Grammy Award for Best Album Notes

The Grammy Award for Best Album Notes has been presented since 1964. From 1973 to 1976, a separate award was presented for Best Album Notes - Classical. Those awards are listed under those years below. The award recognizes albums with excellent liner notes. It is presented to the liner notes author(s), not to the artists or performers on the winning work, except if the artist is also the liner notes author.

Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were presented, for works released in the previous year.


Year Winner Nominations
2016 Joni Mitchell for Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced, performed by Joni Mitchell (Rhino)
  • James P. Leary for Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946, performed by Various Artists (Dust-To-Digital/University of Wisconsin Press)
  • Jeff Place for Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, performed by Lead Belly (Smithsonian Folkways)
  • Ted Olson for Portrait of an American Singer, performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford (Bear Family)
  • Ryan Barna for Songs of the Night: Dance Recordings, 1916-1925, performed by Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra (Archeophone)
2015 Ashley Kahn for Offering: Live at Temple University, performed by John Coltrane (Resonance/Impulse)
  • David Sager for Happy: The 1920 Rainbo Orchestra Sides, performed by Isham Jones Rainbo Orchestra (Archeophone)
  • Alec Palao for I'm Just Like You: Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70, performed by Various Artists (Light In The Attic)
  • Scott B. Bomar for The Other Side of Bakersfield: 1950s & 60s Boppers and Rockers from 'Nashville West', performed by Various Artists (Bear Family)
  • Jon Kirby for Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, performed by Various Artists (Numero)
  • Scott Blackwood for The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), performed by Various Artists (Third Man/Revenant)
2014 Neil Tesser for Afro Blue Impressions (Remastered and Expanded), performed by John Coltrane (Pablo/Concord)
  • Ben Young for Call it Art 1964-1965, performed by the New York Art Quartet (Triple Point)
  • Alec Palao for Electric Music for the Mind and Body, performed by Country Joe & the Fish (Ace/Vanguard)
  • Jonathan Cott for Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps, performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (Sony Classical)
  • Sean Wilentz for 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story, performed by Various Artists (Columbia)
  • Nathan Salsburg for Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music 1923-1936, performed by Various Artists (Tompkins Square)
2013 Billy Vera for Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles, performed by Ray Charles (Concord)
  • Stephen Wade for Banjo Diary: Lessons From Tradition, performed by Stephen Wade (Smithsonian Folkways)
  • Hans Olof Gottfridsson for First Recordings: 50th Anniversary Edition, performed by The Beatles and Tony Sheridan (Time Life)
  • Holly George-Warren for The Pearl Sessions, performed by Janis Joplin (Sony Legacy)
  • Fernando Gonzalez for Piazzolla in Brooklyn, performed by the Pablo Aslan Quintet (Soundbrush)
2012 Adam Machado for Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond as Recorded by the San Francisco Bay by Chris Strachwitz in the 1960s, performed by Various Artists (Arhoolie)
  • Neil Diamond for The Bang Years 1966-1968, performed by Neil Diamond (Columbia)
  • Ted Olson and Tony Russell for The Bristol Sessions 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music, performed by Various Artists (Bear Family)
  • Ken Shipley for Complete Mythology, performed by Syl Johnson (Numero)
  • Alec Palao for The Music City Story: Street Corner Doo Wop, Raw R&B and Soulful Sounds From Berkeley, California 1950-75, performed by Various Artists (Ace)
2011 Robert Gordon for Keep an Eye on the Sky, performed by Big Star (Rhino)
  • Gage Averill for Alan Lomax in Haiti: Recordings for the Library of Congress, 1936-1937, performed by Various Artists (Harte)
  • Ashley Kahn for Side Steps, performed by John Coltrane (Prestige)
  • Doug Seroff for There Breathes a Hope: The Legacy of John Work II and His Fisk Jubilee Quartet, 1909-1916, performed by Fisk University Jubilee Quartet (Archeophone)
  • Will Sheff for True Love Cast Out All Evil, performed by Roky Erickson with Okkervil River (ANTI-)
2010 Dan Morgenstern for The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946), performed by Louis Armstrong (Mosaic)
  • Mark Berresford for Dance-O-Mania: Harry Yerkes and the Dawn of the Jazz Age, 1919-1923, performed by The Happy Six (Rivermont)
  • Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson—Music from the Film, performed by Various Artists (Legacy)
  • Ed Cray and Bill Nowlin for My Dusty Road, performed by Woody Guthrie (Rounder)
  • Lloyd Ecker and Susan Ecker for Origins of the Red Hot Mama, 1910-1922, performed by Sophie Tucker (Archeophone)


Year Winner Nominations
2009 Francis Davis for Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition, performed by Miles Davis (Columbia/Legacy)
  • Art Rosenbaum for Art of Field Recording Volume I: Fifty Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum, performed by Various Artists (Dust-to-Digital)
  • Patrick Feaster and David Giovannoni for Debate '08: Taft and Bryan Campaign on the Edison Phonograph, performed by William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft (Archeophone)
  • David Ritz and Jerry Wexler for Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul, performed by Aretha Franklin (Rhino/Atlantic)
  • Henry "Hank" Sapoznik for The Unsung Father of Country Music: 1925-1934, performed by Ernest V. Stoneman (5-String)
2008 Bruce Nemerov for John Work III: Recording Black Culture, performed by Various Artists (Spring Fed)
2007 Dan Morgenstern for If You Got To Ask, You Ain't Got It!, performed by Fats Waller (Bluebird/Legacy)
  • Marshall Wyatt for Good for What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows, 1926-1937, performed by Various Artists (Old Hat)
  • Tim Brooks for Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry 1891-1922, performed by Various Artists (Archeophone)
  • David Ritz and Ben Edmonds for Pirate Radio, performed by The Pretenders (Rhino/Warner/Sire)
  • David Fricke for There Is a Season, performed by The Byrds (Columbia/Legacy)
2006 Alan Lomax and John Szwed for The Complete Library of Congress Recordings, performed by Jelly Roll Morton (Rounder)
  • Adam White for Heaven Must Have Sent You: The Holland/Dozier/Holland Story, performed by Various Artists (Hip-O)
  • Patrick Carr for The Legend, performed by Johnny Cash (Columbia/Legacy)
  • David Ritz for Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959) performed by Ray Charles (Atlantic/Rhino/Warner)
  • Henry "Hank" Sapoznik for You Ain't Talkin' to Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music, performed by Charlie Poole and Various Artists (Columbia/Legacy)
2005 Loren Schoenberg for The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra & Woodchoppers (1945-1947), performed by Woody Herman and His Orchestra (Mosaic)
2004 Tom Piazza for Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey, performed by Various Artists (Hip-O)
2003 David Evans for Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton, performed by Charlie Patton (Revenant)
2002 Walter Mosley for ...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992), performed by Richard Pryor (Warner Archives/Rhino)

Elijah Wald for Arhoolie Records 40th Anniversary Collection: 1960-2000 The Journey of Chris Strachwitz, performed by Various Artists (Arhoolie)
  • Mari Evans for The Long Road Back To Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music, performed by Various Artists (Buddha)
  • Gerald Early for Rhapsodies in Black: Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance, performed by Various Artists (Rhino)
  • Rob Bowman for The Stax Story, performed by Various Artists (Stax)
2001 Bob Blumenthal for The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961, performed by Miles Davis and John Coltrane (Columbia/Legacy)
2000 Bob Blumenthal for The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Recordings, performed by John Coltrane (Impulse!)
  • Rick Bragg for Live at The Grand Ole Opry, performed by Hank Williams (Mercury Nashville)
  • Rob Bowman for The Last Soul Company, performed by Various Artists (Malaco)
  • Daniel Cooper for The Complete Country & Western Recordings (1959-1986), performed by Ray Charles (Rhino)
  • Marc Kirkeby for Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century, performed by Various Artists (Sony)


Year Winner Nominations
1999 Bob Belden, Todd Coolman, and Michael Cuscuna for Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968, performed by the Miles Davis Quintet
  • Joel Dorn, Tom Dowd, Andrew Homzy, Patrick Milligan, Sue Mingus, Tina Marisa Rocchio, and Stefano Zenni for Passions of a Man: The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1956-1961, performed by Charles Mingus
  • Daniel Cooper & Colin Escott for The Complete Hank Williams, performed by Hank Williams
  • Bill Ivey, Bill C. Malone, Claudia Perry, John W. Rumble, and Ron Wynn for From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music, performed by Various Artists
  • Sedgwick Clark, Barbara Haws, Kurt Masur, Alan Rich, Robert Sherman, and Steven Smolian for The Historic Broadcasts 1923 to 1987, performed by the New York Philharmonic
1998 John Fahey, Luis Kemnitzer, Jon Pankake, Chuck Pirtle, Jeff Place, Neil V. Rosenberg, Luc Sante, Peter Stampfel, and Eric Von Schmidt for Anthology of American Folk Music, performed by Various Artists
1997 George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner, and Phil Schaap for Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings, performed by Miles Davis and Gil Evans
1996 Rob Bowman for The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975, performed by Various Artists
  • Geoffrey Mark Fidelman and James Gavin for Ella: The Legendary Decca Recordings, performed by Ella Fitzgerald
  • John Fricke for 25th Anniversary: Retrospective, performed by Judy Garland
  • Dan Morgenstern for I'll Be Seeing You: A Tribute to Carmen McRae, performed by Carmen McRae
  • Dan Morgenstern for Let's Do It: Best of the Verve Years, performed by Louis Armstrong
1995 Dan Morgenstern and Loren Schoenberg for Louis Armstrong: Portrait of the Artists as a Young Man, 1923-1934, performed by Louis Armstrong
1994 Buck Clayton, Phil Schaap, and Joel E. Siegel for The Complete Billie Holliday on Verve 1945-1959, performed by Billie Holiday
1993 Dave Marsh, Jerry Wexler, David Ritz, Thulani Davis, Ahmet Ertegün, Tom Down, and Arif Mardin for Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings, performed by Aretha Franklin
1992 James Brown, Cliff White, Harry Weinger, Nelson George, and Alan M. Leeds for Star Time, performed by James Brown
1991 Dan Morgenstern for Brownie: The Complete Emarcy Recordings of Clifford Brown, performed by Clifford Brown
1990 Phil Schaap for Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve, performed by Charlie Parker
  • Dwight Blocker Bowers for American Musical Theatre: Shows, Songs and Stars, performed by Various Artists
  • Gene Lees for The Complete Fantasy Recordings performed by Bill Evans
  • Howard Wright Marshall, Amy E. Skillman, and Charles Walden for Now That's a Good Tune, performed by Masters of Traditional Missouri Fiddling
  • Martin Williams, Dick Katz & Francis Davis for Jazz Piano 1898-1964, performed by Various Artists


Year Winner Nominations
1989 Anthony DeCurtis for Crossroads performed by Eric Clapton
1988 Orrin Keepnews for The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings, performed by Thelonious Monk
  • Peter Guralnick for The Complete Sun Sessions, performed by Elvis Presley
  • Nolan Porterfield for Jimmie Rodgers on Record: America's Blue Yodeler, performed by Jimmie Rodgers
  • Mark Tucker for Singers and Soloists of the Swing Bands, performed by Various Artists
  • Charles K. Wolfe for The Bristol Sessions, performed by Various Artists
1987 Gary Giddins, Wilfrid Sheed, Jonathan Schwartz, Murray Kempton, Andrew Sarris, Stephen Holden, and Frank Conroy for The Voice: The Columbia Years 1943–1952, performed by Frank Sinatra
1986 Peter Guralnick for Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, performed by Sam Cooke
  • Lenny Kaye for Bleecker and McDougal: The Folk Scene of the 1960s, performed by Various Artists
  • Lenny Kaye for Crossroads: White Blues in the 1960s, performed by Various Artists
  • James R. Morris, J.R. Taylor, and Dwight Blocker Bowers for American Popular Song, performed by Various Artists
  • Neil Tesser for The Girl from Ipanema: The Bossa Nova Years, performed by Stan Getz
1985 Gunther Schuller and Martin Williams for Big Band Jazz, performed by Various Artists
1984 Orrin Keepnews for The "Interplay" Sessions, performed by Bill Evans
1983 John Chilton and Richard Sudhalter for Giants of Jazz: Bunny Berigan, performed by Bunny Berigan
  • Gary Giddins for Duke Ellington 1941, performed by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
  • Thornton Hagert for An Experiment in Modern Music: Paul Whiteman at Aeolian Hall, performed by Paul Whiteman
  • William Ivey for The Greatest Country Music Recordings of All Time, performed by Various Artists
  • William Ivey and Bob Pinson for 60 Years of Country Music, performed by Various Artists
  • Robert Palmer for Young Blood, performed by The Coasters
1982 Dan Morgenstern for Erroll Garner: Master of the Keyboard, performed by Erroll Garner
  • C.P. Crumpacker for The Mario Lanza Collection, performed by Mario Lanza
  • John McDonough for Giants of Jazz: Pee Wee Russell, performed by Pee Wee Russell
  • David Thompson and Philip W. Payne for Giants of Jazz: Fats Waller, performed by Fats Waller
  • Dick Wellstood, Willa Rouder, and Frank Kappler for Giants of Jazz: James P. Johnson, performed by James P. Johnson
1981 David McClintock for Trilogy: Past Present Future, performed by Frank Sinatra
1980 Bob Porter & James Patrick for Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy Sessions, performed by Charlie Parker
  • Melvin Maddocks for Giants of Jazz: Billie Holiday, performed by Billie Holiday
  • Dan Morgenstern and Stanley Dance for Giants of Jazz: Duke Ellington, performed by Duke Ellington
  • Dick Schory for The Magical Music of Walt Disney by Various Artists
  • Richard M. Sudhalter for Hoagy Carmichael: A Legendary Performer and Composer, performed by Hoagy Carmichael


Year Winner Nominations
1979 Michael Brooks for A Bing Crosby Collection, Volumes 1 and 2, performed by Bing Crosby
1978 George T. Simon for Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer, performed by Bing Crosby
1977 Dan Morgenstern for The Changing Face of Harlem: Savoy Sessions, performed by Various Artists
1976 (Classical) Gunther Schuller for Footlifters: A Century of American Marches, performed by Gunther Schuller conducting the All-Star Band
1976 (Non-Classical) Pete Hamill for Blood on the Tracks, performed by Bob Dylan
1975 (Classical) Rory Guy for The Classic Erich Wolfgang Korngold, conducted by Willy Mattes with a solo by Ulf Hoelscher
1975 (Non-Classical) Charles R. Townsend, For the Last Time, performed by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Dan Morgenstern for The Hawk Flies, performed by Coleman Hawkins
1974 (Classical) Glenn Gould for Hindemith: Sonatas for Piano Complete, performed by the Villa Musica Ensemble
1974 (Non-Classical) Dan Morgenstern for God Is in the House, performed by Art Tatum
1973 (Classical) James Lyons for Vaughn Williams: Symphony No. 2 ("A London Symphony"), performed by André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra
1973 (Non-Classical) Tom T. Hall for Tom T. Hall's Greatest Hits, performed by Tom T. Hall
1972 Sam Samudio for Sam, Hard and Heavy, performed by Sam the Sham
1971 Chris Albertson for The World's Greatest Blues Singer, performed by Bessie Smith
1970 Johnny Cash for Nashville Skyline, performed by Bob Dylan


Year Winner Nominations
1969 Johnny Cash for At Folsom Prison, performed by Johnny Cash
1968 John D. Loudermilk for Suburban Attitudes in Country Verse, performed by John D. Loudermilk
1967 Stan Cornyn for Sinatra at the Sands, performed by Frank Sinatra
1966 Stan Cornyn for September of My Years, performed by Frank Sinatra
1965 Stanton Catlin and Carleton Beals for Mexico (Legacy Collection), performed by Carlos Chávez
1964 Leonard Feather and Stanley Dance for The Ellington Era, performed by Duke Ellington


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