Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honors those whose work represents a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook. Songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond who founded the organization wanted to shine the spotlight on the accomplishments of songwriters who have provided us with the words and music that form the soundtrack of our lives. Each year the Hall of Fame inducts a slate of songwriters voted on by the membership at an Awards Gala that has been recognized by the music industry and the media as the most important of the year. In this digital age, the Hall of Fame has put together an award-winning online museum to honor songwriters who have been inducted. This has become a leading destination for music industry professionals and researchers, along with popular music fans.
Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are over 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs. The list of inductees include Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Diane Warren, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Mac Davis, Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Donovan, Cyndi Lauper, Desmond Child, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Chip Taylor, Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond, Jay Z, Tom Petty, Toby Keith, Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Berry Gordy, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Robert Lamm & James Pankow among many others.
The Hall of Fame not only celebrates these established songwriters, but also produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships and SHOF/Stuyvesant High School and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development Master Sessions. West Coast educational activities are held at the University of Southern California. In 2010, the Songwriters Hall of Fame found its first physical home within the Los Angeles GRAMMY Museum. The SHOF Gallery features video highlights from our Annual Awards Galas, as well as information on all SHOF inductees and honorees. There are also interactive songwriting collaboration kiosks which permit Gallery visitors to try their luck at writing songs with the likes of Hal David, Desmond Child and Lamont Dozier.
The Hall of Fame has specifically concentrated on digital initiatives with our songhall.org website, serving an array of innovative features and a wealth of informational content. Those who go to the site will find it provides a much needed and comprehensive research tool with a full list of our esteemed inductees and honorees, while additionally cultivating memberships and enhancing communications with the songwriting community.
The Hall of Fame has taken great pride in laying the groundwork for the process of building a community with resources to assist our members in all aspects of the art and business of songwriting. This has become the premier go-to songwriter organization, whether it’s to research history or plan the future.
Join us! Our mission is to remember, honor and nurture one of the world’s greatest resources: the songwriter.