Keith Richard’s ‘Life’ wins top Award at the 2011 Audies


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On Tuesday night the Audio Publishers Association held its 16th annual Audies Gala in New York City. The press release says the event is often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the spoken word entertainment.’ I’m not sure about that, but it is an awards ceremony that honors audio books in 30 different categories including Multi-Voiced Performance, Audiobook Adaptation, Humor and Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction.

The Audiobook of the Year award went to one of the year’s highest profile audiobooks-- ‘Life,’ the best selling autobiography of Keith Richards, narrated by Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley with Keith Richards (Hachette Audio). The Audies jury selected the book in part because it introduced new audiences to the audio-book format.


Alan Cumming won the award for Solo Narration-Male for his reading of the children’s book ‘Zorgamazoo’ by Robert Paul Weston, and Emma Thompson won the Narration By the Author prize for her reading of ‘Nanny McPhee Returns.’ ‘Old Jews Telling Jokes’ edited by Sam Hoffman and Eric Spiegelman and narrated by Sam Hoffman with Eric Spiegelman and an ensemble cast beat out David Sedaris’s ‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary’ read by David Sedaris, Elaine Stritch, Dylan Baker and Siân Phillips among others.

The Distinguished Achievement in Production award—which honors a production that shows off the best the medium has to offer in listening experience went to ‘Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices’ by Walter Dean Myers and narrated by a large cast. A spokesperson for the event wrote, ‘This celebration of Harlem beautifully presented by 13 distinguished narrators was accompanied by jazz music and sound effects to add to the sense of time and place, and impressed the Audies jury.’

For more information on the awards, the winners, and to hear sound clips, go to


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--Deborah Netburn