On April 13th, 1965, 55-years ago today, Jazz had it’s most successful night at the Grammys ever.
On a night that originally declared “the British Invasion was complete” , what actually happened was that Jazz arrived on the top step at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.
Despite the presence of the Fab Four, who’d arrived in 1964, that night The Beatles won just two Awards—Best New Artist and Best Performance By A Vocal Group for “A Hard Day’s Night”. The night really belonged to Jazz.
The 5th Grammy awards(1962) had been a rehearsal for Bossa Nova, Samba music and Creed Taylor, with nine nominations, including Record and Album of the year. In the end it was just a Stan Getz win at the May 15th, 1963 awards, for Desafinado for Best Jazz Performance, Small Group Instrumental.
7th Annual Grammy Awards(1964)
It was the 7th Annual Grammy Awards(1964) with the award banquet and announcements on April 13th, 1965. The night where Creed Taylor, Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto, when the sound of Brazil went mainstream. The Getz/Gilberto album won:
- Record of the Year went to “The Girl from Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz, award presented to the Producer Creed Taylor
- Album of the Year – Stan Getz and João Gilberto, award presented to the Producer, Creed Taylor
- Best Instrumental Jazz Performance – Small Group or Soloist – Stan Getz
- Best Engineered Recording – Non-classical – Phil Ramone for Getz/Gilberto
also a winner that year, on a Creed Taylor produced album
- Best Original Jazz Composition – Lalo Schifrin, The Cat(Jimmy Smith)
There were also nominations for:
- Best Male Vocal Perofrmance – Joao Gilberto
- Best New Artist of 1964 – Astrud Gilberto
- Best New Artist of 1964 – Antonio Carlos Jobim
- Best liner notes – Getz/Gilberto
- Best album cover – Getz/Gilberto
As of the 65th Grammy awards in 2023, Creed has not formally been recognized by the Recording Academy. I updated his entry in wikipedia earlier this year, to reflect that, and to provide an explanation. I hope to see that change in the near future.
ABOUT THE ALBUM AND AWARDS
Album delayed: According to Marc Myers [Jazzwax], the reason for the delay in releasing the album, originally recorded in May 1963.
Astrud’s English vocal on Girl From Ipanema was originally meant to be a demo to entice a major singing star to record the song. Sarah Vaughan considered recording it but dragged her feet and held up its release. She ultimately passed. Her hesitance was likely over the oddness of singing about a girl rather than a boy (she would eventually record The Boy From Ipanema in 1966, after the song was a global hit).Marc Myers, https://www.jazzwax.com/2020/03/getzgilberto-mystery-solved.html
I guess this came from Engineer/Producer Phil Ramones book, where he says:
I cut a disc and sent Astrud’s “The Girl from Ipanema” to Quincy Jones, and was later surprised to learn that Sarah Vaughan had declined to record the song. But I was delighted to learn that Verve [Creed Taylor] had decided to put Astrud’s version on the back of a Stan Getz single – “Blowin’ in the Wind” – which he had recorded with a large orchestra.p131, Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music – Phil Ramone, with Charles L Granata
In those days, 45 singles had designated A and B sides. The A side was reserved for the song the label believed would be hit, while the B side contained a filler tune.
Astrud’s recording may have remained an obscurity if not for a disc jockey at a small radio station in Columbus, Ohio, who turned the single over and began playing the B side on the air.
If you read Astrud’s own website, and a two part Interview that she did many years ago, she doesn’t subscribe to the demo-theory, it’s not clear that she would have known though. Astrud says
One day, a few hours prior to Stan Getz coming to our NYC hotel for a scheduled rehearsal with Joao, he (Joao) told me with an air of mystery in his voice: – “Today there will be a surprise for you”. I begged him to tell me what it was, but he adamantly refused, and would just say: – “Wait and see…”INTERVIEW WITH ASTRUD GILBERTO – PART TWO – http://www.astrudgilberto.com/interview.htm
Later on, while rehearsing with Stan, as they were in the midst of going over the song “The Girl from Ipanema”, Joao casually asked me to join in, and sing a chorus in English, after he had just sung the first chorus in Portuguese. So, I did just that. When we were finished performing the song, Joao turned to Stan, and said (in “Tarzan” English) something like: “Tomorrow Astrud sing on record… what do you think?”
Stan was very receptive, in fact very enthusiastic; he said it was a great idea. The rest, of course, as one would say, “is history”. I’ll never forget that while we were listening back to the just recorded song at the studio’s control room, Stan said to me, with a very dramatic expression: “This song is going to make you famous”.
It’s also been said the album was delayed so as not to affect the sales of the Jazz Samba Getz/Byrd album from 1962, that Getz won the “Best Jazz Performance instrumental for, also in May 1963, the same month they were in the studio for the Getz/Gilberto album. Then there was the follow-on album which wasn’t selling well, recorded in February 1963.
In February, he [Creed Taylor] had recorded Jazz Samba Encore!, uniting Stand [Getz] and Luiz Bonfá, with Jobim on Piano, and, on six of the tracks, Portuguese vocals provided by Maria Helena Toledo, Bonfá’s wife. It was an excellent album, much better than the one Getz had recorded with Charlie Byrd, but unfortunately, not even the exclamation point in the title managed to stir up much interest in potential buyers. He didn’t want the same thing to happen with Getz/Gilberto.Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazillian Music That Seduced The World – Ruy Castro, p258
Given Creed’s focus on making jazz make money, I suspect it was a much this as anything else.
Album of the year Grammy almost didn’t get Announced:
As the proceedings reached its final stages, Allan Sherman almost missed awarding Grammys to Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Creed Taylor for Album of the Year, “Getz-Gilberto.” Before Mrs Getz, who was accepting for her husband, Mrs Gilberto, and Taylor could reach the stage, Sherman began announcing the final award: Record of the Year. Actually, it only simplified matters, as the same trio would have had to return to the stage anyway.Billboard Magazine, April 24th, 1965 p6
Getz and Astrud Giberto garnered Record of the Year Grammys and Creed Taylor, who produced, received a plaque.
Getz No Show At Awards:
Getz/Gilberto won Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Instrumental Jazz Performance. Astrud [Gilberto] was there. Stan [Getz] wasn’t, even though he won for Best Instrumental. He never came to any of those things. When he won a Grammy a year earlier for Desafinado, he handed it to me and said, “Here, this is yours” [laughs]. Awards weren’t his thing.Creed Taylor, Interviewed by Marc Myers, Jazzwax https://www.jazzwax.com/2008/week45/
About the Allan Sherman near miss:
Unfortunately the local [NARAS] chapter’s presentation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel fell far below show business standards. The awards presentation was a sloppy, disorganized, disappointing event.Coasters Get Their Share – Eliot Tiegel, Billboard Magazine, April 24, 1965, p3.
Presenters were unfamiliar with the nominees’ names, many reached for Grammys even though winners were in other cities and any semblance of respectful formality for the awards was sadly missing.
And that’s it, well aside from Petula Clark winning Best Rock and Roll album for Downtown; and Nancy Wilson recording a pop single, and winning Best R&B Record with it(don’t ask!). It’s as much of the story of the Jazz big night at the 7th Annual Grammy Awards, held in April 1965 that I could find that was interesting.
It was recorded for TV, broadcast on May 18th, as a 1-hour special from 8:30pm on NBC-TV. It was produced by George Schlatter, as George Schlatter Productions, in association with Ted Bergman’s Charter Productions, packager of the show. I’d love to track down video coverage, if anyone has any ideas, links or leads, leave a comment.
June 22, 2023 – Listen links updated; qoutes from Geene Lees included.