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Garth Brooks and Gershwin Prize

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Sorry if I offend anyone who enjoys his music, but WTF with Garth Brooks getting this award?  He didn't even write his most famous tune, "Friends in Low Places," which in any case hits every lyrical and musical cliche in Country.  My one favorite by Brooks is "Make You Feel My Love," composed by some guy named Dylan. 

Near as I can tell, he contributes to about 50% (or less) of the songs on his records, and I do mean "contribute"--he almost always has co-writers.  And the records are 33-38 minutes in running time.

 

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Has Joni Mitchell already gotten it?

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Of course not.  Nor John Fogerty, Neil Young, Loretta Lynn, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Towshend, Carly Simon, Brian Wilson, etc.  Nor Dylan, but then he has a Nobel.

I guess it's not really an award for songwriting, but rather for contributions (In whatever way that is conceived) to popular music.   

 

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Here is the definition.  Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young have not received it, but Gloria Estefan and Billy Joel have?  Huh?

Gershwin Prize

 

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding. The styles in which these works are composed reflect myriad contemporary traditions like rock, jazz, country, pop, blues, folk, and gospel. The recipient-whether composer, singer/songwriter, or interpreter-is recognized for entertaining and informing audiences, for drawing upon the acknowledged foundations of popular song, and for inspiring new generations of performers on their own professional journeys.

The selection is made by the Librarian of Congress in consultation with a board that is both credible and broad enough in scope to represent the full spectrum of popular song. Board members may include but need not be limited to scholars, producers, performers, music critics, songwriters, and subject specialists within and outside the Library of Congress.

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Is this related to Kenny Rogers and Lincoln Center?

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I have seen Garth Brooks twice live. It was a revelation. Apart from Sun Ra, he is about the most memorable live performer I have ever seen in any genre of music. He is definitely not without substance. He is an incredible force of nature onstage, and gives it every ounce of energy he has. I do not own his albums, but I enjoyed his singing and the material he sang, in concert. The songs were really good, and he performed them better than just about anyone else could.

He gave his backup singers mini-sets in the middle of the show. As his backup singers sang some of their compositions, Garth sang harmony inconspicuously off to the side of the stage. Not many big stars would do that.

From the book of work I heard in concert, he is deserving of the award.

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