AKRON, Ohio - The Black Keys, featuring two dynamic rockers from Akron, cleaned up at the Grammy awards Sunday night, winning four Grammys, including best rock song, Lonely Boy, and best rock album, El Camino.
Singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Pat Carney have rocketed to super-stardom status since 2011 when The Black Keys won their first three Grammys.
During an acceptance speech for best rock performance on Sunday, Auerbach gave a shout-out to "everyone, in Akron, Ohio." They also electrified the crowd with a version of Lonely Boy that included Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Carney's father, Jim Carney, is a reporter for The Akron Beacon Journal and watched the awards show with his wife and some friends.
"That shout-out to Akron meant a lot. It really meant a lot. I was so glad that they did that," Jim said.
Jim said the big night for The Black Keys actually started before the televised, star-studded event.
Pat sent a text message to his dad that read, "Just one two Grammys." Jim, who had been monitoring the awards on his iPad, responded, "I know!! Just watched!!!"
Jim's head was spinning on Monday as he was bombarded with media requests to talk about Pat. The enormous fame of his child still seems surreal.
"I am starting to understand that it has happened. I'm starting to get that," Jim said.
The duo has come a long way since the days of jamming in various Akron basements and clubs.
Jim said he always thought Dan and Pat made "really good music", but cautioned Pat when he decided to drop out of college so he could devote more time to the band.
"I said, 'Well, I understand, but geez, I think you need a degree. I think you need to maybe stay in school.' My dad, bless his heart, he said, 'I think Patrick ought to not stay in school and work on this.'"
Pat once worked as a short-order cook at Gasoline Alley, a restaurant in Bath Township.
The owner, Susan Thompson, recalled a day when she tried to convince Pat to work more hours.
"I wanted him to work more and he said, 'Well, I really want to devote more time to my music.' And, I said, 'Come on, Patrick. I need you.'"
Both band members are graduates of Firestone High School in Akron and are pictured along the building's wall of fame.
Jim Dauphin, a visual art teacher, had Carney and Auerbach in class together.
Dauphin said Carney was "the class clown" and Auerbach was the more reserved student.
"It blows me away. I'm happy for them. It's an amazing success story and they put on a really good show last night," Dauphin said.
If you've ever wondered how The Black Keys got their name, click on the video player and hear the interesting explanation from Jim Carney.
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