Photo by Katie Schuering
Brockie was just one of a number of names left off during the Grammys’ “In Memoriam” tribute. Other notable omissions included Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese, The Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, Neil Young and Bob Dylan bassist Tim Drummond, and Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully.
The Grammys also failed to mention Memphis legend Teenie Hodges, Survivor frontman Jimi Jamison, and Grammy-nominated jazz singer Little Jimmy Scott. Scott’s widow, Jeanie, said she was “heartbroken, distraught, and Jimmy deserves better,” according to Storm Gardner, a family friend and documentarian. Numerous other jazz artists were absent from the tribute, including Jackie Cain of Jackie & Roy; saxophonist Med Flory; percussionist Milton Cardona; guitarist Ronny Jordan; drummer Idris Muhamma; and trumpeters Charles Moore, Kenny Wheeler, and Roy Campbell Jr.
Other artists were listed on Grammy.com’s list of the departed, but were left off of the on-air tribute. Most notably there was Grammy-nominated comedian Joan Rivers, as well as fellow nominees Gerald Wilson, Elaine Strtich, John Holt, Johnny Mann, and Jean Redpath. Blues singer Alberta Adams, clarinetist Acker Bilk, bandleader and bassist Juan Formell, soul singer Wendy Rene, guitarist Jeff Golub, singer Herb Jeffries, and legendary blues vocalist Micky Champion also failed to appear among the honored.
The award show’s producer, Ken Ehrlich, responded to criticism surrounding Rivers’ omission. “I try and put a time limit on the in memoriam and just have to make choices at some point,” he told PEOPLE. “No disrespect [was meant] at all. I actually knew Joan and worked with her from time to time.” When confronted with the fact that actor/comedian Robin Williams was included but not Rivers, Ehrlich referenced Williams’ four Grammy wins versus River’s single nomination. “I think it was just that her Grammy involvement was certainly less that Robin’s. There’s only so much we can do and we have to make hard choices when it comes to things like that.”
Rivers was honored with a posthumous Grammy this year for Best Spoken Word Album for her book Diary of a Mad Diva.