Q: Do you know if the Beatles and Bee Gees "Grammy Salute" TV specials will ever be released on DVD or Blu-ray?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Unfortunately, I don't know, and neither does the Recording Academy (a.k.a. the Grammys).

In 2014, CBS aired "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles," and it followed that up earlier this year with "Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees." Both specials were ratings hits, but neither has been released on home video.

As is so often the case with music programming, the problem is apparently with publishing rights. Though the specials only featured songs by two bands, they included performances by literally dozens of major artists, all with their own publishing deals to navigate.

The people at the Recording Academy discussed the difficulties related to releasing the Beatles special in a Q&A section of their website (a very handy format, if I do say so myself). They say, in a statement loaded down with Beatles puns, that it's basically out of their hands.

"If this historic show was released on CD or DVD, we'd be listening and watching eight days a week. But, a release is subject to many artist approvals and rights clearances. Our hope is that it eventually will happen, so here's hoping we can work it out."

These rights issues haven't prevented CBS from making the Bee Gees special available in full on its website (though the same kind of rights issues means it's only viewable in the U.S.). 

They also didn't prevent a DVD release of the similarly star-studded "We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston," which aired on CBS in 2012.  


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