1979 Grammy Winners

22nd Annual GRAMMY Awards (1979)

No, Neil Diamond didn’t bring Barbra Streisand flowers — at least not onstage — but the former schoolmates from Erasmus High in Brooklyn did make GRAMMY history together at the 22nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. The two superstars came together for the first time to perform “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” the song that became an accidental smash duet when an enterprising disc jockey spliced together Diamond and Streisand’s separate but equally winning recordings. For all the heartbreak of the song’s lyrics, this brilliant summit meeting would end in hugs, a kiss and one of the most enthusiastic audience reactions in GRAMMY history.

For all that, despite two nominations, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” did not win any GRAMMY Awards. Yet, as host Kenny Rogers explained in his monologue, the GRAMMY was now more than ever a true object of desire. “We are entering the second decade of our GRAMMY Award shows on television — and we’ve all come a long way since the first time. And today the GRAMMY is finally established in the minds of everyone as the most meaningful and highly desired award.”

Among those enjoying a particularly meaningful and memorable night were the Doobie Brothers who won Record Of The Year for “What A Fool Believes,” as well Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus for Minute By Minute, while “What A Fool Believes” also prevailed in the Song Of The Year category for writers Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Michael Jackson also won his first GRAMMY (Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, for “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough”) and Bob Dylan won his second — Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, for “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Dylan’s performance of the song was the best sort of fire-and-brimstone rock gospel — a religious and musical experience in the best possible way. Billy Joel won Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, for his work on 52nd Street.

This was also a memorable night for fine female singers of assorted vintage. The dynamic duo of Debbie Harry and George Burns presented Rickie Lee Jones with the Best New Artist GRAMMY — Jones’ unusually humorous group of fellow nominees were the Blues Brothers and Robin Williams, as well as breakout bands the Knack and Dire Straits. Meanwhile, veteran songstress Dionne Warwick marked a significant comeback, winning her first GRAMMYs in nearly a decade. She won the awards for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” — which she also performed on the show with characteristic grace — as well as Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female, for “Déjà Vu.” A thrilled Warwick told the audience, “My grandpa told me a long time ago ‘to those who wait good things do come.’ I thank you for waiting.”

There was no shortage of star power in the house for this GRAMMY Awards telecast. Charlie Daniels opened the show with his GRAMMY-winning “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” despite having broken his arm in five places (fiddle greats Vassar Clements and Buddy Spicher rosined up the bow while Daniels sang). Vocal legends and nominees Sarah Vaughan and Joe Williams represented the jazz contingent in style with their medley of “The Face I Love” and “When You’re Smiling.” And though not winners this night, Sister Sledge was as hot an act as any after the recent world champion Pittsburgh Pirates had adopted “We Are Family” as their theme song. The Sisters turned in a vibrant performance of it.

And for country royalty, Johnny Cash and June Carter playfully presented the first two awards of the night — both country awards. Before doing so, Carter spoke about the global reach of country music, and recalled hearing Cash’s records playing in Israel during their honeymoon. “Is that all you remember about our honeymoon?” the Man in Black memorably asked — a quarter-century before Cash and Carter’s dramatic love story was brought to life on the big screen with Walk The Line

Record Of The Year
 
winner
What A Fool Believes

Ted Templeman, producer

Album Of The Year
 
winner
Billy Joel, Phil Ramone
52nd Street

Phil Ramone, producer

Song Of The Year
 
winner
Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald
What A Fool Believes

Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald, songwriters (The Doobie Brothers)

Best New Artist
 
winner
Rickie Lee Jones
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Dionne Warwick
I'll Never Love This Way Again
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Billy Joel
52nd Street
Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus
 
winner
Minute By Minute
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
 
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
 
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Bob Dylan
Gotta Serve Somebody
Best Rock Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group
 
winner
Eagles
Heartache Tonight
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
 
winner
Paul McCartney
Rockestra Theme
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
 
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Michael Jackson
Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus
 
winner
Earth, Wind & Fire
After The Love Has Gone
Best R&B Instrumental Performance
 
winner
Earth, Wind & Fire
Boogie Wonderland
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
 
winner
Bill Champlin, David Foster, Jay Graydon
After The Love Has Gone

Bill Champlin, David Foster & Jay Graydon, songwriters (Earth, Wind & Fire)

Best Disco Recording
 
Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Emmylou Harris
Blue Kentucky Girl
Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
 
Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group
 
winner
The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Best Country Instrumental Performance
 
winner
Doc Watson
Big Sandy/Leather Britches
Best Country Song
 
winner
You Decorated My Life

Debbie Hupp & Bob Morrison, songwriters (Kenny Rogers)

Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary Or Inspirational
 
winner
Heed The Call
Best Gospel Performance, Traditional
 
winner
Lift Up The Name Of Jesus
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary
 
winner
I'll Be Thinking Of You
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional
 
Best Inspirational Performance
 
winner
You Gave Me Love (When Nobody Gave Me A Prayer)
Best Ethnic Or Traditional Recording
 
winner
Muddy Waters
Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live
Best Latin Recording
 
Best Recording For Children
 
winner
The Muppet Movie

(The Muppets)

Best Comedy Recording
 
winner
Reality...What A Concept
Best Spoken Word, Documentary Or Drama Recording
 
winner
Ages Of Man - Readings From Shakespeare
Best Instrumental Composition
 
winner
John Williams
Superman Main Title Theme

John Williams, composer (John Williams)

Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special
 
winner
John Williams
Superman

John Williams, composer (John Williams)

Best Cast Show Album
 
winner
Sweeney Todd

Stephen Sondheim, composer & lyricist; Thomas Z. Shepard, producer (Angela Lansbury & Len Cariou)

Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental
 
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
 
winner
Ella Fitzgerald
Fine And Mellow
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist
 
winner
Oscar Peterson
Jousts

Oscar Peterson, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
 
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
 
winner
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington At Fargo, 1940 Live
Best Instrumental Arrangement
 
winner
Soulful Strut

Claus Ogerman, arranger (George Benson)

Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals
 
winner
Michael McDonald
What A Fool Believes

Michael McDonald, arranger (The Doobie Brothers)

Best Album Package
 
winner
Breakfast In America

Mike Doud & Mick Haggerty, art directors (Supertramp)

Best Album Notes
 
winner
James Patrick, Bob Porter
Charlie Parker - The Complete Savoy Sessions

James Patrick & Bob Porter, album notes writers (Charlie Parker)

Best Historical Reissue
 
winner
Billie Holiday - Giants Of Jazz

(Billie Holiday)

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
 
winner
Breakfast In America

Peter Henderson, engineer (Supertramp)

Producer Of The Year
 
winner
Larry Butler
Best Classical Album
 
winner
Georg Solti
Brahms: Symphonies (1-4)

Georg Solti, artist; James Mallinson, producer

Best Classical Orchestral Recording
 
winner
Georg Solti
Brahms: Symphonies (1-4)

Georg Solti, conductor (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
 
winner
Britten: Peter Grimes

Colin Davis, conductor; Vittorio Negri, producer (Royal Opera House Orchestra - Covent Garden)

Best Choral Performance, Classical (Other Than Opera)
 
winner
Georg Solti
Brahms: A German Requiem

Georg Solti, conductor (Chicago Symphony Chorus; Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Best Chamber Music Performance
 
winner
Dennis Russell Davies
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (With Orchestra)
 
winner
Maurizio Pollini
Bartók: Piano Cons. Nos. 1 & 2

Maurizio Pollini, artist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (Without Orchestra)
 
winner
Vladimir Horowitz
The Horowitz Concerts 1978/79
Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
 
winner
O Sole Mio - Favorite Neapolitan Songs

(Bologna Orchestra)

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
 
winner
Sondheim: Sweeney Todd

Anthony Salvatore, engineer (Original Cast with Angela Lansbury & Len Cariou)

Classical Producer Of The Year
 
winner
James Mallinson