The Allman Brothers Band, Hittin’ the Web, and the Extended Family Congratulate Tom Dowd and Wish Him Well in His Continued Recovery from Surgery
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Count Basie, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Al Green and Joni Mitchell are recipients of the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
The recording academy’s Trustees Award goes to engineer-producer Tom Dowd and rock disc jockey Alan Freed.
“The recipients of these awards are in a rarified league all their own. They are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have given us some of the most distinctive and seminal recordings of the last century,” academy president Michael Greene said.
A man gifted with a unique understanding of both the technical and performance aspects of music, engineer and producer Tom Dowd has worked with some of the greats, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Diana Ross, John Coltrane, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, to name a few. From 1942 to 1946 he worked on the Manhattan Project at the Columbia University Pupin Physics Lab while also training as a musician. In 1947, Dowd began working at record labels in New York, where he applied his knowledge of physics to the limiting principles of disc recording. Five years later he set a precedent at Atlantic Records when he helped introduce binaural/stereo recording, which Atlantic used from that point forward on all jazz recordings. In 1954, Dowd designed and built Atlantic’s first stereo and 8-track consoles, revolutionizing the way that music was recorded.
The awards will be presented Feb. 27 during the 44th annual Grammy Awards ceremonies at the Los Angeles Staples Center. The show will be broadcast by CBS.
“Their outstanding achievements have left a timeless legacy that has changed the world socially and has given voice to our cultural condition. Their work exemplifies the highest creative and technical standards by which we all measure our own personal and professional contributions,” Greene said of the Lifetime Achievement and Trustees award recipients.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifelong artistic contributions to recordings while the Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry in a nonperforming capacity. Academy trustees voted on the special merit awards in May.