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Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album
""A gold gramophone trophy with a plaque set on a table
Gilded gramophone trophy presented to Grammy Award winners
Awarded for quality spoken word albums
Country United States
Presented by "National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1959
Last awarded 2017

The "Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album has been awarded since 1959. The award had several minor name changes:

The category now also includes audio books, poetry readings and story telling.

Three "US Presidents have won the award: "Jimmy Carter, "Bill Clinton and "Barack Obama, along with spoken recordings of "John F. Kennedy and "Franklin D. Roosevelt. Four "U.S. Senators have won: "Barack Obama, "Everett Dirksen, "Al Franken, and "Hillary Clinton.

Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for a recording released in the previous year. Winners are indicated in boldface.



Year Album Performer Author
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox "Carol Burnett
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo "Amy Schumer
M Train "Patti Smith
Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk Various Performers; "John Doe, Tom DeSavia, Scott Sherratt & Dan Zitt (producers)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink "Elvis Costello
A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety "Jimmy Carter
Blood on Snow "Patti Smith "Jo Nesbø
Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks "Dick Cavett
"Patience and Sarah "Janis Ian & "Jean Smart "Isabel Miller
"Yes Please "Amy Poehler
Diary of a Mad Diva "Joan Rivers (2015 Nominations list did not credit any author)
Actors Anonymous "James Franco
A Call to Action "Jimmy Carter
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America "John Waters
A Fighting Chance "Elizabeth Warren
We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration and The Power of Song "Gloria Gaynor
"America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't "Stephen Colbert (2014 Nominations list did not credit any author)
Carrie and Me "Carol Burnett
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls "David Sedaris
Still Foolin' Em "Billy Crystal
The Storm King "Pete Seeger
Society's Child "Janis Ian Janis Ian
"American Grown Scott Creswell and Dan Zitt* "Michelle Obama
"Back to Work "Bill Clinton Bill Clinton
"Drift "Rachel Maddow Rachel Maddow
Seriously…I'm Kidding "Ellen DeGeneres Ellen DeGeneres
If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won't) "Betty White Betty White
"Bossypants "Tina Fey Tina Fey
Fab Fan Memories: The Beatles Bond Nathan Burbank, Bryan Cumming, Dennis Scott, and David Toledo*
"Hamlet Dan Donohue "William Shakespeare
The Mark of Zorro "Val Kilmer and cast "Yuri Rasovsky
"Earth (The Audiobook) "Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show staff Jon Stewart and The Daily Show staff
"American on Purpose "Craig Ferguson Craig Ferguson
"The Bedwetter "Sarah Silverman Sarah Silverman
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future… "Michael J. Fox Michael J. Fox
This Time Together "Carol Burnett Carol Burnett
The Woody Allen Collection "Woody Allen Woody Allen
Always Looking Up "Michael J. Fox Michael J. Fox
The Lincoln–Douglas Debates "Richard Dreyfuss and "David Strathairn "Abraham Lincoln and "Stephen A. Douglas
"Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon "Yuri Rasovsky and Josh Stanton* "Dashiell Hammett
A Very Special Time "Jonathan Winters Jonathan Winters
"We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land "Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter
"Wishful Drinking "Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher

* Album producers; performed by various artists.


Year Album Performer Author
"An Inconvenient Truth "Beau Bridges, "Cynthia Nixon, and "Blair Underwood "Al Gore
"Born Standing Up "Steve Martin Steve Martin
"I Am America (and So Can You!) "Stephen Colbert and "The Colbert Report cast Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report cast
Life Beyond Measure "Sidney Poitier Sidney Poitier
"When You Are Engulfed in Flames "David Sedaris Davis Sedaris
"The Audacity of Hope "Barack Obama Barack Obama
Celebrations "Maya Angelou Maya Angelou
"Giving "Bill Clinton Bill Clinton
Sunday Mornings in Plains "Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself "Alan Alda Alan Alda
"Our Endangered Values "Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter
With Ossie and Ruby "Ossie Davis and "Ruby Dee Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! "Bob Newhart Bob Newhart
"New Rules "Bill Maher Bill Maher
"The Truth (with Jokes) "Al Franken Al Franken
"Dreams from My Father "Barack Obama Barack Obama
The Adventures of Guy Noir "Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor
The Al Franken Show Party Album "Al Franken Al Franken
Chronicles - Volume One "Sean Penn "Bob Dylan
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? "George Carlin George Carlin
"My Life "Bill Clinton Bill Clinton
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim "David Sedaris David Sedaris
Live & Kickin' at the National Storytelling Festival David Holt & Zeb Holt David Holt & Zeb Holt
The Pleasure of My Company "Steve Martin Steve Martin
The World According to Mr. Rogers Tyne Daly, John Lithgow, Joanne Rogers, Lily Tomlin & Andre Watts Fred Rogers
"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them "Al Franken Al Franken
Fear Itself "Don Cheadle "Walter Mosley
"Living History "Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection "Nikki Giovanni Nikki Giovanni
"When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden "Bill Maher Bill Maher
"A Song Flung Up to Heaven "Maya Angelou Maya Angelou
"The Great Gatsby "Tim Robbins "F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The Kid Stays in the Picture "Robert Evans Robert Evans
Lucky Man "Michael J. Fox Michael J. Fox
Nothing Is Impossible "Christopher Reeve Christopher Reeve
Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones "Quincy Jones Quincy Jones
An Hour Before Sunlight "Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter
Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 "Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor
"Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain "Carl Reiner "Mark Twain
War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars Various artists including "Rob Lowe, "Noah Wyle, "Joan Allen & "Tom Brokaw; narrated by "Harry Smith "Andrew Carroll (editor)
"The Measure of a Man "Sidney Poitier Sidney Poitier
The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets Various artists including "Kathleen Turner, "Patrick Stewart & "Al Pacino "William Shakespeare
Married to Laughter: A Love Story "Jerry Stiller & "Anne Meara Jerry Stiller
"On the Road "Matt Dillon "Jack Kerouac
"Shopgirl "Steve Martin Steve Martin
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. "LeVar Burton Martin Luther King
The Chieftains: The Unauthorized Biography "Nanci Griffith "John Glatt
The Diaries of Adam & Eve: Translated by Mark Twain "Mandy Patinkin & "Betty Buckley with "Walter Cronkite "Mark Twain
Merle Haggard's My House of Memories "Merle Haggard Merle Haggard & Tom Carter
"'Tis "Frank McCourt Frank McCourt


Year Winner Work Nominations Ref.
"1999 "Christopher Reeve "Still Me
  • "Toni Morrison for "Beloved
  • David Holt & Bill Mooney for Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends
  • Jimmy Carter for The Virtues of Aging
  • Garrison Keillor for Wobegon Boy
"1998 "Charles Kuralt Charles Kuralt's Spring
  • Jodie Foster for Contact
  • Maya Angelou for Even the Stars Look Lonesome
  • Jimmy Carter for Living Faith
  • Walter Cronkite for A Reporter's Life
"1997 "Hillary Clinton "It Takes a Village
  • Garrison Keillor for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • "Charles Kuralt for Charles Kuralt's America
  • Edward Asner, Ellen Burstyn, CCH Pounder & Alfre Woodard for Grow Old Along with Me, The Best Is Yet to Be
  • Lauren Bacall, Martin Landau, Jack Lemmon & Gregory Peck for Harry S Truman: A Journey to Independence
"1996 "Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman [4]
"1995 "Henry Rollins "Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag [5]
"1994 Maya Angelou "On the Pulse of Morning [6]
"1993 "Earvin "Magic" Johnson & Robert O'Keefe What You Can Do to Avoid AIDS [7]
"1992 "Ken Burns "The Civil War [8]
"1991 "George Burns "Gracie – A Love Story [9]
"1990 "Gilda Radner It's Always Something [10]


Year Winner Work Performer Nominations Ref.
"1989 "Jesse Jackson Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson same as winner [11]
"1988 "Garrison Keillor "Lake Wobegon Days same as winner [12]
"1987 "Johnny Cash, "Jerry Lee Lewis, "Chips Moman, "Ricky Nelson, "Roy Orbison, "Carl Perkins & "Sam Phillips Interviews From the Class of '55 Recording Sessions same as winner [13]
"1986 "Mike Berniker (producer) & the original Broadway cast "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom same as winner
  • "Alan Arkin for Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • "Dick Cavett for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • "John Le Carre for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
  • "Philip Roth for Zuckerman Bound by Philip Roth
"1985 "Ben Kingsley The Words of Gandhi same as winner [15]
"1984 "William Warfield "Copland: "A Lincoln Portrait same as winner [16]
"1983 Tom Voegeli (producer) "Raiders of the Lost Ark - The Movie on Record Various Artists [17]
"1982 "Orson Welles "Donovan's Brain same as winner [18]
"1981 "Pat Carroll "Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein same as winner
  • "Mahalia Jackson for I Sing Because I'm Happy, Vols. 1 and 2
  • Original cast with narration - Adventures of Luke Skywalker: The Empire Strikes Back
  • "Orson Welles for Obediently Yours/Orson Welles
  • "Peter Ustinov for A Curb in the Sky (James Thurber)
"1980 "John Gielgud "Ages of Man Ages of Man - Readings From "Shakespeare same as winner [20]


Year Winner Work Performer Nominations Ref.
"1979 "Orson Welles "Citizen Kane Original Motion Picture Soundtrack same as winner [21]
"1978 "Julie Harris "The Belle of Amherst same as winner [22]
"1977 "Henry Fonda, "Helen Hayes, "James Earl Jones & "Orson Welles Great American Documents same as winner [23]
"1976 "James Whitmore "Give 'em Hell, Harry! same as winner [24]
"1975 "Peter Cook & "Dudley Moore Good Evening same as winner [25]
"1974 "Richard Harris "Jonathan Livingston Seagull same as winner [26]
"1973 "Bruce Botnick (producer) Lenny The Original Broadway cast [27]
"1972 "Les Crane "Desiderata same as winner [28]
"1971 "Martin Luther King, Jr. Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam same as winner
  • "Apollo 8, "11, "12 astronauts, Presidents "Kennedy and "Nixon for In the Beginning
  • Ambrose, Dryden, Hecht, Molloy, Seeger for Poems and Ballads from 100-Plus American Poets
  • "Bill Cosby for Grover Henson Feels Forgotten
  • "Everett Dirksen for Everett Dirksen's America
"1970 "Art Linkletter & "Diane Linkletter We Love You Call Collect same as winner [30]


Year Winner Work Performer Nominations Ref.
"1969 "Rod McKuen Lonesome Cities same as winner [31]
"1968 "Everett Dirksen Gallant Men same as winner [32]
"1967 "Edward R. Murrow Edward R. Murrow - A Reporter Remembers, Vol. I The War Years same as winner [33]
"1966 "Goddard Lieberson (producer) John F. Kennedy - As We Remember Him same as winner [34]
"1965 "That Was The Week That Was BBC Tribute to John F. Kennedy The That Was the Week That Was cast [35]
"1964 "Edward Albee (playwright) "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? "Melinda Dillon, "George Grizzard, "Uta Hagen & "Arthur Hill [36]
"1963 "Charles Laughton The Story-Teller: A Session With Charles Laughton same as winner [37]
"1962 "Leonard Bernstein Humor in Music same as winner [38]
"1961 Robert Bialek FDR Speaks same as winner [39]


Year Winner Work Performer Nominations Ref.
"1959 "Carl Sandburg A Lincoln Portrait same as winner [40]
"1959 "Stan Freberg The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows same as winner [41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1999 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ "1998 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ "1997 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "1996 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "1995 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "1994 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "1993 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "1992 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "1991 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  10. ^ "1990 Grammy Awards". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1989 - Grammy Award Winners 1989". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1988 - Grammy Award Winners 1988". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1987 - Grammy Award Winners 1987". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1986 - Grammy Award Winners 1986". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1985 - Grammy Award Winners 1985". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1984 - Grammy Award Winners 1984". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1983 - Grammy Award Winners 1983". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1982 - Grammy Award Winners 1982". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1981 - Grammy Award Winners 1981". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1980 - Grammy Award Winners 1980". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1979 - Grammy Award Winners 1979". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1978 - Grammy Award Winners 1978". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1977 - Grammy Award Winners 1977". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1976 - Grammy Award Winners 1976". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Grammy Awards Nominee 1975 - Grammy Award Winners 1975". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1974 - Grammy Award Winners 1974". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1973 - Grammy Award Winners 1973". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1972 - Grammy Award Winners 1972". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1971 - Grammy Award Winners 1971". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Grammy Award Ceremony 1970 - Grammy Award Winners 1970". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Grammy Awards Nominees 1969 - Grammy Award Winners 1969". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1968 - Grammy Award Winners 1968". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Grammy Awards Nominees 1967 - Grammy Award Winners 1967". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Grammy Awards Nominees 1966 - Grammy Award Winners 1966". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1965 - Grammy Award Winners 1965". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1964 - Grammy Award Winners 1964". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1963 - Grammy Award Winners 1963". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1962 - Grammy Award Winners 1962". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Grammy Awards 1961". IndiaServer. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Grammy Awards 1959". IndiaServer. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1959 (May) - Grammy Award Winners 1959 (May)". Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
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