By Jimmy Webb, Chairman
I’m very excited to be taking on the role of your new Chairman, and I’m looking forward to working with the Board of Directors. I am humbled to be in this position, especially as I think about those who have had the job before me. I would not be here without Hal David, nor would I have taken the job without his urging and enthusiastic support. I am making the SHOF my personal priority as we move forward into an exciting future.
In 2010, we opened our first physical presence; the SHOF Gallery at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. This was just a beginning, as we gain momentum with a combination of our essential programs, the comprehensive songhall.org website, and Annual Awards Gala, where we honor the current slate of inductees and awardees.
The 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards Gala took place Thursday, June 16th at the New York Marriott Marquis, and was our most memorable yet! You will find coverage in the news section of our website along with a slideshow of photos sampling just a few of the significant moments.
As previously announced, our esteemed slate of 2011 inductees included: John Bettis, Garth Brooks, Leon Russell, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly and Allen Toussaint. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award and Hal David was given the first ever Visionary Leadership Award. The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award recipient was Chaka Kahn, the Hal David Starlight Award was presented to Drake, and “It Was A Very Good Year,” written by Ervin Drake was honored as the Towering Song. Phil Ramone once again produced the Gala.
In March, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, Concord Records and the GRAMMY Museum in LA hosted a special screening of the movie Troubadours, with a panel comprised of director Morgan Neville, songwriter JD Souther, photographer Henry Diltz, musician/composer Leland Sklar, drummer/producer Russ Kunkel and panel moderator Scott Goldman in discussion directly afterward. There will be many more events to come, and the SHOF Gallery at the GRAMMY Museum is a must-see stop for our West Coast members, along with those who are just visiting LA.
Now is the time of year for membership renewals and I genuinely hope that, if you are already a member, you will renew your membership and continue to be a part of our family. If you are not yet a member, as you can see, there has never been a better time to be a part of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Joining and renewing are fast and easy in the songhall.org website “join” section.