GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends Airs This October

nina simone, grammy salute to legendsThe “GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends™” celebration, led by GRAMMY®-winning industry icon Paul Shaffer as musical director, was recorded in July at New York’s Beacon Theatre and will air Friday, Oct. 13 from 9–11 p.m. on PBS. (Check your local listings)

Historically held during GRAMMY® Week, this is the second time the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone event and musical tribute.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, and the Velvet Underground.

Additional Special Merit Awards honorees celebrated include Trustees Awards recipients: producer, arranger, and songwriter Thom Bell; record executive Mo Ostin; and recording executive, A&R man, and music publisher Ralph S. Peer; and audio inventor Alan Dower Blumlein, who is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient. Also honored is Keith Hancock, this year’s recipient of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum®’s Music Educator Award™. 

Along with never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees’ contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage and heartfelt testimonials from the presenters, the star-studded event features performances by Lifetime Achievement Award honorees John Cale and Maureen “Moe” Tucker of the Velvet Underground, Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Stanley Cowell, past GRAMMY nominee Andra Day, 12-time GRAMMY winner Kirk Franklin, GRAMMY Winner Le’Andria Johnson, past GRAMMY nominee Neal McCoy, six-time GRAMMY winner Randy Newman, GRAMMY-winning Living Colour founder and songwriter Vernon Reid, past GRAMMY nominee Catherine Russell, Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Charley Pride, past GRAMMY nominee Valerie Simpson, past GRAMMY nominee Russell Thompkins Jr. of the Stylistics, five-time GRAMMY winner Dionne Warwick, past GRAMMY nominee Charlie Wilson, and two-time GRAMMY winner Dwight Yoakam. There is also a special appearance by GRAMMY winner Whoopi Goldberg, who accepts for the late Nina Simone. 

The full musical program follows:

Thom Bell
•    "You Make Me Feel Brand New" (Russell Thompkins Jr.)
•    "Then Came You" (Dionne Warwick)

Ahmad Jamal
•    "But Not For Me" / "Ahmad’s Blues" / "Poinciana" (Stanley Cowell)
 Nina Simone
•    "Mississippi Goddam” (Andra Day)

Jimmie Rodgers
•    “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride" / "Mule Skinner Blues" / "T For Texas" (Dwight Yoakam)

Ralph S. Peer
•    "Crazy Blues" (Catherine Russell)
•    "The Great Pretender" (Russell Thompkins Jr.)
•    "Georgia on My Mind" (Andra Day)

The Velvet Underground
•    "I’m Waiting For The Man" / "Sunday Morning" (John Cale Band with Maureen "Moe" Tucker)

Shirley Caesar
•    Medley: "You Name It" /  "It’s Alright, It’s OK" / "You’re Next In Line For A Miracle" / "Satan, We’re Going "To Tear Your Kingdom Down" (Kirk Franklin with Le’Andria Johnson)
•    "Caught Up" / "Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name" (Shirley Caesar)

Mo Ostin
•    "A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country"/ “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today" (Randy Newman)

Charley Pride
•    "Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone" (Neal McCoy)
•    "Kiss An Angel Good Morning" (Charley Pride)

Sly Stone
•    "I Want To Take You Higher" / "Everybody Is A Star" / "Sex Machine" / "Dance To The Music" (Charlie Wilson, Valerie Simpson, Vernon Reid)
Visit for complete lists of previous recipients.

Visit “Great Performances” online at for additional information and other programs.

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