1st Annual Grammy Awards

Last updated
1st Annual Grammy Awards
DateMay 4, 1959
Location Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles
Hosted by Mort Sahl
Television/radio coverage
Network ABC

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards were held on May 4, 1959. They recognized musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Two separate ceremonies were held simultaneously on the same day; the first in The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and the second in the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City. [1] Ella Fitzgerald & Ross Bagdasarian won most awards with 3 each, whereas Count Basie, Domenico Modugno, and Henry Mancini, each won 2 awards. [2] [3]

The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California that hosts awards shows, charity benefits, and entertainment and motion picture industry events

The Beverly Hilton is a hotel located on an 8.9-acre (3.6 ha) property at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards in Beverly Hills, California. The Beverly Hilton has hosted many awards shows, charity benefits, and entertainment and motion picture industry events, and is particularly known as the venue of the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony.

Beverly Hills, California City in California

Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Located within 5.7 square miles and surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, the City has an estimated population of 35,000.

Ella Fitzgerald American jazz singer

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.


Award winners

The following awards were given in the first award ceremony: [1]


Record of the Year
Volare (song) song

"Nel blu, dipinto di blu", popularly known as "Volare", is a song recorded by Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno. Written by Franco Migliacci and Domenico Modugno, it was released as a single on 1 February 1958.

Domenico Modugno Italian singer-songwriter, actor and television presenter

Domenico Modugno was an Italian singer, songwriter, actor, guitarist, and later in life, a member of the Italian Parliament. He is known for his 1958 international hit song "Nel blu dipinto di blu". He is considered the first Italian cantautore.

"Catch a Falling Star", written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, is a song made famous by Perry Como's hit version, recorded and released in late 1957. It was Como's last #1 hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard "Most Played by Jockeys" chart but not in the overall top 100, where it reached #2. It was the first single to receive a Recording Industry Association of America gold record certification, on March 14, 1958. The song also topped the Australian charts in 1958. The single won Como the 1959 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male. Its melody is based on a theme from Brahms' Academic Festival Overture. The Como version features the Ray Charles Singers, who sing the refrain as a repeated round.

Album of the Year
<i>The Music from Peter Gunn</i> 1959 soundtrack album by Henry Mancini

The Music from Peter Gunn is a 1959 album by Henry Mancini, RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1956, the soundtrack of the TV series Peter Gunn. It was the first album ever to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1959. It was followed by More Music from Peter Gunn, RCA Victor LPM/LSP-2040.

Henry Mancini American composer, conductor and arranger

Enrico Nicola Mancini known professionally as Henry Mancini was an American composer, conductor and arranger, who is best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film, he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky) composition by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B minor, Op. 23, was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875. It was revised in the summer of 1879 and again in December 1888. The first version received heavy criticism from Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's desired pianist. Rubinstein later repudiated his previous accusations and became a fervent champion of the work. It is one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concertos.

Song of the Year
Franco Migliacci Italian actor, lyricist, record producer

Francesco "Franco" Migliacci is a lyricist, producer, and actor.

Lee Julian Pockriss was an American songwriter who wrote many well-known popular songs and several scores for films and Broadway shows, mainly during the 1960s and 70s.

Paul Vance is an American songwriter and record producer.


The Grammy Award for Best Album for Children was awarded from 1959 to 1993. Prior to 1992, the award was known as Best Recording for Children and was therefore open to any audio recording, whether it was an album, a single song, a recording of a book, or the audio from a television show or movie. In 1994, the award was divided into Best Musical Album for Children and Best Spoken Word Album for Children. In 2012, both categories were once again combined into the new Best Children's Album category.

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. American musician and actor

Rostom Sipan "Ross" Bagdasarian, known professionally by his stage name David Seville, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor, best known for creating the cartoon band Alvin and the Chipmunks. Initially a stage and film actor, he rose to prominence in 1958 with the songs "Witch Doctor" and "The Chipmunk Song ", which both became Billboard number-one singles. He produced and directed The Alvin Show, which aired on CBS in 1961–62.

The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Dont Be Late) 1958 song composed by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. performed by Alvin and the Chipmunks

"The Chipmunk Song " is a novelty Christmas song written by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. in 1958. Bagdasarian sang and recorded the song, varying the tape speeds to produce high-pitched "chipmunk" voices, but the recording credits the vocals to The Chipmunks, Seville's cartoon band. The song won three Grammy Awards in 1958, for Best Comedy Performance, Best Children's Recording, and Best Engineered Record (non-classical).


Composing and arranging



Musical show

Packaging and notes


Production and engineering



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  1. 1 2 "Grammy Awards 1959 (May)". Grammy.
  2. Dornbrook, Don (24 May 1959). "And Now the Grammy Awards". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  3. "1958 Grammy Winners". Grammy.com. Retrieved 1 May 2011.