Ampex Golden Reel Award

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Ampex Golden Reel Award
Awarded for Gold records recorded and mixed on Ampex magnetic tape
Sponsored by Ampex Corporation

The Ampex Golden Reel Award was an international music award for studio albums and singles that were recorded and mixed entirely on Ampex audio tape, and which subsequently sold enough units to achieve gold record status in its country of origin.[1] In the United States, gold record status requires sales of 500,000 units, as verified by the Recording Industry Association of America.

When an album or single won the award, one Golden Reel commemorative plaque was given to the musical group/artist, and another to the recording studio.[2] Ampex also made a donation to a charity chosen by the group or artist who received the award.[1][2] They presented the first Golden Reel in 1977, and the 500th in 1986.[1][3] During that period, the amount of each donation was US$1,000.[1] When the 1977 film soundtrack Saturday Night Fever won the Bee Gees their third Golden Reel Award, the band chose to give the money to the Bertha Abbess Children's Center.[4] When Ampex awarded the 250th Golden Reel to US rock band Journey for their 1981 album Escape, the band's chosen charity was the T. J. Martell Leukemia Foundation.[3] The 500th musical act to receive the award was Kool & the Gang, for their 1984 album Emergency.[1]

Some other award recipients from the United States were Crystal Gayle, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Roberta Flack, Maze, Con Funk Shun, Instant Funk, The Isley Brothers, Kansas, Grover Washington, Jr., Donna Summer, and Midnight Star.[2][5][6] A few of the recipients from other countries were Pink Lady in Japan, Supertramp in the UK, and Mango Groove in South Africa.[2][7]

Only one gospel music album ever qualified for the award: Cristy Lane's One Day at a Time (1981). Sales of the album had surged in 1986, owing to a telemarketing campaign orchestrated by her husband.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Ampex Corporation (November 15, 1986). "500 Golden Reel Awards, 500 Golden Opportunities". Billboard. p. 55. Retrieved 2017-11-22 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d "Streisand: 130th Ampex Golden Reel". Billboard. October 27, 1979. p. 56. Retrieved 2017-11-22 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "Escape Rings Bell: Journey Given 250th Golden Reel by Ampex". Billboard. December 26, 1981. p. 62. Retrieved 2017-11-22 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Bilyeu, Melinda; Cook, Hector; Hughes, Andrew Môn (2013) [2001]. The Ultimate Biography of the Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb (3rd ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 761. ISBN 978-0-85712-894-2. OCLC 1004161732. Retrieved 2017-11-22 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Kirby, Kip (July 7, 1979). "Gayle Grabs Golden Reel Second Time". Billboard. p. 40. Retrieved 2017-11-22 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Barber, Marchel'le Renise (September 1985). "Midnight Star's Cincinnati Invasion". Cincinnati. p. 14 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Reflecting the Past and the Future". Mayibuye: The Journal of the African National Congress: 43. April 1991 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ McNeil, W. K., ed. (2013) [2005]. "Lane, Cristy". Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music. Routledge. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-135-37707-6 – via Google Books.
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