Tunefest to TV?

Tube may finally take note of all-star special

Now in its 10th edition, the MusiCares person of the year dinner has never been televised despite bringing together some of the music world’s biggest stars performing legendary music. That might change.

Recording Academy prexy Neil Portnow — who continues to develop the pretelecast show in the hopes of eventually getting that on the air — says the televising of the MusiCares night, which has celebrated Bono, Paul Simon and Billy Joel in recent years, might become a reality.

Production values, for one, would need to be slightly upgraded. “But we would never do it if it means hurting the intimacy of the night,” he notes.

Prior to VH1’s involvement, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was considered the best non-televised music event.

By being a live event only, performers and presenters have been looser and even bawdy, with little concern for time restraints. Many believe that has made the event special.

“By remaining off TV, it stays semi-private rather than pre-programmed,” says Phil Ramone, who has produced the event for seven years. “Somehow every event evolves into a great evening of song.”

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