The Recording That Beat Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech For The Best Spoken Word Grammy

It may be hard to imagine something other than Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have A Dream” speech winning the Grammy for Best Spoken Word. However, his 1963 speech wasn’t even nominated until 1969. King’s speech was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.

So what beat out King’s famous speech? It was a recording by American singer-songwriter, musician and poet Rod McKuen. Throughout his career, McKuen produced a wide range of recordings; including popular music, spoken word poetry, film soundtracks and classical music. He earned two Academy Award nominations and one Pulitzer nomination for his music compositions. And he won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word in 1969 for Lonesome Cities.

Other big winners that year included Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel for Record of the Year and the Album of the Year went to Glen Campbell for By The Time I Get To Phoenix.


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