Music is timeless, but the Grammys is a show for the ages



Watching the 56th edition of the Grammy Awards unfold across my flat screen on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but be struck again about music’s relationship with time.

Put a great song on a record, or on tape, or in the digital world, and time stands still, forever thereafter.

In one hour, in January, 2014, I can quite happily listen to a Frank Sinatra song recorded in the 1950s, a Bob Dylan song from the 1960s, a Bruce Springsteen song put on record in the 1970s, a Jimmy Buffett song from the 1980s, a Cranberries song from the 1990s, an Alicia Keys song from the 2000s and Lorde’s song from right now.

My mind is on a constant music shuffle through my life.

That’s a very good thing. I file the new alongside the tested treasures.

Watching Lorde perform and win trophies, watching Pink dance and sing in a duet with Nate Reuss of Fun., is uplifting and rewarding, good tunes in good hands.

The other thing that always strikes me during a Grammys show is age.

The producers always carefully choose mash-ups that cross generations.

Sunday night, Robert Lamm and that three-piece power punch of a horn section from Chicago were paired with Robin Thicke. Thicke and Lamm shared lyrics from Chicago’s classics, including “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Beginnings” as well as Thicke’s monster R&B hit from 2013, “Blurred Lines.”

Later, country legends Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard were paired with current country star Blake Shelton. The outlaws of yesteryear traded lines with this decade’s big man in town.

Later still, Carole King and Sara Bareilles sat at facing pianos to combine King’s 1970’s hit “Beautiful” and Bareilles’ current hit “Brave.” It was goosebumps, but good.

Time does fly.

Thicke, Shelton and Bareilles looked as if they appreciated that fact. If they’re very lucky indeed, someday maybe they’ll be the ones whose music and star power has been so lasting that young artists have been summoned to play with them.

And yet time also can stand still.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr proved that. The two remaining former Beatles reunited to play a song from McCartney’s latest album, “Queenie Eye,” as the late John Lennon’s beloved, Yoko Ono, danced in the audience. Everybody, on stage, in the crowd, and watching around the world, was fully immersed in the moment.

What were your favorite performances during Sunday night’s Grammys show? Are you a fan of awards shows like this? What are your favorite awards shows?

Source for Grammys 56 photo

27 thoughts on “Music is timeless, but the Grammys is a show for the ages

  1. This was a great way to summarize without going on about the actual awards! Loved that you actually knew the song choices, I have a few that I messed up with on my Grammy post! I loved that you enjoyed the ones I did, too! I just read yours for the first time and you and I focused in on a few of the excellent pairings (or groupings!) Smiles, Robin


    • I read yours, too, Robin, and appreciated our like-minded-ness on some of the groupings.

      I tried to pick a major point and emphasize that, like a column. It’s more fun to write than a summary, for sure.

      Thank you!


  2. Mark, I don’t have cable so I miss out on all the award shows. Luckily, by reading your post, I feel like I got a good taste of it. I would have liked to have seen the Carol King/Sara Bareilles match up. And, of course, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. I caught the pictures of Madonna and that whole bit seemed a bit strange. Thanks for the recap.


  3. ‘My mind is on a constant music shuffle through my life.’ what a great line, and i completely agree and understand. i love the grammys because of the mix, the old with the new, even if not my favorite songs, i have a great respect for music artistry of all kinds. i didn’t make it through the whole thing, i’m not a good late nighter but i enjoyed all that i saw ) nice post, mark.


    • You know I enjoy the Grammys because I stay up to the end, Beth! FYI, they cut off the rock mash-up to close, before midnight, but not much. And, yes, what’s always attractive about the Grammys is the mix-and-match approach, generation and sometimes genre be damned.


  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Mark I have to agree: so much music for so many times and occasions.

    The performances at The Grammy Awards brought together many bands and artists together who normally would never have performed. Pink could have made her point without the acrobatics, and we understand that Jay-Z and Beyonce love each other enough to not feel each other up, but it’s done and over with.

    The county superstars meshed incredibly well, Thicke performing with Chicago was an actual treat (I could actually see this continuing for success), and the Stevie/Pharrell/Daft Punk combo was an appropriate blend of genres and music evolution. Metallica rocked out, and it’s too bad the Buckingham/Grohl/Homme/Reznor colaboration was cut off at the end.

    The McCartney/Starr reunion was downright appropriate and wonderful.


  5. I was turned off from the get-go by Beyonce shaking her bum and constantly CONSTANTLY turning around to show her butt to the audience. Then Jay-Z came out, dignified in a suit, to take the arm of his half-naked wife. Diana Ross never did this. I don’t get it; if you have talent like Beyonce, why take this road? Pink’s performance (although we’ve seen her do this acrobatics thing for a few years now) takes real skill, and then to come down from her sky ribbons and sing her duet, clearly not lip-synching takes a huge level of talent. It is always good to see the new w/ the old, to never forget where we came from, and to honor those who passed the torch. My son said of Ringo, “That guy doesn’t sing too well.” I said, “Yes, but oh, the things he’s seen in the past 50 years.”


    • The great thing about Ringo was that we didn’t care much through the decades that he didn’t sing so well. He was Ringo, and he had great songs! Yes, teach your son well these things, Kerbey.


  6. I didn’t watch the Grammy’s but when I heard the Beatles were being honored I looked up that bit. I love the Beatles, a love my dad gave me to me. I thought it was wonderful.


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