Something weird happened on ElvisBlog two days ago. I can’t figure out why, but I’ll sure take it. Thursday, March 17, 2016, will forever rank as the day when the most people came to the blog – 11,370 visitors!!!
This chart shows the ElvisBlog visitors for the past month. Look how March 17 dwarfs the others (which represent the normal daily totals of 700-900 visitors).
My blog software showed that about 95% of the total came from searches for “Elvis won only three Grammy Awards,” which is the exact wording in the first line of a 2006 ElvisBlog article. The search results had the article, Elvis and the Grammy Awards, at the top of the list.
I did some research to see if there was something in the news about Elvis’ Grammies that would have sparked this spike in interest. I found nothing.
Then I realized a lot of todays’ regular readers might not have ever read the post from 2006, so I am reproducing it here. Several formatting changes and new pictures have been added to bring it up to the style used today.
Elvis and the Grammy Awards
Most fans are aware Elvis won only three Grammy Awards, and that they were all for Gospel recordings. There’s a lot more to the story.
How could the King of Rock & Roll not win any Grammys for his rock & roll records? One big reason is that the Grammy awards did not start until 1958. In 1956 and 1957, Elvis changed the sound of popular music and had hit after hit. If there had been Grammy Awards for those years, Elvis surely would have won a cabinet full of trophies. There is no way he could have been denied the award for these categories:
Best Vocal Performance, Male
Best Performance by a Top 40 Artist
The same goes for his hit singles. An Elvis song would have been a shoo-in for Record of the Year in 1956 with choices like:
“Love Me Tender,”
“Don’t Be Cruel.”
The Album of the Year for 1956 would undoubtedly have gone to Elvis’ first RCA album, Elvis Presley.
In 1957, there would have had to be a winner in this list for Record of The Year:
“All Shook Up,”
Elvis’ Christmas Album was the definitive rock & roll Christmas album of the period and would have been a strong contender for Album of The Year in 1957.
Elvis was off in Germany in the Army when the Grammy Awards were created in 1958, and he had no nominations. However, the next year he received three.
“A Fool Such As I” was a 1959 nominee for Record of The Year, but got beat by Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife,” a really huge hit.
“A Big Hunk of Love” received two nominations in 1959. However, Nat King Cole won Best Performance by A Top 40 Artist for “Midnight Flyer” (I can’t say that I even remember the song), and Dinah Washington won Best R&B Performance for “What A Difference A Day Makes.”
1960 was Elvis’ best year for Grammy nominations with five, but he was up against Ray Charles who was having a huge year. “Are You Lonesome Tonight” had three nominations: Record of the Year, Best Vocal Performance, Male, and Best Performance by a Pop Singles Artist. “Theme From a Summer Place” by Percy Faith won the Record of the Year, and Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles took the other two categories. He won a total of four Grammys in 1960.
Elvis also had two album nominations in 1960, both for GI Blues. However, Ray Charles beat him again. The Genius of Ray Charles took the award for Best Vocal Performance, Male, Album. The Best Soundtrack Album award went to Ernest Gold for Exodus.
Elvis had another shot at Best Soundtrack Album in 1961 with the nomination of Blue Hawaii. Ray Charles didn’t beat him, but Henry Mancini did with Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
For the next five years, Elvis’ priority was making movies, and none of his songs or albums received Grammy nominations
In 1967, he finally won a Grammy for Best Sacred Performance for the album How Great Thou Art, which sold over a million copies and reached #18 in the Top Albums Chart.
In 1968, he was nominated again in the same category for the single “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” but the award went to Jake Hess for “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.” This was ironic because Hess had been a big influence on Elvis.
As the lead singer for the Statesman Quartet, Jake Hess made an impression on young Elvis at the monthly “All-Night Gospel Singing” at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis. Elvis particularly admired Hess’ powerful voice and unique styling. One year before beating Elvis in the singles category, Hess was part of The Imperials who did backing vocals during the recording session for Elvis’ Grammy winning album How Great Thou Art. In 1977, Jake Hess was part of an elite group of Gospel music stars to sing at Elvis’ funeral service.
In 1972 Elvis won his second Grammy when his album He Touched Me took the Best Inspirational Performance award.
In 1974 Elvis won this category again for his third and last Grammy. But instead of winning for a single or an album, Elvis won for the live version of the song “How Great Thou Art” from the album Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis.
It should be noted that the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences partially rectified their earlier snubs of Elvis by granting him their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971.
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