The 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
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 1959 Grammys were given to the best songs, albums and
artists of 1958, andtaht tradion continues through today.
The 2012 Grammys went to the 2011 winners.
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).