Janet Fraser Crook, director of the long-running BBC2 live performance music series “Later With Jools Holland,” was last night (Nov. 23) named Woman of the Year at a ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hotel. She was presented with her award by Sharleen Spiteri, frontwoman with long-running Scottish chart band Texas.
A short film about Fraser Crook’s work was screened at the ceremony, including tributes from Holland, artist Paul Weller and “Later” executive producer Mark Cooper. The series is now approaching its 14th anniversary as the only regular showcase of live music on adult terrestrial television. Fraser Crook’s credits also include numerous other live television shows, such as the Classical Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize. The main award was sponsored by the Mean Fiddler Organization and MCD Productions.
Also honored on the night was Washington, D.C.-born Tina Waters, who was presented with the outstanding contribution title (sponsored by telephone company 02) by Oasis’ manager Marcus Russell of Ignition Management. Waters moved to London in 1989 and subsequently founded the Tour Company, which handles travel and accommodation for touring artists and works with managers, agents and others. Paying a general tribute to females in the music industry as well as to Waters in particular, Russell commented: “Women have contributed significantly to the stability and success of my bands.”
The accolade award was presented to Caroline Elleray, head of A&R at Sony BMG Publishing, by Richard Hughes of Keane, one of the bands she signed. “She’s our publisher but she’s also our friend,” said Hughes. Elleray’s other signings include Coldplay and Massive Attack. EMI’s Deby Fairley won the special achievement award, presented by Parlophone/EMI artist Beverley Knight, for Fairley’s organizational work at EMI artist showcases, conferences and parties.
The ceremony is in its 11th year, and has now raised more than £500,000 ($860,000) for its designated charities, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the BRIT Trust. Most of the awards are chosen by a voluntary committee of some 15 female industry members; the special achievement title has the year-round input of an academy of almost 200, from such fields as publishing, retail and distribution.