SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES FIRST WAVE OF HONOREES FOR 2004 AWARDS EVENT: CHARLES FOX, AL GREEN, DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES, DON MCLEAN AND STRONG AND WHITFIELD
The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame, the organization dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world, returns for its highly anticipated 35th annual induction and awards dinner, scheduled for Thursday, June 10 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. In an official statement, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman/CEO Hal David announced this year's inductees: Charles Fox, Al Green, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Don McLean and songwriting duo Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield.
Bill Cosby, Macy Gray, India.Arie, Moby and Regis Philbin will be among those stars presenting or performing for this year's illustrious group of inductees.
"The Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards is very special because it?s a time when premier songwriters come together to honor their own," commented SHOF Chairman and songwriter extraordinaire, Hal David. "We're proud of the growing impact of our event, which is now one of the high points of the year. We are looking forward to another terrific and memorable evening where we spotlight the accomplishments of those who have provided us with the words and music that form the soundtrack of our lives!"
Stevie Wonder will be this year's recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award. The Johnny Mercer Award was created to honor a songwriter who has previously been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and who has continued to establish a history of outstanding creative work. Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included legendary writers Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. "The Johnny Mercer Award goes to a 'songwriter's songwriter", commented Hal David. ?I can think of no one who is more deserving of this accolade than Stevie Wonder. His music is known and loved around the world and has made a difference in the lives of so many."
The first ever Starlight Award will be presented to songwriter Rob Thomas. The Starlight Award has been established to honor gifted songwriters in the early years of their careers who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs. "I am so pleased that Rob Thomas will be the first recipient of our brand new Starlight Award, because he epitomizes the contemporary, fresh voice that resonates with young people all over the world," commented Hal David. "His songs demonstrate a solid talent that is making its mark, and we are proud to recognize his achievement."
"What the World Needs Now Is Love," written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, will be honored as the Towering Song at the SHOF Induction and Awards Dinner on June 10th. In light of the world's current state, the sentiments expressed in this Bacharach-David classic are as timely as ever. On hand to
perform "What the World Needs Now is Love" will be the foremost interpreter of Bacharach & David, the one and only Dionne Warwick. Previous Towering Songs include "Fly Me to The Moon," "You are My Sunshine," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "You're A Grand Old Flag" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."
Warner Chappell Chairman/CEO, Les Bider will be the recipient of this year's Abe Olman Award and Toys 'R' Us Children's Fund Chairman, Michael Goldstein will be the recipient of this year's Patron of the Arts Award.
Neil Sedaka will be the recipient of the prestigious Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. Sedaka's song, "Solitaire," recorded by American Idol star Clay Aiken, is currently the #1 selling single in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive week. The Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award honors an industry veteran who is acknowledged as a pioneer in his/her craft, whose body of work over time has been substantial, enduring and influential, and whose success and contributions over a lifetime have inspired the music community. Past awardees include Patti LaBelle, Dick Clark, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Neil Diamond, Berry Gordy, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Nat King Cole and Quincy Jones.
Last year, the stars came out to support each other with Phil Collins, Queen, Van Morrison and Little Richard inducted and special awards going to Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, Clive Davis, Martin Bandier, Jimmy Webb, Nick Firth and Ed Murphy. Star presenters and performers included Alicia Keys, Wynonna Judd, Ray Charles, Pink, Billy Joel, Berry Gordy, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Seinfeld, Solomon Burke, Paul Shaffer, Gavin DeGraw, Melissa Errico, Pink and Barry Manilow. Centenarian award winner representatives included Monica Mancini, Michael Amante and Paul Williams, with Williams and Marc Shaiman co-hosting, along with SHOF CEO Hal David.
The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The NAPM/SHOF not only celebrates songwriters and educates the public on their great achievements, but is also devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.
Over the course of the past 34 years, some key Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have included Carole King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Jim Croce, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, among many, many others.
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame begin at $750 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go towards the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.