Variety film music writer Jon Burlingame has been named among the winners of the 2021 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards, awarded by a jury of experts for outstanding coverage of music in the forms of print, broadcast, liner notes or new media.
Burlingame won the ASCAP Foundation Paul Williams “Loved the Liner Notes” Award for his 4,000-word essay that was included on a recent expanded reissue of the “Midnight Cowboy” film soundtrack on Quartet Records. Burlingame — also the host of the “Disney for Scores” podcast and a prolific liner notes writer, as well as journalist and professor — is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on movie music.
Among other recipients, New York Times writer Daphne A. Brooks won the award for an article in the pop field for “100 Years Ago, ‘Crazy Blues’ Sparked a Revolution for Black Women Fans.”
Another award for a New York Times story — this one for outstanding music criticism in the concert music field — went to writer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim for the article “Part Teacher, Part Den Mother, A Composer Fosters Diversity,” a piece about the career and mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank, a composer and educator in California.
The honor for an article in the concert music field was given to Aaron Flagg for the story “Anti-Black Discrimination in American Orchestras,” published in Symphony magazine.
Picking up the honor for outstanding music criticism in the pop field was Ted Gioia for “The Music Critic Who Tried to Disappear,” an appreciation of jazz critic Whitney Balliett that appeared in City Journal.
Fat Possum Records and No Sudden Movements received a television broadcast award for “Memphis ’69,” a documentary about the 1969 Memphis Country Blues Festival that is now up for viewing on YouTube.
Frank J. Oteri of New Music USA’s “New Music Box” won a broadcast award for his podcast “Valerie Coleman: Writing Music for People.”
Finally, the Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Special Recognition Award went to John Kruth for the article “Ceremonies Against the Virus: Bachir Attar of the Master Musicians of Jajouka,” published by Please Kill Me, an online journal,
The judging panel for the 2021 awards was made up of ASCAP members Michelle DiBucci, Paul Yeon Lee, Terry Radigan and Dom Flemons, with input from Jim Steinblatt.
The awards were established in 1967 in memory of composer, critic and commentator Deems Taylor, who served six years as ASCAP president before his death in 1966. The ASCAP Foundation is supported in the endeavor by the Virgil Thomson Foundation, named for a leading composer who was a member of the ASCAP board of directors before his death in 1989.