Grammys At 50: As Cutting-Edge As Ever

The Grammy logo on blue
Fifty years ago, moviegoers were singing along to "Gigi," Elvis was inducted into the Army, and the Grammys were born!

With the 50th annual Grammy Awards show on tap Sunday, CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor looked back Monday at five decades of the Grammys' top musical memories -- and their present and future.

The Grammys, he says, have not only honored the world's most talented musicians, the broadcast has served as an international showcase for some era-defining performances -- such as Roger Miller doing "King of the Road," Peter, Paul & Mary performing "If I Had a Hammer," the cast of "Hair" singing "Let the Sunshine In," Gladys Knight and the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia," Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," U2's "Beautiful Day" and Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone.

And, notes Glor, it's not just the music that's evolved!

David Wild, author of "And the Grammy Goes To...," pointed out to Glor, "You would see the style change from tuxedo (as Bobby Darin wore), to denim (Garth Brooks' look), to leisure suit (the Carpenters), to whatever the hell you want!"

There was the time when Lily Tomlin, standing next to an outlandishly dressed Isaac Hayes cracked, "I'm hoping that I personally haven't overdressed for the occasion!"

The Grammys, Glor adds, are known for bringing diverse talents together on one stage, for one night.

Some of the show's standout moments have come from artists working together who might never have harmonized otherwise, such as Prince and Beyonce, James Brown and Usher, and Paul McCartney with Linkin Park and Jay Z.

It's a show that can also turn a longtime rivalry into a loving reunion -- of the likes of Simon and Garfunkel.

Says Wild, "There was nothing more pure and beautiful than seeing those two guys rise above whatever petty arguments there may have been ... to harmonize."

So, come Sunday night, what transcendent moments can we expect during the Grammys' golden anniversary show?

"I think," Wild said, "there may be few more tips of the hat to Grammy history than normal. But it's very much a show about NOW -- the best of music right now."