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The talk, the total and the sure-bet polka

February 09, 2006|Randy Lewis

With 108 categories, there's always plenty of Grammy trivia:

Georg Solti, the longtime music director of the esteemed Chicago Symphony, remains the all-time Grammy champ, with 31 victories. But the most consistent winner? Polka king Jimmy Sturr. The clarinetist and bandleader, who won again Wednesday, has the highest batting average of anyone with 10 or more Grammys, winning 15 of his 19 nominations, for a 78.9% success rate. The lowest? Poor Paul McCartney. The cute ex-Beatle has been nominated 64 times but taken home only 13 Grammys.

* Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) not only bested Sean Penn's reading of Bob Dylan's autobiography in the spoken-word recording category, the freshman senator's recitation of his book, "Dreams From My Father," also trumped George Carlin's "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?"

* The Grammys love to say they're about quality not quantity. Want proof? This year's winner of the chamber music performance Grammy is the Emerson String Quartet's recording "Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets," which, according to Nielsen SoundScan, has sold 500 copies. The Grammy win could well double that figure.

* Gospel steel guitarist Robert Randolph played it sartorially safe, entering Staples Center wearing a white and orange Vince Young jersey, then appearing during the Sly Stone tribute segment in a maroon Reggie Bush shirt.

* Composer Burt Bacharach put out his first album with lyrics he'd written, and it won -- for best instrumental album.

-- Randy Lewis

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