The Mayor Pete Kennedy
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Born in Canandaigua NY, Pete Kennedy grew up the youngest of 5 Irish kids. His dad "Ham" was elected as Mayor of the city of Canandaigua and served 14 years while his youngest son Pete stole the title "Mayor". Ham earned the title and Pete pilfered it.
Pete helped a bunch of his buds at St. Marys School to found an actual radio station that played music over the PA system during lunch. Many of the nuns were less than impressed by the musical selections this young mob played over WSMR. Later, "Mayor" also served as captain of his beloved Canandaigua Academy football team the Braves.
After successfully graduating from SUNY Geneseo where he spent many hours "studying" humanity while DJing and bartending at the world famous Inn Between, he headed to the bright lights of the big city of Rochester NY where he's been rockin' Rochester radio waves for 25 years, now crankin' great tunes on 100.5 the Drive.
When not heckling callers and having fun with them on air, he's actively out working' the streets at various community and charitable events. Last year alone he was involved in over 120 events and has plans for many more in 2012.
The Grammy broadcast has come a long way. It used to be a long, boring, stale, tedious reading of the winners with some lame performances tossed in to show it had something to do with music. Sunday, the performances and music took centerstage, and there was plenty for every taste. Here's some of my highs and lows of the three-and-a-half hour broadcast;
BEST ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: fun. While accepting their award for Song of the Year for We Are Young, they thanked their families for letting them live at home while they've been touring for 12 long years. fun. pointed out that ironically they are not young anymore, even as they were named Best New Artist. Weird how they won that Grammy, but remember that Milli Vanilli also won the Best New Artist Grammy years ago before it was discovered they actually did not perform their own music.
BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE: Bruno Mars, who started with Locked Out Of Heaven, which led into Sting joining the band for Walking On The Moon, followed up with Rhianna, Ziggy and Darren Marley completing the group for a tribute to Bob Marley. Everybody was up and dancing during this stirring mash up.
WORST LIVE PERFORMANCE: Frank Ocean. His song Forrest Gump was visually OK, but his voice and whistling didn't help to show those of us who know nothing about his music why he was nominated for so many Grammys.
BEST LOCAL WINNERS: (tie) Renee Fleming, Robert Ludwig. The two grads of the Eastman School of Music each took home a Grammy. Fleming won her 4th Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her Poemes album. Ludwig won for Mastering Engineering on the Mumford and Sons album Babel.
LONGEST FINISH TO A LIVE TRIBUTE: Mavis Staples. She didn't seem to know when the live tribute to The Band's Levon Helm ended. Mavis joined Elton John, T Bone Burnett, Zac Brown, Mumford and Sons and more on stage, but when they finished, Mavis kept singing as the audience laughed. Hey, the lady is about 90-years-old so we gotta cut her a break. And we know she wasn't lip synching.
MOST BIZARRE INTRO: (tie) Johnny Depp, Beyonce with Ellen Degeneris. I know he is one of Hollywood's coolest cats but Johnny's weird introduction of "the sublime Mumford and Sons" was equaled by the awkward moment when Ellen kept staring down Beyonce as she tried to bring on Justin Timberlake. Beyonce looked completely freaked out as Ellen eyed her. Lucky for Ellen that B's hubby Jay Z was backstage and probably missed the odd moment.
BEST DRESS: Carrie Underwood. I am no country fan and her music does nothing for me, but her metallic platinum wedding type of dress was gorgeous, and the images that were superimposed on it by various lighting angles were enhancing.
WORST DRESS: Adele. Was that a cape or a throw rug from her hotel suite she threw on? I love Adele and her music but I can't picture women running off to the store to get a copy of that red flowered dress, which my girlfriend labeled "atrocious"!
BEST USE OF WATER: fun. How they did not get electrocuted during their performance of Carry On while rain was dropping from the ceiling is beyond me. They were surrounded by lots of electrical equipment and were soaked on stage but nobody got fried.
WORST SEAT IN FRONT ROW: Chris Brown. He was seated with Rhianna, the girl he once was arrested for beating up. Rhianna is a hell of a perfomer but somebody needs to help her stay away from a dude who abused her.
WORST FINISH: LL Cool J. He did a great job as host of the broadcast, is very polished and personable. I'd love to have a beer and hang with him. In fact I met him once at a NYC airport with his family and he was the nicest guy. But his closing number with a bunch of rappers was a strange way to close the show. At least he gave a shout out to MC A (Adam) from the Beastie Boys who passsed away last year. But after such a great awards show loaded with great performances like The Black Keys with Dr. Hook and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, it was an odd way to end the night.
For more and a complete list of the winners, go to www.grammys.com.