Archive for the ‘Awards and Honors’ Category

Engineer Ed Cherney wins Grammy for Willie Nelson’s, “My Way”

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA: Veteran sound engineer Ed Cherney has added a fourth Grammy to his figurative trophy shelf for Willie Nelson’s tribute to Frank Sinatra, My Way. It won “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album,” the same category Nelson and Cherney won in 2017 for Nelson’s Gershwin tribute album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. Also, on Cherney’s figurative trophy shelf are an Emmy (among four nominations) and eight TEC Awards, and he is a TEC Hall of Fame inductee. Since switching to ATC monitors five years ago, Cherney has never looked back, and both of his recent Grammy wins with Willie Nelson involve work that was tracked and mixed entirely on ATC SCM45A three 3-way nearfield monitors.

“The ‘Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album’ category is crowded with top-end talent like Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Bob Dylan, and more, which makes our win all the more meaningful,” Cherney noted. “A big part of my job is to take this cold digital technology and wrest genuine emotion from it. That’s what I try to do, and when I find it, that’s when I try to stop.” Although he wasn’t present for the My Way overdub sessions in Nashville and Texas, Cherney served as the tracking engineer over five days at Studio 2 at EastWest Studios in Hollywood, and he mixed the entire project in his room Studio Ed, at The Village. Concluded Cherney, “The OD’s were recorded in Nashville by Tony Castle, who did a phenomenal job.”

“I’ve tracked dozens of records in Studio 2, and I really think it’s one of the best sounding rooms anywhere on this Earth,” Cherney said. “It’s not big, and it is rectangular. But it sounds magical nonetheless. The low end is sweet and defined and impactful, the midrange is clear and balanced, and you walk out of there with plenty of air all around it. Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings produced the album, and Matt also killed it on keyboards and as arranger. We had David Piltch, one of the best standup bass players in the world, Dean Parks, one of the best guitarists in the world, and Jay Bellerose, one of the best drummers in the world. And of course, Willie, one of the greatest men in the world. I knew that if I could catch what was going on with that group, it was gonna sound great.”


It’s a joy to do records with Willie, Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings. Willie is so awesome that all you want to do is to please him to get his approval. Buddy Cannon knows how to successfully guide a project, but he steers with a light hand. On the album My Way, the music was so great, the arrangements were so great, and the musicians were so great that I really had room at the mix stage to let it breathe. All the elements were there. It sounds good and most importantly it feels great. There is a lot of personality, integrity and honesty, and that’s what I’m always after.” Cherney did the initial mixing by himself on the ATCs before spending a few days with Cannon and Rollings to finalize things. “I wanted Willie to hear it and to be knocked out,” he concluded. And to share the Grammy recognition with Willie, Buddy, Matt and the musicians, knocks me out. A feller couldn’t ask for more than that.

Cherney used the ATC SCM45A monitors during the tracking sessions to make sure he was capturing the magic of those world-class musicians, playing world-class songs, in that world-class room. When everybody comes back into the control room to have a listen to what we just played and recorded, always is the moment of truth for me. I want to knock their socks off. If they ask to hear the playback again, and want me to turn it up, that’s usually a pretty good sign. Even with veteran musicians like these, if they can hear that they sound and feel great, it can contribute to inspiring a phenomenal performance. Playback on the ATCs helped a lot with that. And do you know how you know that you’ve got it? When they want to hear it again!”

Until arriving at the ATCs, Cherney went through loads of different monitors. “I usually had to mix a bunch of songs on every new speaker that I tried, before I was truly comfortable.” he said. “Everyone who does this for a living knows what I mean; you have to get used to the ways a particular pair of monitors bends things. Then you mix to compensate for any shortcomings, with the hope that when you play back on other systems, there are no nasty surprises. That’s a huge amount of anxiety and stress! In contrast, I nailed the very first song I ever mixed on my ATCs. The relationship between the kick and bass was right. The snare level and EQ was right. The level of the solos, vocal balances, reverb and effect amounts was nailed. And now I know for sure that if I get something sounding great in my room on my ATCs, it’s going to sound great everywhere: ear buds, computer speakers, TVs, stereos, streaming, cars, you name it. Having that kind of confidence in my mixes has really freed me up and made my work a lot better. Hell, it’s even made my personal life better because I’m not living with that anxiety and I’m having fun, instead.”

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This day in Willie Nelson history: “Seven Spanish Angels” #1 on Billboard (3/23/1985)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

On March 23, 1985, “Seven Spanish Angels” by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles appears at #1 on the Billboard country chart.

March 21, 1981, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” #1 on Billboard Country Chart

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

On March 21, 1981, Willie Nelson’s song, ‘Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” is #1 on the Billboard Country Chart. It was a single from the 1980 movie, Honeysuckle Rose, and his seventh #1 on the country chart, as a solo artist. The song spent 14 weeks on country chart.

Willie Nelson receives Key to Lake Charles, Louisiana (March 2, 2016)

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019


On March 2, 2016, before his concert at the Rosa Hart Theater, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Willie Nelson was presented with the Key to the City by Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.



“Congratulations to the whole team” — “Shallow” wins Oscar

Monday, February 25th, 2019

Mickey Raphael nominated for 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Congratulations to Mickey Raphael on this recent 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards nomination for Specialty Instrument Player of the Year.

he Academy of Country Music announced ACM Awards nominees in the industry and studio categories. The winners will be acknowledged during the 12th annual ACM Honors ceremony, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 53rd ACM Awards.

The ACM Honors will take place on Aug. 22 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.


  • Carl Miner
  • Danny Rader
  • Mickey Raphael
  • Bryan Sutton
  • Derek Wells

This day in Willie Nelson history: Willie Nelson receives two Grammy Awards at 21st Annual Grammy Awards (February 15, 1979)

Friday, February 15th, 2019


On February 15, 1979, Willie Nelson was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Vocal performance, Male, for “Georgia On My Mind”; and Best Country Vocal Duo or Group, with Waylon Jennings, for “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

Willie Nelson’s First Grammy (February 28, 1976)

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

When Willie Nelson recorded his concept album Red Headed Stranger in Garland, Texas, in 1975, he insisted on simplicity for the tracks.  But according to the books Willie, by Michael Bane, that simplicity proved a bit too much for the studio musicians and his record label.

As Willie recorded the song, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” he stopped the session, played through the tune with just guitar and vocal and asked the band to play only what was necessary.  Several of the musicians, realizing that they basically had nothing to do, voluntarily got up and left the session.

Willie remembers that his record label was also not exactly receptive to the bare-bones product.  “They expected more Shotgun Willie, something more tempo,” he says in the book. But the label released the album along with the sing, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” which surprisingly started climbing the charts.  It became Willie’s first No. 1 hit in October of 1975.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” was also responsible for another Willie milestone.  On Feb. 28, 1976, Willie picked up his first Grammy award, winning the honor for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.

“Everyone loves Willie Nelson”

Monday, February 11th, 2019
by:  Randy Lewis

Everyone — ‘underdogs, outliers, Republicans, rappers’ — loves Willie Nelson

Country-pop maverick Kacey Musgraves gave a warm testimonial to fellow Texan Willie Nelson on Wednesday as part of a Grammy-week salute to the veteran singer-songwriter by the Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing.

Musgraves essentially described him as nation’s ultimate unifier.

“One of my favorite things that I’ve noticed about him after getting to know him and see him in many different environments,” Musgraves said in a packed room at the Village recording studio in West Los Angeles, “is he has this really unique ability to unite and really bring people together. I mean, it’s really kind of unlike any artist I can think of: underdogs, outliers, Republicans, rappers, presidents– everyone loves Willie.”

Everyone except, apparently, the fire marshal.

An overflow industry audience that tried to cram into the large room to see and hear Nelson prompted security personnel to turn dozens away at the door–on the fire marshal’s orders, they said — just as academy President Neil Portnow was about to offer his own salutary remarks about Nelson, the year’s P&E Wing honoree “for a career epitomizing artistic integrity and sonic excellence.”

A few minutes later, when Nelson ambled onstage to accept the award and offer a short performance accompanied by his musician sons Lukas and Micah as well as special guest Dave Matthews, he acknowledged the importance of those bestowing it on him.

“I’d like to thank the producers and engineers over the years for making me sound as good as I could,” Nelson, 85, said. “I’m glad they liked me because they could have really screwed me up.”

Aboard his celebrated tour bus earlier, Nelson elaborated, saying that he’s grateful for the often under-recognized work that allows him to focus on the uniqueness of his vocals and the emotions conveyed in the music and lyrics in his songs rather than simply fighting to be heard.

“I think it’s all important,” he said from his seat at small table designed as an eating or work space. It was a family affair as he was joined on board by his wife, Annie, sons Lukas and Micah, musician-friend Ziggy Marley and other friends and family members. “I think you have to have a good song, good musicians and everything will fall into place.”

For nearly a dozen years now he’s been making the most of a working collaboration with Nashville-based veteran songwriter, producer and publisher Buddy Cannon, who told the crowd during his time at the mike that they’ve, so far, recorded 207 songs together since they began working together in earnest after Cannon met Nelson in 2007 while producing an album for Kenny Chesney.

“Buddy Cannon and I work so well together because we write songs together and then he takes them into the studio, gets all musicians together and records it with him doing a scratch vocal,” Nelson said. “He records all of that and then when he gets through with it, we maybe bring it to my [Pedernales] studio there in Austin, and I go in and put my vocals on there. It’s the easiest way that I’ve ever recorded.”

Willie Nelson’s sons Micah, left, and Lukas, right, perform with Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael, second from left, and Dave Matthews, center, Wednesday at the Producers & Engineers Wing annual gathering. (Randy Lewis / Los Angeles Times)

That’s a big part of Nelson’s prodigious output in recent years: He’s been releasing at least one, sometimes two and occasionally three new albums a year. Two of his most recent — “Last Man Standing” and “My Way,” both released last year, have earned him two more Grammy Award nominations, bringing his lifetime Grammy nomination count to 51.

He said he’ll be sticking around town to attend Sunday’s ceremony at Staples Center to find out if he collects either the traditional pop vocal performance award for “My Way” or American roots performance award for “Last Man Standing.”

And he’s letting no moss grow under his boots. He has another album in the pipeline targeted for early summer release, including at least one of several duets he recently recorded with Irish musical mystic Van Morrison.

And despite the evening’s accolades from the record industry’s tech community, which sweats daily over finding the right microphone, cables and sound editing software for each project, Nelson, unlike his audio-obsessed pal Neil Young, doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about that side of making music.

“I’m not that smart,” he said with an easy laugh. “If I like it, I figure, maybe that’s OK. I’m gonna have to go with my instincts again. We’re doing the same thing: He’s doing what he wants to do, and so am I. That’s the way to do it, if you’re lucky enough to do it.”

Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves at the Grammys 2019

Monday, February 11th, 2019


“’s been a ?willie? nice week so far. Heart full from last night’s laughs and honoring Mr. William Hugh Nelson.’


Congratulations, Willie Nelson

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Willie Nelson wins 2019 Grammy for “My Way” (his ninth grammy)

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Willie Nelson won his ninth Grammy Award on Sunday afternoon, in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for his 2018 Frank Sinatra tribute “My Way.”

The legendary Texas native and longtime Austin-area resident last won in 2016 in the same category for “Summertime,” a tribute to the Gershwins.

Matt Rollings, who co-produced the album with Buddy Cannon, accepted on Nelson’s behalf at the the Grammys’ afternoon Premiere ceremony in Los Angeles. Most of the awards are given out before the nationally televised evening program.

Nelson also was nominated in the Best Traditional Roots Performance category for “Last Man Standing,” the title track to an album of all-original material he also released last year. The winner in that category was “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile, who quickly won two more Grammys, including Best Americana Album. Carlile is a headliner at the Old Settler’s Music Festival near Lockhart in April.

In addition to the nine traditional Grammys he has received, Nelson also has been honored three times with special awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Willie Nelson Sings ‘Promiseland’ With Lukas Nelson, Dave Matthews

Sunday, February 10th, 2019
by: Joseph Hudak

Willie Nelson was the 2019 honoree when the Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing held its annual Grammy Week celebration on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Recognizing the “artistic achievements and creative genius” of the Country Music Hall of Fame member, the event featured remarks from Kacey Musgraves, who praised Nelson’s unexpected role as a unifier. “He has this really unique ability to unite and really bring people together. It’s unlike any artist I can think of,” she said. “Underdogs, outliers, Republicans, rappers, presidents. Everyone loves Willie.”

The icon’s sons Micah Nelson and Lukas Nelson performed some of their father’s songs, including a moving rendition of “Living in the Promiseland,” the centerpiece track, written by David Lynn Jones, off Nelson’s 1986 album The Promiseland. Nelson himself joined in, along with special guest Dave Matthews, who earlier performed “Crazy” with Lukas Nelson. The evening ended with a customary sing-along of “On the Road Again.”

Along with Musgraves and Matthews, Ziggy Marley, Lisa Loeb, Feist, songwriter Diane Warren and “Weird Al” Yankovic were in attendance.

Nelson is the 11th artist to be recognized by the Producers & Engineers Wing. Past honorees include T Bone Burnett, Neil Young, Jack White, and Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz.

Nelson is nominated for two Grammys at Sunday’s awards: Best American Roots Performance for the song “Last Man Standing” and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for his Frank Sinatra homage My Way. Earlier this week, he announced a new hemp-infused coffee as part of his Willie’s Remedy wellness line.

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Highwaymen” goes gold (February 10, 1986)

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

On February 10, 1986, “The HighwayMan” album, is certified gold for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

1. Highwayman
2. The Last Cowboy Song
3. Jim, I Wore A Tie Today
4. Big River
5. Committed To Parkview
6. Desperados Waiting For A Train
7. Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)
8. Welfare Line
9. Against The Wind
10. The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over

Lukas Nelson, Lady Gaga and Bradly Cooper win 2019 BAFTA Award

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

photo: Vivien Killilea
by:  Angela Stefano

Lukas Nelson is a 2019 BAFTA Awards winner! Along with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, the singer-songwriter earned the Best Original Music trophy, for his work on the A Star Is Born soundtrack.

>Cooper was in London on Sunday (Feb. 10) for the 2019 BAFTA Awards ceremony and accepted the honor for himself and his collaborators. Nelson did not attend, nor did Gaga.

“We won a BAFTA! Congrats to my amazing friends @ladygaga and Bradley Cooper, and to my amazing band @promiseoftherealofficial for creating something truly special!!” writes Nelson on Instagram. “Thank you for the recognition @bafta.

Adds Gaga, who is in Los Angeles, Calif., for the 2019 Grammy Awards, “I can’t believe we just won Best Original Music @BAFTA’s … We made a film about music. This means the world to me. Thank u to all our fans we love u so much, we wouldn’t be here without u.”

Nelson served as a musical consultant for the 2018 film. The fourth remake of the 1937 movie A Star Is Born stars Cooper and Gaga, but Nelson is also one of a number of country- and Americana-leaning artists who wrote songs for the soundtrack. Nelson has writing credits on seven of the movie’s songs, and he produced seven of the songs as well. In the film, Nelson also plays a member of Jackson Maine (played by Cooper)’s band.

Nelson, Cooper and Gaga’s A Star Is Born soundtrack competed for Best Original Music at the 2019 BAFTA Awards against the soundtracks from BlacKKKlansman (Terence Blanchard), If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell), Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat) and Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman). A Star Is Born and its stars also earned nods in the Best Film, Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Sound categories.

Also known as the EE British Academy Film Awards, the BAFTA Awards are organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), an independent, arts-focused charity. A complete list of 2019 BAFTA Awards winners is available at