Through their Chess Records label, Chess Records founders Leonard* & Phil Chess played a pivotal role in bringing wider attention to Chicago blues and legendary artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. But equally important, they were instrumental in the birth of rock and roll. Signing and recording rock legend Chuck Berry alone ranks the Chess brothers with Sun Records founder Sam Phillips as the industry's most visionary rock and roll leaders, but they also recorded what many critics argue was the first rock and roll record: "Rocket '88'" by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats. Ultimately, Chess and its affiliates would sign other influential giants, including Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, and Etta James, among others. Nine Chess recordings have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame to date.
There's only one industry leader who can be credited with bringing Bozo the Clown, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles and the Beach Boys under one roof: former Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston*. Charged with forming a children's division for Capitol in the '40s, Livingston created the Bozo character, which remained popular into the '60s. After rising to an executive position at the label in the '50s, he helped revive Sinatra's career, and in the '60s he was instrumental in bringing the Beatles to the United States, as well as leading Capitol into the rock era with such signings as the Band and Steve Miller. Later, after joining 20th Century Fox Records, he co-produced The Story Of Star Wars with George Lucas.
About the Technical GRAMMY Award Recipients:In 1983, Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland Corporation, and Dave Smith, president of Sequential Circuits, unveiled MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of MIDI, a standard that motivated the cooperation of an entire industry and helped move music technology into a new era. In a nearly unprecedented collaboration between competing manufacturers, what would soon prove an inescapable new technology was born when two competing manufacturers' electronic keyboards were connected, enabling them to "talk" to one another using a new communication standard. The announcement ultimately revolutionized the music world. Today, MIDI is ubiquitous in the musical equipment industry, and is the de facto standard feature on virtually every electronic music product made by every manufacturer.
Royer Labs' line of ribbon microphones has made a profound difference in the way engineers record music. The company's ribbon technology is extremely natural sounding and brings a more realistic, analog sound and feel to digital recordings and live sound reproduction. In the '90s, Royer Labs single-handedly brought ribbon microphones into mainstream recording. Older ribbon microphone designs had fallen out of use in the '60s due to low output and because they were heavy and fragile. Royer designed a radically different line of ribbon microphones -- small, lightweight, durable, and achieving incredible sound -- which were revolutionary and moved the art of recording forward. Royer's innovations continue to win the praise of artists, producers and engineers today.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards -- the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music -- The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "The GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Foursquare, GetGlue, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.
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