More than 800 people filled the Biltmore Bowl to capacity at the 16th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, held September 23 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The evening's highlight proved to be the induction of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips into the Hall of Fame. Introduced by original Sun bandleader Ike Turner, Phillips combined his Southern charm and preacher's humor for a poignant, heartfelt acceptance speech.
Another high point was Stevie Wonder's acceptance of the Les Paul Award on behalf of Sir Paul McCartney, who sent in a video thanking Les. Stevie, for his part, told a story from the early '70s when Sir Paul sent him a copy of the latest Wings album inscribed throughout in Braille.
TEC Awards were presented in 28 categories, covering Institutional, Creative and Technical categories. Hosted by comedian Godfrey, presenters included producers Glen Ballard, T-Bone Burnett, Tony Brown, Paul Fox and Don Was; recording artists Meredith Brooks, Herbie Hancock and Alan Parsons; engineers Ed Cherney, Jack Joseph Puig and Skywalker Sound's Leslie Ann Jones; Record Plant president Rose Mann; Mix editor George Petersen; Ocean Way's Allen Sides; and Soundelux's Wylie Stateman.
The House Ear Institute's Sound Partners campaign and Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.) will once again receive 50% of the evening's proceeds to continue their efforts in hearing conservation. The remaining funds will be divided between the AES Educational Foundation, the SPARS student assistance program and various audio scholarship programs throughout North America.