Presenting my little friend, the Grammy! This coveted bit of bric-a-brac was first created in 1958 by Bob Groves. The kind folks at the recording academy thought it would be nice to have a lovely memento that symbolized their distinguished award for excellence in the recording arts and science. So, Bob whipped one up.
The original miniature reproduction of a gramophone was made out of lead and brass-plated with a walnut base. Grammys were rather hefty for their size, a bit fragile, and had a predisposition to tarnishing. Bob handed the reins of making these little cuties over to John Billings. in 1990. John redesigned the Grammy to the snazzy eye-catching design of my little pal here.
Let’s take a look at some of its features, shall we? This little chap is made of a zinc alloy that was carefully poured into a bronze mold. As you can see, the base is black lacquer which is a dramatic counterpoint to the gleaming gold plate embellishing the turntable, tonearm, and bell of the gramophone.
Did all the glitz and glamour of the Grammy award ceremony go to my little pal’s head? No. Because he was never there! (insert dramatic music here.) Genuine Grammys are reclusive and shy. The statues given out at the award ceremony we see on television are stunt Grammy, who are specially trained to withstand the pressure of the awards ceremony. They can think fast on their feet, can hold their own against the hard handling of winners, and not flinch in the constant glare of the bright lights. Yet, through it all, they remain cool, calm, and glamorous.
After all the winners are announced, and the stunt Grammys head home to recover from a hard evening of work, the names of all the winners are sent to Ridge Lake, Colorado. There, John, his brother Larry, and John’s son Rich are responsible for engraving the official grammy awards that they have spent months carefully crafting.
The personalized Grammys awards journey to their formal first meeting with their winners. It’s an emotional moment for everyone. After some bonding time, they settle right into being on display and lead a happy and full life.
Meet this Grammy!
As you can see, my pal here resides with my friend Michael Doucet of Beausoleil. Gram has been living with Michael 1997 when Beausoleil’s album “L’amour ou la Folie” was recognized for the best traditional folk album.