Mavericks in Music

  • Performers in the Mavericks in Music Film Preservation event included Mindi Abair, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Monica Mancini, Diane Schuur and the Montclair’s Big Band. Pictured above: Abair, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, Foundation Board Member Frances Preston, Caesar, GRAMMY Foundation Sr. VP Kristen Madsen, Mancini and GRAMMY Foundation VP Griff Morris
February 10, 2005 -- 5:09 pm PST

Mavericks in Music, this year's Music on Film Preservation Project held at UCLA on Feb. 9, 2005, featured highlights from rare and historical footage of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Ina Ray Hutton And Her Melodears. These female bandleaders and musicians of the mid-1900's, who enjoyed a brief yet triumphant reign in the spotlight, took center stage during World War II while their male counterparts served abroad. Their trailblazing efforts paved the way for generations of women who aspired to perform as professional musicians. The film footage is being preserved as part of our archiving and preservation initiatives. The event included live performances by celebrity guests, including Diane Schuur, Pastor Shirley Caesar and Mindi Abair, and commentary from industry icons Leslie Ann Jones, Frances Preston and Suzanne de Passe.

A vast number of music performances and other music-related content have been documented on film and video. To address the deteriorating condition of many of these historic materials, each year the GRAMMY Foundation partners with archives, artists, foundations and others with significant collections to identify at-risk media requiring restoration. With organizations and archives like the Library of Congress, UCLA Film and Television archives, Woody Guthrie Archives, Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, the Leonard Bernstein estate and the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, the GRAMMY Foundation chronicles and preserves historic music performances captured on film and video. To add public awareness to the program, each year the restored footage is featured at a GRAMMY Week screening that includes live performances and guest speakers who link the past to the present. The screenings serve to introduce or reintroduce works from these major contributors to American music not only to the several thousand people who've attended the events but also to the generations of music lovers who will be able to access the content in years to come.

Past projects include live or filmed presentations of Louis Armstrong, Patti Austin, Shari Belafonte, Leonard Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, Arlo Guthrie, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson, Coretta Scott King, Midori, Les Paul, Bud Powell, Leontyne Price, Della Reese, Reverend Run, Arturo Sandoval, Isaac Stern and Bebe Winans. In 2003, Sound Inventions: A Celebration Of The 125th Anniversary Of The Phonograph featured contemporary artists making live recordings onto wax cylinders like those used by Thomas Edison. In 2004, the preservation project was Soul To Soul, an outstanding 1971 music documentary featuring Roberta Flack, Les McCann, Wilson Pickett, Santana, the Staple Singers, Ike and Tina Turner and others in a cultural exchange with Ghana.