BY SEAN MCHUGH
The Recording Academy is set to honor three country legends with Special Merit Awards next year. Charley Pride, Ralph Peer, and Jimmie Rodgers will all be recognized for their contributions to the music community.
Charley Pride and Jimmie Rodgers will both receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Academy, while Peer is set to receive a Trustees Award. Pride will be in attendance to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award, while Peer and Rodgers were awarded posthumously.
Pride is one of the often forgotten legends of country music, despite being winning three Grammy Awards. He won Best Sacred Performance for “Did You Think to Pray” and Best Gospel Performance for “Let Me Live” in 1971. Pride also won Best Country Vocal Performance in 1972 for Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs.
Many people recognize Rodgers as one of the forefathers of country music. His 1927 Bristol Sessions is widely considered to be the first major “modern” country recording. Rodgers was the first inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. In 1986, Rodgers was re-inducted as a “founding father” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Throughout Rodgers career, he was managed by Peer, a star talent scout of the time. Peer was one of the pioneering minds behind today’s current music publishing environment.
Nina Simone, Sly Stone, Velvet Underground, Thom Bell, Mo Oslin, Ahmad Jamal, and Shirley Caesar will also be recognized by the Academy.