Over the years, we’ve heard the cliche that winning the Grammy for Best New Artist can be career poison. Don’t tell that to such legends as [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Beatles [/lastfm](1964), Tom Jones (1965), Carly Simon (1971), America (1972) or Natalie Cole (1975).
But with this year’s Grammys happening on Sunday, we got to thinking about some very worthy names who’ve been overlooked for this important honor. A few examples:
- The Four Seasons were nominated for 1962 — but lost to Robert Goulet.
- The Swingle Singers won in 1963. Stevie Wonder wasn’t even nominated. Neither was the influential girl group The Ronettes, nor Lesley Gore, who launched her career with the number-one single “It’s My Party.”
- The Fifth Dimension and Jefferson Airplane were nominated for 1967 — but lost to flash-in-the-pan Bobbie Gentry. Worse, The Doors, arguably the most important new recording act that year, weren’t even nominated.
- Marvin Hamlisch is a respected writer-arranger and conductor. But he not only bested Bad Company for 1974’s Best New Artist, Chaka Khan and Rufus, who debuted that year with “Tell Me Something Good,” were overlooked for a nomination.
- Boston lost to one-hit-wonder Starland Vocal Band in 1976.
- Foreigner missed out — in a field that also included Andy Gibb — to Debby Boone in ’77.
- The Cars, Toto and Elvis Costello — all of whom went onto long-term success — lost out to A Taste of Honey (the “Boogie Oogie Oogie” group) in ’78.
- Dire Straits enjoyed a more distinguished career than Rickie Lee Jones, who beat them out in 1979.