Atlanta Music Scene

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Rosanne Cash leads early Grammy wins; Lecrae, Beyonce, Glen Campbell also score

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

LOS ANGELES – Despite the marquee names hyped to win at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, it was Rosanne Cash who quietly led the winner’s list early in the night.

Cash, who joked that she won her last Grammys “when Reagan was president,” scored three awards in the roots and Americana categories

This year’s ceremony beamed in live from the Staples Center, but at the 3 1/2-hour  Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony (previously called the Grammy Pre-Show) at the neighboring Los Angeles Convention Center, 74 of the 83 Grammy Awards were presented, including Cash’s.

During that ceremony, several Atlanta/Georgia artists collected gold trophies for their award shelves.

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Hip-hop Christian star Lecrae acquired his second career Grammy with the song “Messengers,” which won for best contemporary Christian music performance/song (that same category featured fellow Atlanta transplant David Crowder and former Canton resident Francesca Battistelli).

Backstage, a tuxedo-clad Lecrae said, “I’m a testament to hip-hop as well, that you can have morals, faith, and that we’re not a homogenous group. We’re full of texture and color, and I’m glad to represent that.”

Atlanta’s Susan Archie was among the winners for “The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)” in the best boxed or special limited edition package category. Archie thanked a “team of 40 artists, writers and record collectors” for their assistance with the project.

Michael Graves, the mastering engineer for “The Garden Spot Programs, 1950,” was part of the squad that won for best historical album and gave a shout-out to the Atlanta chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences “for their continued support.”

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which holds the record for the most number of Grammys among Georgia artists with 27, factored in a win for engineer Michael Bishop, who nabbed best engineered album, classical for "Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem; Symphony No. 4; the Lark Ascending" from Robert Spano and the ASO. Bishop was not there to accept.

Atlanta native Kabir Sehgal served as executive producer and liner notes writer for "The Offense of the Drum," by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which won for best Latin jazz album.

But not all of Georgia’s nominees fared as well.

Augusta native Sharon Jones, nominated for her first Grammy with the Dap-Kings for best R&B album, lost to Toni Braxton and Babyface (“Love, Marriage & Divorce), while Atlanta’s Mastodon conceded to Tenacious D (“The Last in Line”) for best metal performance. Usher, up for four Grammys, lost to Beyonce (“Drunk in Love”) for best R&B song and Gregg Allman bowed to Roseanne Cash (“A Feather’s Not a Bird”) for best American roots performance.

The Grammys also took the opportunity to pay homage to the ailing Glen Campbell. The Band Perry, who maintain ties to Georgia through vocal coach “Mama” Jan Smith, earned their first band Grammy for their version of Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” (best country duo/group performance).

Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” also landed a best country song nod.

The country icon’s wife, Kimberly, accepted the award and said that while Campbell couldn’t be there because he is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, “He is healthy and cheerful, but I know that first he’d want to thank God. Music, I really believe, kept him healthy for a longer period of time.”

Also during the non-televised award distribution, Pentatonix, who play The Tabernacle March 21, won their first-ever Grammy for best arrangement, instrumental or a capella for “Daft Punk.”

“We recorded this in a bedroom closet and now we’re Grammy winners,” said an excited Scott Hoying, the baritone of the vocal group spawned from the TV competition show, “The Sing-Off.”

Other first-time winners included A Great Big World, whose “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera won best pop duo/group performance; Paramore (“Ain’t It Fun,” best rock song); and St. Vincent (her eponymous release, best alternative music album).

Joan Rivers’ “Diary of a Mad Woman” nabbed best spoken word album over President Jimmy Carter, which marked her first Grammy as well.

Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and grandson Cooper, accepted on behalf of the late comedy icon.

“My mother loved getting anything. If she thought she could get something from a Waffle House in Secaucus, she would be there,” Rivers said in a speech her mother would have loved.

Staying in the laughter department, “Weird” Al Yankovic, who comes to Chastain Park Amphitheatre on June 20, picked up his fourth career Grammy for his No. 1 album, “Mandatory Fun.”

Also of note, “Let it Go,” which was snubbed in the general categories, won for best song written for visual media, while “Frozen” earned best compilation soundtrack for visual media.

The nominees for this year’s ceremony were chosen from projects released between October 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014.

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.

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