Gene Autry, Brenda Lee Earn Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Awards

Country Music Hall of Fame members Gene Autry and Brenda Lee are among those earning the latest Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Recording Academy, it was announced Monday (Dec. 22). The awards will be presented in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, one night prior to the Grammy Awards. Other honorees include the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Four Tops, Dean Martin, jazz pianist Hank Jones and folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton. Autry’s signature songs include “At Mail Call Today” (1945) and the original version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1949). He died in 1998. Lee is best-known for the pop hits “Sweet Nothin’s” (1959) and “I’m Sorry” (1960), which she recorded as a teenager in Nashville prior to embarking on a successful country career. In addition, jazz record producer George Avakian, classical composer Elliott Carter and R&B singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint will be honored with the Recording Academy’s Trustees Award. Additionally, Technical Grammy Awards will go to the late Clarence “Leo” Fender (founder of the Fender musical instruments company) and Universal Audio (which designs and manufactures audio signal processing hardware and software).