What Was the 1st Grammy Award Won by a Motown Artist?
KEEP YOUR QUESTIONS COMIN' IN!
Here's a new one:
Q: What was the first Grammy Award that was won by a Motown artist?
A: That would be CLOUD NINE by The Temptations. Released in late 1968, it peaked at #6 in early 1969 and went on to win a Grammy in '69 for “Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal or Instrumental.” CLOUD NINE was also the first Temptations single without David Ruffin, who had left the group in 1968. Reluctantly, producer Norman Whitfield structured the song as “psychedelic soul” - in other words, to make it sound like a Sly & The Family Stone record. He didn't want to veer from the Temptations usual sound, saying "I don't want to get into all that crazy s**t" but he did anyway and continued to do so with the singles RUNAWAY CHILD, RUNNING WILD (#6, 1969), I CAN'T GET NEXT TO YOU (#1, 1969), PSYCHEDELIC SHACK (#7, 1970) and BALL OF CONFUSION (#3, 1970). Just like Sly & The Family Stone, each member trades off lead vocals - with newcomer Dennis Edwards taking over for David Ruffin. The song has been accused of being a drug song thanks to the lyric “I'm ridin' high on cloud nine” (sung only once in the entire song) but has been denied by the group; they say it's about a poor unemployed man who gets over his problems by “ridin' high on cloud nine” (even so, it kinda does sound like a recreational drug reference). Mongo Santamaria – who had the Top Ten instrumental hit WATERMELON MAN in 1963 is featured on conga drums; he also released his own instrumental version of CLOUD NINE in 1969 which peaked at #32 around the same time as the Temptations' version.