: Thanks to writer Jeff March ( Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone? ), who used to post a
: lot here, that first KT Grammy was awarded 58 years ago Thursday. In Jeff's words:
: "58 years ago today: The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., became
: the site of the first Grammy Awards ceremony, held on May 4, 1959. Domenico
: Modugno's beautiful "Nel Blu Dipinto Blu (Volare)" won the "record of
: the year" category, in which Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star,"
: Peggy Lee's "Fever," Frank Sinatra's "Witchcraft" and David
: Seville's "The Chipmunk Song" were nominated. Henry Mancini's "The
: Music From Peter Gunn" won the "album of the year" award, topping pop
: performances by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and a classical recording by
: pianist Van Cliburn. Ella Fitzgerald was honored with the "best vocal
: performance by a female" award for her "Irving Berlin Songbook"
: album, while Perry Como won in the "best male vocal category" for
: "Catch a Falling Star." Keely Smith and Louis Prima's "That Old Black
: Magic" was named "best performance by a vocal group." The Champs'
: Latin-flavored "Tequila" won an award — curiously, for best rhythm and
: blues performance. And the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" was named
: "best country and western performance" in the absence of a folk music
: category. The Kingston Trio also would have been a logical choice for "best new
: artist," but that category was not introduced until the following year."
: Along the same line, the American Folklife Center (big stuff in trad music) used the
: anniversary to promote some of their info on "Tom Dooley," with some rare
: acknowledgement from the traditional community of the KT. The FaceBook posting read
: ""Hang down your head, Tom Dooley...." On May 4, 1959, The Kingston
: Trio scored a Grammy for Country and Western Performance for their runaway hit, the
: North Carolina murder ballad "Tom Dooley." Hear the original field
: recording by Frank Proffitt at the link:
: The Kingston Trio learned the song from John and Alan Lomax's book "Our Singing
: Country," which included a transcription of the recording at the link above; it
: was collected by Frank and Anne Warner from Frank Proffitt in North Carolina. The
: photo, which is by Frank Warner, shows Anne Warner adjusting the microphone to
: collect from Proffitt in 1941.
: The 1959 event was the very first GRAMMY awards, given out at simultaneous galas
: held in New York and Los Angeles, for recordings released during the calendar year
: 1958. The award placed the Kingston Trio among such winners as Frank Sinatra, Henry
: Mancini, and Ella Fitzgerald, and Proffitt's song, one of AFC's archival treasures,
: among pop classics such as "Volare," "Tequila," and "Music
: from Peter Gunn.""
: An earlier posting from the same group on the same thread credited the Trio with
: starting the popular music aspect of the folk revival, which was another pleasant
: and unusual compliment.