I recently visited the Grammy Museum at LA Live with a group of friends. The museum showcased the Grammy award-winning music that reached way back through the many genres of our country’s recorded musical history. This was the music that encouraged our country to sing and dance and the Grammy awards gave recognition to the greatness of these lyrics and rhythms. Even people who profess to not care too much about music raved about these ever popular songs.
Oddly enough, even though the museum was part of the LA Live under the towering Ritz-Carlton hotel, the entrance seemed relatively quiet and belied the glitz and glamor on display inside. The marquee seemed relatively modest compared to the many signs in the neighborhood. I mean, after all, they were competing for the attention of the hectic LA drivers scurrying by.
Like most museums that featured only one facet of our culture, it didn’t seem large to me, however the outer appearance was deceiving. Inside our group found that the museum occupied four floors. An elevator took us to the top floor where we meandered back and forth eventually making our way downstairs.
Whatever your favorite music genre happens to be, it’s represented here. For instance, my companions and I are of a certain age that just had to linger and reminisce at the Ella Fitzgerald exhibit. Her jazz songs were, and still are, classics. We also encountered an interesting interactive console where you could sample music of one genre and trace the its roots and influence to other genres. Video clips at every turn showed selections of renown recording artists playing and singing their popular songs. Another highlight for us was the Michael Jackson exhibit. His musical videos still thrilled the onlookers that gathered around.
With all this creative energy and output on display you just might be compelled to grab paper and pencil to scribble that impromptu tune boiling in your head. Well, be sure to check the display called: The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. You’ll see popular and famous lyrics on the actual paper where the creators struggled to write it down by hand. It’s inspiring. Mundane lined paper, with scratch outs and all, is there for the world to see- the creative process laid bare. Fame and fortune followed.
By the way, all you country and western fans- you can come out of the closet. One whole floor is devoted to your music. You can trace C & W music from the early days by artists long forgotten and from parts of the country hardly recognizable through the lens of history.
You’ll delight in the interactive displays that are educational as well as entertaining. You’ll see up close all the glimmering stage clothes and instruments used by the famous artists. And do what we did, we lingered. A lot. We lingered here and we lingered there. Sometimes we were alone and sometimes we were in bunches.
As I said at the start, the Grammy Museum is in the LA Live complex. If you’re interested, the museum can be reached at www.grammymuseum.org. Their address: 800 W. Olympic blvd, A245, Los Angeles, CA 90015; Phone: 1-213- 765-6800. (It’s near the corner of S.Figueroa St and Olympic Blvd. See the map below.) Those of you who’d like to avoid the hassle and expense of parking, the nearest metro point is the Pico Station, near Pico Blvd and Flower St about three blocks south of the museum. Go, see, explore, and enjoy the music that moved and thrilled you.
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Here are posts of other Uniquely Los Angeles destinations you will enjoy reading. If you’re looking for a pleasant outing plan a visit and enjoy yourself.
-Friends, Romans, and …Angelenos
-Bradbury Building-A Lasting Gem in Los Angeles
-The Last Book Store
-The Magic Castle
-Grauman’s Chinese Theater
-Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits
-Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
-Rose Bowl Stadium