award envelope

With so many Awards ceremonies currently dominating the airwaves, we at Circles Magazine went back to a much more simpler time and examined the oldest and best-known Awards ceremonies created.  Here are some Awards ceremonies that you may have heard of.

The Grammy AwardsGRAMMY AWARD

     The Grammy Awards, founded in the late 1950’s, recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry.  The nationally televised event features performances by prominent artists, as well as new up-and-coming talent.

     The Grammy Award itself was first called “The Eddie”, to honor Thomas Edison, the inventor of the Phonograph.  However; it was later decided the name “Grammy”; named for the Gramophone invented by Emile Berliner; would be more fitting.

     The Grammy Award is hand-made and assembled by Billings Artworks in Ridgeway, Colorado.  In 1990, The Grammy Award design was revamped, to make the award less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and larger.

     Fun Fact:  The trophies with the names of the actual winners engraved are not available until after the award announcements, so “stunt” trophies are used each year for the broadcast.

The Tony Awardstony award

     The Tony Awards are named for Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who co-founded The American Theater Wing and are annually given for excellence in live Broadway Theater.  The first awards ceremony was held April 6, 1947 at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  Presently, a panel of 700 judges from various entertainment and press careers nominate and cast their votes on the winners of each category.  In the first two Tony Awards ceremonies (1947 and 1948); prizes were given to award winners.  Men received money clips and women received scroll cigarette lighters and articles of jewelry; such as 14k gold compacts and bracelets. 

     The first Tony Award Medallion was given in 1949.  The Award was designed by art director Herman Rosse.  The medallion face is an adaptation of the comedy and tragedy masks used in theater.

     Since 1967, the ceremony has broadcast annually in the United States.

Some memorable Tony wins:  The first African-American to win Best Performance by a leading actress in a play:  Phylicia Rashad for “ A Raisin in the Sun” in 2004.

The first Asian-American to win Best Play:  David Henry Hwang for “Madame Butterfly” in 1988.


The Academy Awardsacademy award

     The Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars are a set of awards given for excellence in achievement in film.  The Academy Awards are organized and overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and are given annually in a nationally televised ceremony.

     The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and consisted of 270 people.  The post-academy awards party was held The Mayfair Hotel, and the cost of tickets for the ceremony was $5.  15 statuettes were awarded and the ceremony lasted for 15 minutes.

     Did you know?  The Oscar statuette was modeled after Emilio “El Indio” Fernandez, a Mexican film director.

The Emmy Awardsemmy award

     The first Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, also known as the ATAS.  It was broadcasted to honor shows produced and aired locally in the Los Angeles area and it was only later in the 1950’s that it became a national event.

     In 1955, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) was formed as a sister organization.  The NATAS established regional chapters, which each contained their own local Emmy Awards.  Originally, there was only one Emmy Awards Ceremony which was held once a year.  In 1974, a separate Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremony was broadcasted for daytime programming.       


     The International Emmy Awards was also established in the early 1970’s

     The Emmy Awards are typically held in mid-September, on the Sunday before the official start of the fall television season.  The Emmy Awards are aired on all major television networks.

     The Emmy Statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948.  McManus utilized his wife as the model for the design.

Did You Know?  The Emmy Statuette must ALWAYS appear facing LEFT and any copyright notice for the statue must read ATAS/NATAS.


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