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44th Annual Grammy Awards
44th Annual Grammy Awards
Written by Steven R. Rochlin


  Next up performing was The Soggy Bottom Boys with "(I Am A) Man Of Constant Sorrow" from the soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou? This bluegrass music sings to the soul of many music lovers in the heartland of America. The soundtrack to this movie is highly recommended as performers such as Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, and the audiophile favorite Fairfield Four (to name a few) are to be enjoyed. Meanwhile the Best New Artist Grammy Award went to the pre-decided upon fave Alicia Keys. This was her second Grammy Award of the night! Here is a young women who is filled with immense talent. i foresee a wonderful singing career spanning many years in her future.


Best Rock Duo Or Group with vocal went to U2 for their song "Elevation" from their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind. As the Dave Matthews Band performed "The Space Between" (from album Everyday) just before the award and were also nominated, i was almost betting they would win the award. How many Grammy Awards does U2 now have? Yes, i enjoy U2 and they are indeed a great band yet at some point one must step down and allow others the spotlight in my humble opinion.


The highlight of the night was a performance by none other than Bob Dylan! His recent album Love & Theft (as reviewed by Herb Reichert) is amazing! To quote Herb "He is the greatest living Blues singer!... Bob Dylan's just released album, Love And Theft has made me change my mind about this blues' is over stuff. The blues ain't dead and it never was gone. Neither is Bob Dylan and I just realized that he's been making the real blues all along. Love And Theft is nothing else if not chock full of full-tilt hard-core boogie-blues..." Then came the Album Of The Year award, which Bob Dylan is nominated (and deserves in my humble opinion). Still, the soundtrack to the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? won and you know what, i am happy it did so. Album sales may be down last year, though the quality of musicianship within many recordings seems to be going up. Let us sincerely hope this trend continues. Songwriting is an art of expression both musically and poetically. A great poem is wonderful, though putting it to music is another ball of wax altogether.


Alicia Keys won the Best Song Of The Year Grammy Award for her song "Fallin" from her 2001 album Songs In A Minor.


Michael Greene, the President of the Recording Academy, gave a tribute to Perry Como and  Count Basie, Al Green, Joni Mitchell and many others. This included mentioning recording engineers and radio disc jockeys. Music is historic and motivates the listener. Michael also commented about piracy on the Internet proclaiming it "illegal" and "out of control". "Ripping is stealing their livelihood one bit at a time." In fact Michael Greene asked three students to download as many songs as they could. They were able to download 6,000 songs during the past three days. "The RIAA estimates that - now listen to this - an astounding 3.6 billion songs are illegally downloaded every month" said Michael. He asked people to download only legal files from authorized websites. Below is a partial transcription of Michael Greene's speech, though please note there that were both cheers and jeers as he spoke.

"Good evening, and on behalf of the Academy, we hope you are enjoying the 44th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Perhaps at no other time in our history have people so passionately turned to music for comfort, solace and sweet celebration, and this year's Life Achievement and Trustees Award honorees are indelible reminders of the power of music.

You're tuned in tonight because you are passionate about music, you're fans of these great artists. That very special connection between the fan and the artist is an historically important partnership, one which enriches and entertains the public, motivating and sustaining the creator. In recent years, industry consolidation combined with the unbridled advance of the Internet has created a disturbing disconnect in our relationship, and trends say it promises to get worse.

No question the most insidious virus in our midst is the illegal downloading of music on the Net. It goes by many names and its apologists offer a myriad of excuses. This illegal file-sharing and ripping of music files is pervasive, out of control and oh so criminal. Many of the nominees here tonight, especially the new, less-established artists, are in immediate danger of being marginalized out of our business. Ripping is stealing their livelihood one digital file at a time, leaving their musical dreams haplessly snared in this World Wide Web of theft and indifference.

You've seen glimpses of kids backstage working on computers throughout the evening and are probably wondering what they're doing. Well, we asked three college-age students to spend two days with us and download as many music files as possible from easily accessible Web sites. Please say hello to Numair, Stephanie and Ed. In just a couple of days they have downloaded nearly 6,000 songs. That's three kids, folks. Now multiply that by millions of students and other computer users and the problem comes into sharp focus. Songwriters, singers, musicians, labels, publishers - the entire music food chain is at serious risk. The RIAA estimates that - now listen to this - an astounding 3.6 billion songs are illegally downloaded every month.

This problem won't be solved in short order. It's going to require education, leadership from Washington and true diligence to help our fans - that would be you - to embrace this life and death issue and support our artistic community by only downloading your music from legal Web sites. That will ensure that our artists reach even higher and, deservedly, get paid for their inspired work."


Click here for page 4


Click here to see last year's show coverage.



































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