HITS Daily Double
How about adding a little drama to the proceeding by making the awards, the winners and especially the Best Album category into a more visible and profound contest?


What Went Right, What Went Wrong and What Could Improve the Music Industry's Big Night
Once again, Ken Ehrlich brought us a beautifully shot and incredibly choreographed Grammy Awards presentation. Around the office and in my UCLA class, opinions differed radically as to who was good, who was great and who wasn't. Personally, I thought Amy Winehouse was nothing short of sensational, and the London crew that set up and beautifully executed the intimate atmosphere deserves special credit. As does Neil Portnow, who steadfastly stood up against a town torn by the writers’ strike, stuck to his guns and delivered the 50th presentation with taste, style and class.

Amy's five wins were well deserved. And while I still think Springsteen's Magic will stand the test of time as the year's best album, I am happy with the ultimate choices for Ms. W, as I am with the Best Album win for Herbie Hancock’s brilliant River: The Joni Letters. In the field of five, his album stands ahead of the rest. I know most of you still haven’t taken the time to listen to it, but many more are now buying it (as it immediately surged to #3 at iTunes) and, I’m quite sure, are enjoying the heck out of it, as did I.

As for criticism of the show, instead of nitpicking over micro choices, I offer one significant thought to Mr. Ehrlich and team. How about adding a little drama to the proceeding by making the awards, the winners and especially the Best Album category into a more visible and profound contest? This could be accomplished simply, much like the Oscars, in which highlights of the best movies are sprinkled throughout the show, with dramatic clips and introductions for each of the contenders.

Why not do the same with the Best Album nominees—have a speaker introduce each nominee, play some of the music, show a short, pre-prepared conversation with the nominees about their art and make us care and want to hear more? This might result in more people staying through the long proceedings, as the drama builds toward the evening’s ultimate winner. Heck, it might help the ratings, which unfortunately were low this year. It's just a thought.

Tell us your thoughts on the show, the winners and the glorious sun-filled week in Los Angeles at [email protected]. As for me, now that everyone has left town, there's more time to hit the links... Fore!

Jason Bateman
needs to host next year's show.

Marc Zimet


The Grammys were, on a whole, boring as heck with just a few special moments. Why does Beyonce seem to perform on every Grammy? Please leave her off the list next year. Same thing with the boring POP Carrie Underworld. Is her 5 minutes up yet?

Brad Paisley... Who told him to sing that awful "Ticks" song? What poor representation for Country music.
How the heck did "Before He Cheats" win Country Song of the Year over the stellar song "If You're Reading This" is beyond me. What a disgrace.

Hi, was there a shortage of Thriller this week? I went to four different stores and all of them said that they were sold out of the deluxe version and this was on Tuesday night. Some of them didn't even have any more of the regular version and the ones that did didn't have many. I am glad to see it sell so well and I hope to see a new album soon. Thanks!

Robert J. Akesson

According to Nielsen Media Research, the 50th Annual Grammy Awards show on Sunday was the third least-watched Grammy Awards ever. Viewership was down from the 20 million people who watched last year, to 17.5 million. The 2006 awards, with 17 million viewers, is the Grammy low point. The show had 17.3 million viewers in 1995. (And if comparative analysis with Nielsen numbers goes further, the actual number of viewers, not households, was only 17.1 million this year)

The Grammy Awards lost relevance to the TV audience at large years ago for a lot of different reasons. While there was a host of great talent on the show this year, from the likes of Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, Tina Turner, John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, the Beatles tribute, Foo Fighters, Amy Winehouse, Feist, Beyonce, Kanye West and others, the show once again failed to connect with viewers.

Of course, the biggest upset of the entire night was Herbie Hancock's win for Album of the Year for his album River: The Joni Letters. It was, in my opinion, a well-deserved award for an album filled with extraodinary and exceptional quality. Herbie had won 10 Grammys going into the night's ceremony, but never Album of the Year.

"It's been 43 years since the first and only time that a jazz artist got an Album of the Year award," Hancock said, referring to 1964's Getz/Gilberto, an album released by the American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist Joao Gilberto. An album that to this date, is known by millions all over the world, because of its Top 10 single "The Girl From Ipanema."

Herbie thanked Joni Mitchell several times for the songs she's written that inspired him to record the album with guest vocalists on several tracks like Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Corinne Bailey Rae, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell herself.

It was a good night for many other artists as well. Kanye West couldn't be too upset he lost to Hancock; he took home four Grammys. Amy Winehouse won five, Bruce Springsteen three, the Foo Fighters' Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace won Best Rock Album, the White Stripes, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Vince Gill and even the Beatles, also took home Grammys.

Famed jazz musician from the 1920s, Bix Beiderbecke, said "One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don't know what's going to happen next. Do you?"

A lot of people didn't expect what happened last Sunday night to happen.

Whether or not you're a jazz fan, in my opinion, it's good to know that the NARAS members chose a unique and distinguished recording in a time when too much focus in music is given to style over substance in the media.

Steve Meyer
Smart Marketing

Las Vegas, NV

The Grammy executives should have done EVERYTHING in their power to get Michael Jackson on that show. Although I didn't watch the entire broadcast, the parts that I did see lacked the excitement that you would expect from a Grammy telecast. (Alicia Keyes and "Frank Sinatra" being one of those segments that lacked excitement.)

A performance or even an appearance by Mr. Jackson would certainly have given the Grammys a much-needed boost in the ratings. Maybe next year.

Note: Tina Turner did not need Beyonce to "enhance" her performance!

Best regards,
Wanda G. Thompson

I attended the Grammy Awards and was pleased by the excellent technical production and pace of the show. I was disappointed that Herbie Hancock did not play a track from his Album of the Year, but was instead forced to perform a duet of music from the United Airlines TV commercial (no offense to Mr. Gershwin, but it was Herbie's night). And among the crowd inside Staples Arena, there was a brief moment of agitation when it was announced that the Foo Fighters were playing outside.
David Bean