1966 Grammy Winners

9th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1966)

Held during a period of tremendous cultural transition for the country and only a matter of months before the Summer of Love, the 9th Annual GRAMMY Awards reflected a certain amount of love and peace between music’s past, present and future. This was, for instance, a year when The Academy recognized the achievements of both the Chairman of the Board and the Fab Four. Sinatra’s recording of “Strangers in the Night” was named Record of the Year and Sinatra: A Man and His Music was awarded Album of the Year. Sinatra also received the Best Vocal Performance, Male, award for “Strangers in the Night.”

The Song of the Year GRAMMY, on the other hand, went to John Lennon and Paul McCartney for “Michelle” recorded by the Beatles, and McCartney also won the Best Contemporary (R&R) Solo Vocal Performance, Male or Female, for “Eleanor Rigby” — with that abbreviation of “rock and roll” in parentheses perhaps grammatically reflecting some slight ambivalence about the rock music now impacting the pop categories. The Beatles’ groundbreaking Revolver was also honored for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts, for the work of Klaus Voormann, a friend of the band since their days in Hamburg, Germany.

When “The Best on Record” show aired in May, it too reflected the marked duality of the music that was on the airwaves in 1966. After a show introduction from Steve Lawrence in which he noted, “If music happens to be your bag, I know we couldn’t drive you away from this set with a long-playing used car commercial,” Tony Randall introduced the first musical number of the show: a retro yet trippy performance of “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band, which won the Best Contemporary (R&R) Recording, despite not being terribly R or R. During the song, at least one member of the group could be seen sipping tea. Afterwards, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits fame noted, “I must be honest, personally I found them a bit raucous—musically.”

Restoring some order, Robert Preston, star of Meredith Willson’s Music Man, introduced a candle-lit performance by Eydie Gorme, the GRAMMY winner for Best Vocal Performance, Female (“If He Walked Into My Life”)—a decision that he declared was “more unanimous than a Russian election.” The win for Jerry Herman in the Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album for Mame was celebrated with a rousing appearance by Louis Armstrong singing the Broadway smash’s title song. Actress Edie Adams saucily referenced Herman’s earlier success with Hello, Dolly! by noting, “He scored with Dolly and he scored with Mame and got a GRAMMY for both—which makes him one of the most celebrated bigamists on Broadway.”

After singing a few bars of “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” Frankie Avalon and Buddy Greco joked that anyone who sings like Ray Charles was “Italian, whether he wants to be or not.” They then introduced Charles as “one of the greatest Italian singers,” before the Genius of Soul performed his classic version of “Crying Time” for which he had won the GRAMMYs for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance, Male or Female. The most surreally intriguing introduction on this “Best on Record,” however, had to be Liberace’s comments before a fantastically psychedelic rock video for “Strawberry Fields Forever” was played: “England has produced a variety of talent ranging all the way from Richard Burton to Twiggy. This next group is somewhere in between.”

On a show where almost every presenter and performer wore formal evening wear, Liberace continued a running joke about the wild fashions currently enjoyed by the younger generation. The long-haired Beatles, he said, could take some credit for kicking off the Carnaby Street mod clothing fad “that all the kids are wearing today. I guess if you’re young and enjoy wearing garish clothing, there’s really no harm in it,” he said.

Before introducing the Anita Kerr Singers—winners of the Best Performance by a Vocal Group (“A Man and a Woman”)—comedian Godfrey Cambridge got off a few topical lines, again taking a swing at the hippies’ affinity for long hair and boots: “I guess you’ve heard that the Mamas and the Papas are expecting a baby. They can hardly wait. It’ll be the first time they really know which is the Mamas and which is the Papas.” (The California quartet took home the Best Contemporary [R&R] Group Performance, Vocal or Instrumental, GRAMMY for their radiant hit “Monday, Monday.”)

Pat Boone then awarded Ella Fitzgerald the Bing Crosby Award for outstanding artistic contribution, after which she performed “Satin Doll” and “Don’t Be That Way,” bedecked in a shimmery red gown. She was ably backed by the telecast’s music director, Les Brown, who helmed the show’s house band.

Finally, Sammy Davis Jr. wrapped up the hour with a true touch of Rat Pack genius as only he could. Dramatically smoking a cigarette, Davis explained, “A phonograph record can be a magical thing. It can make you laugh, make you cry, lift you up, let you down easy. It can make you wig out, and even more important—if you’ve got the right kind of sounds, man—it can make her wig out over you.”

Record Of The Year
 
winner
Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Bowen
Strangers In The Night

Jimmy Bowen, producer

Album Of The Year
 
winner
Frank Sinatra, Sonny Burke
A Man And His Music

Sonny Burke, producer

Song Of The Year
 
winner
John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Michelle

John Lennon & Paul McCartney, songwriters (The Beatles)

Best Instrumental Theme
 
winner
Batman Theme

Neal Hefti, composer (Neal Hefti)

Best Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Eydie Gorme
If He Walked Into My Life
Best Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Frank Sinatra
Strangers In The Night
Best Instrumental Performance (Other Than Jazz)
 
winner
Herb Alpert
What Now My Love

Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass

Best Performance By A Vocal Group
 
winner
A Man And A Woman

Anita Kerr Singers

Best Performance By A Chorus
 
winner
Ray Conniff
Somewhere My Love (Lara's Theme From Dr. Zhivago)

Ray Conniff Singers

Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or Television Show
 
winner
Maurice Jarre
Dr. Zhivago

Maurice Jarre, composer (Maurice Jarre)

Best Score From An Original Cast Show Album
 
winner
Mame

Jerry Herman, composer (Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur, Jane Connell, Charles Braswell, Jerry Lanning, Frankie Michaels)

Best Comedy Performance
 
winner
Bill Cosby
Wonderfulness
Best Spoken Word, Documentary Or Drama Recording
 
winner
Edward R. Murrow - A Reporter Remembers Vol. I The War Years
Best Recording For Children
 
winner
Dr. Seuss Presents - "If I Ran The Zoo" And "Sleep Book"
Best Album Notes
 
winner
Sinatra At The Sands

Stan Cornyn, album notes writer (Frank Sinatra)

Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Group Or Soloist With Group
 
winner
Wes Montgomery
Goin' Out Of My Head
Best Original Jazz Composition
 
winner
Duke Ellington
In The Beginning God

Duke Ellington, composer (Duke Ellington)

Best Contemporary (R&R) Recording
 
winner
Winchester Cathedral
Best Contemporary (R&R) Solo Vocal Performance - Male Or Female
 
winner
Paul McCartney
Eleanor Rigby
Best Contemporary (R&R) Group Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental
 
Best Rhythm & Blues Recording
 
winner
Ray Charles
Crying Time
Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Male Or Female
 
winner
Ray Charles
Crying Time
Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental
 
winner
Ramsey Lewis
Hold It Right There
Best Folk Recording
 
winner
Cortelia Clark
Blues In The Street
Best Sacred Recording (Musical)
 
winner
Grand Old Gospel
Best Country & Western Recording
 
winner
Almost Persuaded
Best Country & Western Vocal Performance - Female
 
winner
Jeannie Seely
Don't Touch Me
Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Almost Persuaded
Best Country & Western Song
 
winner
Almost Persuaded

Billy Sherrill & Glenn Sutton, songwriters (David Houston)

Best Instrumental Arrangement
 
winner
Herb Alpert
What Now My Love

Herb Alpert, arranger (Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass)

Best Arrangement Accompanying A Vocalist Or Instrumentalist
 
winner
Ernie Freeman
Strangers In The Night

Ernie Freeman, arranger (Frank Sinatra)

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
 
winner
Strangers In The Night

Eddie Brackett & Lee Herschberg, engineers (Frank Sinatra)

Best Engineered Recording - Classical
 
winner
Wagner: Lohengrin

Anthony Salvatore, engineer (Erich Leinsdorf, conductor)

Best Album Cover, Photography
 
winner
Confessions Of A Broken Man

Les Leverette, photographer; Robert M. Jones, art director (Porter Wagoner)

Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts
 
winner
Revolver

(The Beatles)

Album Of The Year - Classical
 
winner
Ives: Symphony No. 1 In D Minor

Morton Gould, artist; Howard Scott, producer

Best Classical Performance - Orchestra
 
winner
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 In A Minor

(Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Best Chamber Music Performance - Instrumental Or Vocal
 
winner
Boston Symphony Chamber Players - Works Of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Fine, Copland, Carter, Piston
Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (With Or Without Orchestra)
 
winner
Baroque Guitar (Works Of Bach, Sanz, Weiss, Etc.)
Best Opera Recording
 
winner
Georg Solti
Wagner: Die Walkure

Georg Solti (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra)

Best Classical Choral Performance (Other Than Opera)
 
winner
Handel: Messiah

(Robert Shaw Chorale; Robert Shaw Orchestra)

winner
Ives: Music For Chorus

(Ithaca College Concert Choir, Gregg Smith Singers & Texas Boys Choir; Columbia Chamber Orchestra)

Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance (With Or Without Orchestra)
 
winner
Prima Donna (Works Of Barber, Purcell, Etc.)

(RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra)