Grammys producer: Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars among show's 'keepers of the flame'

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Let’s stay on the hay wagon: What does the Grammy show on Sunday night have as far as the country music front?
Well, at a time when so much of country music is Southern rock redux, we have Miranda [Lambert] and Dierks [Bentley] doing these two plaintive country songs that throwbacks to like a Loretta Lynn, and for him, well, I won’t say Hank Williams, but it goes to the tradition that followed him. There’s new layers and new voices there but they’re classic. Is it maybe not such a good thing? I don’t know, but in a way it’s probably what makes my show so watchable.

It could be just the emphasis that comes with the presentation — put the generations side-by-side and you’ll look for the contrasts and connections?
I don’t set out to do that, but it comes around to this a lot. Look, Frank Ocean loves Bill Withers, that would have been a great one to make happen and it would have been great. You can look at it two different ways. Either pop music is not progressing much, or there’s a really great rebirth of a golden era. Not the golden era of Gershwin and Rodgers and Hart, but it’s other golden era, the R&B and soul and early rock ‘n’ roll and pop. Are we stuck or we just moving through again?

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