Nothing came from the Recording Academy or the network.

I guess I wasn’t alone in being surprised. Ratings were a disaster– just 1.5 million people tuned in to see Common host a show with some amazing performances from 9 to 11 pm. The special was beautifully written and executed. Meantime, an hour earlier, at 8 o’clock, around four-and-half million people watched the stupid “Masked Singer” on Fox.

Gladys Knight’s performance of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” with Sheila E. on drums was so spectacular, I stood up and clapped. Ditto John Fogerty on a new song called “Weeping in the Promised Land.” I’d put them up there from YouTube except there are no official clips. A Viewer posted a few, I’ll add Gladys here, and I’m sure it will be unavailable soon.

So that’s it. A lot of effort went into this and maybe one day this special will be available somewhere. For the people who saw it, we had a treat.

PS Gladys Knight needs to be inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, and must be recognized by the Biden Administration for a Medal of Freedom and so on. With Aretha gone, Gladys is our Queen of Soul, a magnificent talent who is under appreciated.


Here’s the video for “Weeping in the Promised Land.” This is the Song of the Year.

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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