New York, NY – October 6, 2015 - The Songwriters Hall of Fame has announced its slate of nominees to be elected for induction at its Annual Induction & Awards Gala on June 9, 2016, in New York City. The Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. Eligible voting members will have until December 11, 2015 to turn in ballots with their choices of three nominees from a non-performing category, two from a performing category and one from a deceased category. For information with which to join or renew as a voting member before November 2 in order to participate in this election, please go to songhall.org/join. And the nominees are: (*Note that the five songs listed after each nominee are merely a representative sample of their extensive catalogs)
A close friend of Bobby Darin, Rudy Clark co-wrote hits with Darin including “Do The Monkey.” His “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody” was a hit for R&B singer James Ray and British Invasion band Freddie and the Dreamers, while his “Good Lovin’” was a hit for The Olympians and then a huge one for The Rascals. Other Clark classics include Betty Everett’s—and later Cher’s—“It’s in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song),” and George Harrison’s 1987 chart-topper “Got My Mind Set On You.”
Key songs in the Clark catalog include: * Everybody Plays The Fool * Good Lovin’ * Got My Mind Set On You * It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song) * If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (the name “Babyface” was given to him by Bootsy Collins) teamed up with Antonio “L.A.” Reid when he was keyboardist in The Deele (Reid was drummer). After an early songwriting success in 1983 with “Slow-Jam” for Midnight Star, Edmonds helped pioneer the new jack swing style of R&B with his writing and production work for the likes of Bobby Brown, Karyn White and Sheena Easton; he also co-founded LaFace Records with Reid, and it became the home of TLC and Toni Braxton. Later clients included Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Mary J. Blige, and in 2006 he was named a BMI Icon—having won the BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year award seven times.
Key songs in the Edmonds catalog include: * Another Sad Love Song * Breathe Again * End Of The Road * Exhale (Shoop Shoop) * I’ll Make Love To
After Dallas Frazier’s “Alley Oop” topped the pop charts for the Hollywood Argyles in 1957, he moved to Nashville and scored country hits including Jack Greene’s signature “There Goes My Everything.” George Jones and Connie Smith each cut an entire album of Frazier’s songs; other artists recording Frazier’s compositions include Diana Ross, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris and Charley Pride—who reached No. 1 with “All I Have to Offer You (is Me).” A Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Frazier was a country singer himself, and his minor 1966 hit “Elvira” became the Oak Ridge Boys’ biggest hit in 1981.
Key songs in the Frazier catalog include: * Alley Oop * Elvira * Fourteen Carat Mind * Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp * There Goes My Everything
Justly famous as the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy first found fame as a songwriter. Jackie Wilson recorded seven songs co-written by Gordy including the classics “Reet Petite” and “Lonely Teardrops,” and he also co-wrote “All I Could Do Was Cry” for Etta James and “You Got What It Takes” for Marv Johnson and later the Dave Clark Five. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and first living person to receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame Pioneer Award has written or co-written 240 songs for Motown’s Jobete music catalog, including the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There,” “ABC,” “I Want You Back” and “The Love You Save”; Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want),” The Miracles’ “Shop Around,” The Contours’ “Do You Love Me” and Diana Ross and the Supremes’ “I’m Livin’ in Shame.”
Key songs in the Gordy catalog include: * Do You Love me * Money * Lonely Teardrops * I Want You Back * You’ve Got What It Takes
The songwriter/producer team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have won over 100 ASCAP songwriting and publishing awards, including a record-shattering eight Songwriter of the Year awards. Most successful with Janet Jackson, their Grammy-nominated songs for her include “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “Miss You Much,” Alright” and “That’s the Way Love Goes” (which won) with “Again” earning all three an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song from the movie Poetic Justice. Other important songs in the Jam/Lewis catalog are Human League’s “Human,” Karyn White’s “Romantic,” Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee” and “4 Seasons of Loneliness,” Mariah Carey’s “Thank God I Found You” and Yolanda Adams’ Grammy-winning “Be Blessed.”
Key songs in the Jam/Lewis catalog include: * Control * Escapade * Fake * I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On * On Bended Knee
A cousin of legendary country music duo the Louvin Brothers, John Loudermilk made his own name in the genre and pop music in the 1960s. He penned such unforgettable hits as George Hamilton IV’s “Abilene,” the Nashville Teens’ “Tobacco Road” and Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Indian Reservation,” and his songs were also covered by the likes of the Everly Brothers, Chet Atkins, Johnny Tillotson, Marianne Faithfull and Eric Burdon & War. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer also recorded some of his songs using the name Johnny Dee as well as his own name, including “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” later a big pop hit in 1964 for Dick and Dee Dee.
Key songs in the Loudermilk catalog include: * Abilene * Indian Reservation * Tobacco Road * Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye * Turn Me On
Swedish songwriter and producer Max Martin has written and co-written huge hits since the mid-1990s for the likes of Backstreet Boys (“I Want It That Way”), Britney Spears (”...Baby One More Time”), Bon Jovi (“It’s My Life”), Kelly Clarkson (“Since U Been Gone”), Pink (“So What”), Katy Perry (“I Kissed a Girl”) and Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”). With 21 No. 1 U.S. pop singles to his credit, he ranks behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and has reached the Top 10 more often than Madonna, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. He has received ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year award eight times—tying him at the top with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Key songs in the Martin catalog include: * …Baby One More Time * Can’t Feel My Face * I Kissed a Girl * I Want It That Way * Oops, I Did It Again
After scoring minor hits in the late 1960s for Perry Como and Sam the Sam and the Pharaohs, Bob McDill found his place in country music, especially with Don Williams. His big hits for Williams included “Say It Again,” “She Never Knew Me” and “Amanda,” which was also a major hit for Waylon Jennings. The prodigious writer, who wrote one song a week for 30 years, also placed major hits for the likes of Anne Murray, The Kendalls, Alan Jackson and Bobby Bare, who recorded a full album of McDill songs entitled Me and McDill. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee’s catalog includes over 30 No. 1 hits, and his shelf displays numerous BMI Songwriter of the Year trophies.
Key songs in the McDill catalog include: * Amanda * Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On * Gone Country * It Must Be Love * Song Of The South
Raised on Putman Mountain in Alabama, Curly Putman grew up to become one of Nashville’s great country and pop songwriters. His No. 1 hits include such classics as “Green Green Grass of Home” (Porter Wagoner’s country hit version led to Tom Jones’ pop chart-topper), Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” Tanya Tucker’s “Blood Red and Going Down,” The Kendall’s “It Don’t Feel Like Sinnin’ to Me” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which Putman co-wrote with Bobby Braddock. The list of other top artists who’ve covered the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer include Charlie Rich, Dean Martin, Kenny Rogers, The Grateful Dead, Merle Haggard, Joan Baez, Wayne Newton, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, Bobbie Gentry, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Roger Miller, Andy Williams, Issac Hayes and Elvis Presley; Paul McCartney & Wings hit “Junior’s Farm” was inspired by a stay at Putman’s farm.
Key songs in the Putman catalog include: * Green Green Grass of Home * D I V O R C E * Blood Red and Going Down * He Stopped Loving Her Today * My Elusive Dreams
As a member of Guy, singer-songwriter/producer Teddy Riley was a major player in the late 1980s new jack swing R&B genre, his songwriting credits then including Keith Sweat’s “I Want Her” and Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid.” With early ‘90s group Blackstreet he co-wrote the No. 1 hit “No Diggity.” Among Riley’s other notable compositions are Lady Gaga’s “Teeth,” and with his recent excursion into Korean pop, “Demon,” for Korean-American singer/rapper Jay Park (a song originally intended for Michael Jackson), and “The Boys,” for Korean girl group Girls’ Generation.
Key songs in the Riley catalog include: * My Prerogative * No Diggity * Just Got Paid * Remember The Time * I Wanna
Chip Taylor has written a number of classic pop and rock songs, solo and in collaboration with others including Billy Vera, Ted Daryll, and Jerry Ragovoy. While he’ll always be famous for writing The Troggs 1966 hit “Wild Thing”—which was memorably covered live by Jimi Hendrix—his other big hits were Merrilee Rush’s “Angel InThe Morning” (also covered by Juice Newton), The Hollies “I Can’t Let Go” and Janis Joplin’s “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder).” More recently he discovered singer/violinist Carrie Rodriguez and has performed and recorded extensively with her since 2001.
Key songs in the Taylor catalog include: * Wild Thing * Angel of the Morning * I Can’t Let Go * Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) * Any Way That You Want Me
Oscar-nominated (for The Color Purple’s “Miss Celie’s Blues”), English songwriter/producer Rod Temperton is best known for the songs he wrote for Michael Jackson, including “Rock With You” and “Thriller.” But he was also a member of the funk/disco band Heatwave, for which he supplied the million-selling U.S. hits “Boogie Nights” and “Always and Forever.” Among the numerous artists who have also recorded Temperton tunes are James Ingram, Michael McDonald, Rufus, Donna Summer, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Patti Austin and Karen Carpenter.
Key songs in the Temperton catalog include: * Always And Forever * Boogie Nights * Give Me The Night * Thriller * Rock With You
Combined with her voice, Gloria Estefan’s songwriting has made her one of the biggest Latin music crossover stars ever, and the embodiment of the “Miami Sound.” She wrote the No. 1 pop hits “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (the Spanish version, “Si Voy a Perderte,” topped the Hot Latin Songs charts) and “Anything for You,” as well as the chart-topping Adult Contemporary hit “Words Get in the Way.” She also had a hand in co-writing Hot Latin No. 1 hits including “Tradición,” which despite being in Spanish, reached No. 1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
Key songs in the Estefan catalog include: * Anything For You * Can’t Stay Away From You * Don’t Wanna Lose You * Here We Are * Words Get In The Way
Known as “The Storyteller,” Country Music and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall typically told stories in songs such as the Grammy-winning “Harper Valley PTA,” which allowed Jeannie C. Riley to top both the pop and country singles charts in 1968, and Hall’s own No. 1 country hit “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine,” which Rolling Stone has ranked in its list of 100 greatest country songs. Hall’s other hits include country classics “I Love,” “Country Is,” “The Year Clayton Delaney Died,” “I Like Beer” and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet).” Other artists who have recorded Hall compositions include Johnny Cash, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings and Alan Jackson, who took his “Little Bitty” to No. 1 on the country charts in 1996.
Key songs in the Hall catalog include: * Harper Valley PTA * I Love * Old Dogs Children and Watermelon Wine * I’m Not Ready Yet * Little Bitty
The creative duo at the core of Blondie, lead singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, artfully managed to span punk rock, disco, rap and reggae. Their No. 1 hit compositions “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture” brought them international popularity and made them by far the most commercially successful group to emerge from New York’s thriving underground music scene of the late 1970s. With Blondie, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Key songs in the Harry/Stein catalog include: * Dreaming * Heart Of Glass * In The Flesh *Picture This * Rapture
Initially a vocal trio made up of brothers O’Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley, the Isley Brothers broke in 1959 with their first composition “Shout,” also a big UK hit for Lulu. The first single for their own T-Neck label, 1964’s “Testify,” also stands out for being one of Jimi Hendrix’s first recordings, as Hendrix recorded and toured with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vocal group. Following the Grammy-winning “It’s Your Thing” (1969), younger brothers Ernie and Marvin Isley and brother-in-law Chris Jasper joined in 1971, and the Isley Brothers, in varying configurations and incorporating different styles, wrote and recorded such hits as “Pop That Thang,” “That Lady,” “Fight the Power,” “For the Love of You” and “Caravan of Love,” with Ice Cube sampling their song “Footsteps in the Dark” for his hit “It Was a Good Day” and Notorious B.I.G. likewise sampling “Between the Sheets” for his hit “Big Poppa.”
Key songs in the Isley catalog include: * Fight The Power * It’s Your Thing *Nobody But Me * Shout * That Lady
English pop-rock luminary Jeff Lynne first found fame in The Move, then made it big on both sides of the pond as leader of the Electric Light Orchestra. With ELO, he wrote such hits as “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” “Livin’ Thing,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” He later co-founded the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, and had a writing hand in their hits “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line”; he also wrote hits for the likes of Orbison (“You Got It”) and Petty (“I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin’”).
Key songs in the Lynne catalog include: * Evil Woman * Do Ya * Don’t Bring Me Down * Mr. Blue Sky * Strange Magic
Madonna could never have become a music icon without songs, and she wrote and produced most of them with estimable collaborators like Steve Bray, Patrick Leonard, Shep Pettibone, Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Rick Nowels, Nate Hills, Justin Timberlake and William Orbit—with whom she wrote the Grammy-winning—“Beautiful Stranger” for the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Other hits written or co-written by Madonna have become pop classics and include “Into the Groove,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Like a Prayer,” “Vogue,” “Frozen,” “Music,” “Hung Up” and “4 Minutes.” With themes spanning everything from love and relationships to sexuality and AIDS, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been recognized by Rolling Stone as “an exemplary songwriter with a gift for hooks and indelible lyrics.”
Key songs in the Madonna catalog include: * Everybody * Into The Groove * Like A Prayer * Material Girl * Vogue
After a stint with Steely Dan, Michael McDonald joined the Doobie Brothers in 1975 and sang lead on some of their biggest hits, many of which—including “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Minute by Minute” and the 1980 Grammy Song of the Year “What a Fool Believes”—he wrote or co-wrote. Going solo, his 1982 debut album featured his hit composition “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)”; his 1990 album title track hit “Take It to Heart” was co-written with Diane Warren. McDonald also co-wrote with Carly Simon her hit “You Belong to Me,” Van Halen’s hit “I’ll Wait,” and his Grammy-winning R&B duet with James Ingram, “Yah Mo B There.”
Key songs in the McDonald catalog include: * What a Fool Believes * Takin’ It to the Streets * Minute by Minute * It Keeps You Runnin’ * Real Love
Finding fame first as rocker Johnny Cougar, John Mellencamp gradually reclaimed his real name while staking out his own singular rock sound. Indeed, songs like “Small Town” and “Cherry Bomb” embodied the genre of music now known as roots rock, or Americana. Together with massive Top 40 hits like “Hurt So Good” and “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.,” they propelled Mellencamp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—one of many honors bestowed on him during his venerable career.
Key songs in the Mellencamp catalog include: * Jack And Diane * Lonely Ol’ Night * Pink Houses * Small Town * The Authority Song
Schooled in guitar by his father’s friend Les Paul, Steve Miller picked up a heavy blues influence from the likes of T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy, eventually forming his own Steve Miller Blues Band—at one time including pal Boz Scaggs. After removing “Blues” from the band’s name, he became an album rock-era figurehead before breaking through to pop with the chart-topping titletrack of his 1973 album “The Joker.” Other originals include “Rock ‘n Me” and “Abracadabra,” both of which likewise went to No. 1.
Key songs in the Miller catalog include: * Abracadabra * Fly Like An Eagle * Living In The USA * Take The Money And Run * The Joker
Tom Petty led his band The Heartbreakers to a unique position in the rock scene of the late 1970s and ‘80s with a distinctively rootsy sound and great original songs like “Free Fallin’” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.” Such was his stature that he joined Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne in the late ‘80s supergroup Traveling Wilburys. He was rewarded in 2002 with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Key songs in the Petty catalog include: * Don’t Come Around Here No More * I Won’t Back Down * Free Fallin’ * Refugee * Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
With the late Bernard Edwards, fellow producer Nile Rodgers formed Chic—one of the most important bands of the disco era. Both “Le Freak” and Good Times” went to No. 1 on the pop charts, prompting Rodgers and Edwards to produce and write for other artists on their Atlantic Records roster, including Sister Sledge, whose “We Are Family” was a huge hit—and remade by Rodgers as a benefit recording for his “We Are Family Foundation” after 9-11. But Rodgers and Edwards also wrote and produced for other artists including Diana Ross (her hits “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out”). Rodgers went on to compose soundtracks while continuing his songwriting and production efforts, scoring a hit in 2014 with the song “Get Lucky” on the Daft Punk album Random Access Memories.
Key songs on the Rodgers/Edwards catalog include: * Good Times * I’m Coming Out * Le Freak * Upside Down * We Are Family
Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart is up there with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic as a pioneer of funk. A former disc jockey and producer of Bay Area bands including The Beau Brummels and the Great Society, he formed the boundary-breaking multi-racial, -gender and -genre group Sly & the Family Stone in San Francisco in 1967. The group’s classic pop hits included “Dance to The Music,” “Everyday People” and “Family Affair,” and their hugely influential recordings have been sampled time and again.
Key songs in the Stone catalog include: * Dance To The Music * Everyday People * Family Affair * Hot Fun In The Summertime * Thank You (Falettin’ Me Be Mice Elf Again)
Brit songwriter-composer Lionel Bart wrote Cliff Richard’s first chart-topper, “Living Doll,” and hits for other late 1950s English teen idol/rock ’n’ rollers including Tommy Steele and Adam Faith. He was rewarded with numerous Ivor Novello Awards, and the theme song for the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love. But he was equally significant in the musical theater, as his Oliver!, his 1960 take on Dickens’ Oliver Twist, became the first modern British musical to succeed on Broadway, with its film version winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1968.
Key songs in the Bart catalog include: * From Russia With Love Theme *As Long As He Needs Me * Consider Yourself * Living Doll * Far Away
As he died of heart failure in 1967 at 38, Bert Berns remains one of the unsung heroes of rock ’n’ roll having written or co-written such hits as “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Hang on Sloopy” and “Cry to Me” for artists including Solomon Burke, Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, the Isley Brothers and The Animals. He was also an esteemed producer, his credits here including the likes of Morrison, The Drifters and Lulu, and founded two important indie labels: Bang (home of Morrison, Neil Diamond, The McCoys and others) and Shout (R&B artists including Freddie Scott and Erma Franklin). He has been posthumously honored with a biography (Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues), an Off-Broadway musical (Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story) and a documentary (BANG - The Bert Berns Story).
Key songs in the Berns catalog include: * Hang On Sloopy * Tell Him * Little Bit of Soap * Twist and Shout * Piece of My Heart
Marvin Gaye first found songwriting success in 1962 as a co-writer of the Marvelettes hit “Beechwood 4-5789.” He then cut classic songs by Motown songwriting legends including himself, having had a hand in writing his hits “Hitch Hike,” “Pride and Joy,” “Let’s Get It On” and “Sexual Healing.” With his 1971 concept album What’s Going On, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer broke new ground, both at Motown and in his songwriting, as he delivered topical fare like the antiwar title track, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues”—all this winning him Rolling Stone’s “Album of the Year” designation.
Key songs in the Gaye catalog include: *Let’s Get It On * Dancing In The Street * Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) * Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology) * Pride And Joy
George Harrison’s compositions were regularly included on Beatles recordings and include such hits as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Something”—the Beatles’ second-most-covered song. With the band’s breakup and launch of his solo career, Harrison’s songwriting came to the forefront, notable compositions including the hits “What is Life,” “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” and “All Those Years Ago.” Harrison was one of the first pop songwriters to explore and incorporate Indian music into his songs, and co-wrote songs, including the hit “Handle Me With Care,” with his Traveling Wilburys companions Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan.
Key songs in the Harrison catalog include: * Give Me Love (Give Me Peace) * Here Comes The Sun * My Sweet Lord * Something * While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Jimi Hendrix’s songs provided the context for his pioneering guitar work. He wrote such landmark rock hits “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” “Stone Free,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Crosstown Traffic,” “Gypsy Eyes” and “If 6 was 9”—songs that were as inventive compositionally as his musicianship. Indeed, six of his songs are among Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” while three are in its “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time,” with “Purple Haze” additionally ensconced in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Key songs in the Hendrix catalog include: * Foxy Lady * Manic Depression * Little Wing * Purple Haze * The Wind Cries Mary
One of the most distinctive songwriters to come out of Nashville in the 1960s, Roger Miller scored a number of country crossover hits including the self-penned “Dang Me,” “Chug-a-Lug,” “England Swings,” “Do-Wacka-Do” and “King of the Road”—which topped the country and adult contemporary charts in 1965 and reached No. 4 as a pop single. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter also collaborated with the likes of George Jones (“Tall Tall Trees”) and Bill Anderson (“When Two Worlds Collide”) and wrote hits for other artists including Ray Price (“Invitation to the Blues”) and Jim Reeves (“Billy Bayou”). A Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, Miller won a Tony Award for writing the music and lyrics for the 1985 Broadway musical Big River, in which he also acted.
Key songs in the Miller catalog include: * Dang Me * King of the Road * Husbands and Wives * England Swings * Chug-a-Lug