The Glorious Corner

The Glorious Corner
G. H. Harding

David Bryne on  SNL

 GRAMMY DRAMA — So, what happened to Grammy CEO Deborah Dugan following her being placed “administrative leave” this winter.

Here’s the memo from Harvey Mason, Jr:

Dear Members:

As you know, Deborah Dugan has been on a paid administrative leave of absence since January 16, 2020.  We are writing to let you know that, earlier today, the Board of Trustees voted to terminate Ms. Dugan’s employment as President/CEO of the Recording Academy.

This decision of the Board, with full support of the Executive Committee, was based on:

  • Two exhaustive, costly independent investigations relating to Ms. Dugan and the allegations made against her and by her. These investigations were carried out by experienced individuals with no prior relationship to the Academy, interviewed a combined total of 37 witnesses, and reviewed numerous relevant documents and emails. The investigators were not given any directives about what specifically to investigate or what conclusions, if any, they were expected to reach, and they were not limited by the Academy in terms of what witnesses they could interview or files or documents they could review.  Each investigator had free rein to fully investigate all of the allegations that were made against Ms. Dugan and by Ms. Dugan against the Recording Academy.
  • The unwarranted and damaging media campaign that she launched in an attempt, without justification, to derail the GrammyAwards show, including her false allegations that the system was—in her words—“rigged” and that the Academy was “corrupt.”
  • Ms. Dugan’s consistent management deficiencies and failures, and other factors.

All of this led the elected leaders of the Academy to conclude that it was in the best interests of the Academy to move on.

This is not what we wanted or what we expected when we hired Ms. Dugan last year.  At the time, we placed our trust in her and believed she would effectively lead the organization.  Unfortunately, that is not what happened.  Though she made some valuable contributions, Ms. Dugan failed to perform her job duties as promised and expected.

Although we did participate in some settlement discussions at Ms. Dugan’s request after she stated that it was her desire to leave the Academy and be bought out of her employment contract, we were ultimately compelled to dismiss Ms. Dugan as our President/CEO.  Not removing Ms. Dugan from the organization at this time would have caused us to compromise our values.  We could not reward her with a lucrative settlement and thereby set a precedent that behavior like hers has no consequence.  Our members and employees, and the entire music industry, deserve better than that.

The Board’s decision to dismiss Ms. Dugan closes one chapter in the Recording Academy’s history.  It also begins a new one.  In the coming days, we will initiate a search for a new President/CEO who will leverage the Academy’s diverse membership and rich history and help us transform it to better serve our members today and into the future.  As we structure this new search, we will look carefully to see where the last one led us astray and make any necessary changes going forward.

It is not uncommon for organizations and leaders to part ways after a short period. It usually happens without rancor. Unfortunately, in this case, Ms. Dugan sought to damage our reputation on her way out, and it is likely we will see more attempts to disparage the Academy in the coming weeks. We regret that, as members of the Academy, you have had to endure so much recent negativity.

From this point forward, our focus will be on moving forward with the transformation agenda we initiated prior to hiring Ms. Dugan, and on working to improve the Academy.  Much of this work has been happening but much of it is yet to come. We realize that we are not perfect, but we want you to know that our attention and energy will remain squarely on you and on the positive changes we are making together.  We will not be distracted from that.  We will use this moment to reflect on where we can be better, and pledge to realize a future in which our organization is known for its diversity, transparency, creativity, mutual respect, and overall excellence.

Thank you for your support and continued service and commitment to the Recording Academy.

-The Executive Committee of the Recording Academy”

Well, totally not unexpected I’d say. I don’t know Duggan, but her actions before, during and after The Grammy’s were, to my mind, totally inexcusable. I’m sure she had high-powered (and, well-paid) help, but it all seemed to backfire on her … right? No payout?

There are still pundits who say Mason is still keeping everything shrouded in mystery (releasing no results of two-high valued investigations) and their high-priced barrister Joel Katz remains engaged to Grammy-heaven.

Joel Diamond

Harvey. Check out producer/ writer/manager Joel Diamond. I’m not kidding, you need some new blood and I believe Joel’s the one who could do it. He’s even based in LA. I promise … you’ll thank me later.

THE WOODMAN SPEAKS — From Roger Friedman’s always-brilliant Showbiz 411: Surprise! The rumored Woody Allen autobiography is here.

The 400 page Apropos of Nothing will be released by Grand Central Books on April 7th.  There had been rumblings for a while that such a book existed.

Unusually, the book is pretty much being dropped instantly. In other words, it’s too late for one of Woody’s kooky enemies to stop it from hitting book stores and e-stores.

It’s likely that Woody will set the record straight on the never ending mishegos surrounding his separation from Mia Farrow, his marriage to Mia’s adopted daughter, Soon Yi Previn, and their own family. Woody will hopefully address the scandal around the accusation that he molested adopted daughter Dylan. Look for the Farrows to kick up a storm.

SHORT TAKES — Boy, was there ever a better interviewer than James Lipton? I watched him and his research was always amazing. He passed on Monday at 93. What a talent and what a legacy of great shows. Missed already for sure. RIP James …And, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews abruptly resigned Monday over a slew of sexual harassment charges. I always liked him. Another to be missed for sure …

Wendy Stuart Kaplan

Check out Innovative Business Wire’s story of social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan. Just brilliant: https://innovativebusinesswire.com/2020/03/02/shes-the-last-model-standing-by-wendy-stuart-kaplan-available-worldwide/?fbclid=IwAR2EXlb_HZrwRPwvUT9g8_V0zUVdKyN5onI-LNOAzz030NY5NMcnDOL85d8 … Last Saturday’s Lovin’ Spoonful event was pretty amazing. John Sebastian and former band mates Joe Butler and Steve Boone performed together for the first time since their 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, with the group delivering their hits “Summer in the City” and “Do You Believe in Magic?” Sebastian also played his solo single “Welcome Back.” Micky Dolenz, Carnie Wilson, Dave Alvin, Iain Matthews, Susan Cowsill and more covered the Lovin’ Spoonful’s music at the Glendale, California benefit concert, the Wild Honey Orchestra’s annual show in support of the Autism Think Tank. Check out Dolenz singing “Daydream”

 … Boy, did David Bryne deliver on last weekend’s Saturday Night Live!Performing “Life During Wartime” with his entire American Utopia cast, Bryne set the audience on fire. From a friend there: It was the best musical performance in years for the show. Bryne, always an innovator, created a theater-like atmosphere in the studio and delivered just a brilliant performance. We also hear American Utopia is coming back to Broadway … and, deservedly so …

Ben Franks’s

Great story last week on the legendary Ben Frank’s in LA on the Sunset Strip. Ben’s, open always it seemed, was just the perfect spot almost any time in LA. I well remember going there with my wife once we arrived in LA and checked into our hotel. It must have been about 1:00 AM and walking in, my wife saw her cousin who she hadn’t seen in years. Stuff like that always happened. Unfortunately, it’s been gone for years now, but its history lives on. Check it out: https://www.metv.com/stories/how-one-hip-coffee-shop-on-sunset-strip-had-heavy-influence-on-the-monkees/?fbclid=IwAR12Xgva3O4lZ0G4KMqQXJcg3s-bKf84Z0O1Zb_w9g1F0jQABaS3yVvXkmc … This recent story of singer Duffy is rather harrowing. I loved her record “Mercy” and always wondered what happened. https://www.vulture.com/2020/02/welsh-singer-duffy-reemerges-says-she-was-held-captive.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Vulture%20-%20February%2025%2C%202020&utm_term=Subscription%20List%20-%20Vulture%20%281%20Year%29 … SIGHTING: Celebrity-author Mark Bego at Jerry Bobs in Tucson … Get well Jodi Ritzen …

And, on Thursday, March at the ASCAP office in Nashville,Thank You, Mister Rogers-producer Dennis Scott will hold a media event for the album. Several artists on the album are scheduled to appear.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Roger Friedman; Steve Walter; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Alpert; Evan Levy; Abe Wald; Vinny Rich; Andy Greene; Randy Lewis; Julian Mitchell; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Anthony Pomes; Kevin Mazur; Gery Gershoff; Robert Funaro; and, ZIGGY!


G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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