Sir Tom Jones To Receive Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award
NEW YORK, N.Y. – APRIL 22, 2009 - Hal David, Chairman/CEO of The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF), today announced that Sir Tom Jones will be this year’s recipient of the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary Awards dinner, slated for Thursday, June 18th, at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.
“Sir Tom represents the perfect choice as a recipient of our Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award,” Hal David commented. “We are looking forward to applauding his exceptional staying power and accomplishments, along with his unique artistry.”
For more than five decades, Tom Jones has remained an iconic figure and a living legend in music. Since the mid-’60s, Jones has sold over 100 million records, singing nearly every form of popular music from pop, rock and show tunes to country, dance, and techno. His string of hits reads like a Who’s Who, including Jones’ signature song “It’s Not Unusual;” What’s New Pussycat?,” written by Burt Bacharach and SHOF Chairman/CEO Hal David; “Thunderball,” the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name; “Green Green Grass of Home,” his highest-charting U.S. single; “She’s A Lady;” “Delilah;” “Help Yourself;” “A Boy From Nowhere” and more. In 1965, Jones garnered the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
From 1976-1985 Tom Jones landed 16 singles on the Billboard Country Music chart, the biggest of which was “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow” (# 1 Country, # 15 Pop). In the year 2000 — his 35th in the business— the single “Sex Bomb” from his 5 million-plus selling album Reload was certified by the IFPI as the most-played record on radio in Europe and #3 in sales. In the same year he was awarded a BRIT Award for Best Male, an Echo Award (Germany) and Amigo Award (Spain) for “Best International Male”, an NRJ Award (France) for “Best International Act” and an IFPI 2x Platinum Award for sales of Reload (#8 sales at year end) in Europe. In 2003, Jones was honored with a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
Not only has Tom Jones found success throughout his recording career, but he is also known for his live performances. In 1967, he played his first show in Las Vegas where he has honored engagements without interruption for 42 years. From 1969-1971, he starred in the spectacular This Is Tom Jones, an internationally successful TV variety show produced in both Los Angeles and London. Since the start of his career and without fail he has played continuously to a wide variety of audiences in venues from clubs to arenas in every viable territory around the world, garnering rave reviews:
“[His] strategic secret is that while he has a big voice, he applies it lightly, even glancingly, opening it up only at peak moments. His set at Terminal 5 was a one-man variety show…and he sang..with knowing smiles and rakish aplomb”
Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“Few performers can keep up with Tom Jones. His sold out show….left little doubt that Jones is a man who knows how to live. Screaming females don’t dominate his audience nowadays….there seemed to be as many guys on hand looking to absorb a bit of his mojo”
Brett Milano, Boston Herald
The man who is arguably one of the best interpreters of any song he chooses to sing regardless of genre has now, at last, turned songwriter. For the first time in his career, Tom has had a major hand in writing most of the songs collected in his newest release entitled 24 Hours:
“What a triumph for the 68-year-old Welsh crooner…..beautifully crafted….addictive. This is Jones’ first US release in 15 years, and he’s saved the best for us. The voice is lush and unwavering, the styling vintage Jones” (3.5* out of 4)
Miriam Di Nunzio, Chicago Sun-Times
“Jones’ album doesn’t aim to refigure an iconic star’s signature sound bur rather to re-scale its most daring peaks. It’s the youth of the music—the density and vigor—that really makes it sing” (4* out of 5)
Jim Farber, NY Daily News
“Given that he is the gradpapi of sweaty Brit R&B, it is a natural fit for Sir Tom to show these young’uns something about soul”
Christopher Muther, Boston Globe
Tom Jones was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999 and was made a Knight Bachelor for his service to music by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London in March 2006.
The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, named after one of SHOF’s distinguished founders, is specifically tailored for artists or “star makers” in the music industry who have been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period of time. Examples of previous Hitmaker Award recipients include Clive Davis, Garth Brooks, Chuck Berry, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan and Diana Ross.
Inductees at this year’s event include Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora; Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals); Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Galt MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni (deceased); and Stephen Schwartz. The Johnny Mercer Award is being presented to Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The Hal David Starlight Award is being presented to Jason Mraz. The Towering Song this year is “Moon River” and the Towering Performance Award will be presented to Andy Williams.
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary Gala begin at $1000 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event support the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.