Rockcrit and A-Mama Ann Powers thinks way too hard sometimes

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Queen and An Elf

Doing a little research on Aretha for a presentation to sixth-graders I did today, I discovered, via Wiki, this startling fact:

"She is the second-most honored female popular singer in Grammy hstory after Allison Krauss.

Allison Krauss?

I don't begrudge the bluegrass elf (and I mean that in the most Tolkienesque way) her shiny statues, but how can it be possible that she outranks the Queen of Soul? Does this say something about the music industry's favoritism toward consistency over risk taking? For, as my pal Xgau eloquently argues here, Franklin is that rare R&B icon who's remained engaged with musical trends. Is it simply a sign that awards are more plentiful now than in the past -- more Grammy categories? Is it a sign of racism?

I have no answers on this. But as much as I appreciate her spectral hum, I can easily imagine life without Krauss. Not without Spirit in the Dark.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems it's a pretty apples to oranges comparison. Aretha competes in the heavyweight categories, while Krauss has picked up a boatload of awards in categories like bluegrass, southern gospel, "country collaboration," and "country instrumental." In a lot of instances, she may be the only name on the list familiar to many members of NARAS.

1:23 PM

Blogger daphne said...

I remember getting an email about this after the Grammy's and thinking 'that can't be right but then again, of course it is.' to us about the mood in Seattle right now. My heart goes out to your city and your city's children and music fans and sane people.

9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


this is carlene bauer (don't know if you remember, but I worked for mary ann naples, who bought "weird like us"). congrats on your LA Times position! I'm writing because I'm writing a piece about a young singer songwriter for elle, and would love to interview you briefly about young women and the pop machine. I'm sorry to bother you via your blog, but didn't know how else to contact you. I bet you schooled those sixth graders well.

I'm at

1:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe critics use the Grammy's as an indication of ANYTHING. They are pathetic, like most award shows.

3:23 PM


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