Music industry legends came together for the 40th Anniversary of the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Time Square.
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Music industry legends came together for the 40th Anniversary of the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Time Square. And with this being the 40th Anniversary, all of the stops were pulled for this amazing event: Berry Gordy, Sir Tom Jones, Clint Black, Holland-Dozier-Holland, James Taylor, Beach Boys’ Al Jardine, and Ashford and Simpson to name a few.
2009’s inductee’s into the Songwriters Hall of Fame included Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere / The Young Rascals, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, Stephen Schwartz, Galt MacDermont — James Rado and the late Gerome Ragni, David Crosby– Stephen Stills — and Graham Nash.
Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland Jr. (Holland-Dozier-Holland) walked away with the highest honor of the night, The Johnny Mercer award, which was presented to them by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the incomparable Barry Gordy. Holland-Dozier-Holland, the songwriting powerhouse that created the Motown Sound, had their hands in 13 consecutive #1 hits for The Supremes from “Baby Love” to “Heat Wave” alone.
American Songwriter felt right at home. We were received warmly with a smile and open arms because bringing light to the beautiful craft of songwriting is what we’re all about. So when ASCAP President, Paul Williams caught wind that we were covering the event, he not only told a memorable story about one of his favorite songs, he wanted to send a special message to our readers.
“My favorite song is the ‘Rainbow Connection’ because it’s not a song about answers; it’s a song about questions,” says the co-writer of the classic. “Who said that every wish would be heard and answered, and wished on a morning star. I sat down to write that with Kenny Ascher, for Jim Henson. It was one of my most amazing experiences as a songwriter, writing for Jim Henson and the Muppets. It was a collaborative experience beyond anything that I’ve ever known. Jim would add a scene to a movie just to support an idea for a song. And being that this will be seen on American Songwriter, I’d like for this to be known. Happily after being elected as President and Chairman of the Board at ASCAP, I have one thing on my mind and that’s to make sure that YOU, the songwriter can write from the center of your chest and be properly taken care of for it. We are fighting for YOU, we love YOU, and we want for every songwriter to live the type of life that you deserve.”
For further information, photos and videos of the event, go to SongHall.org.
To read more on the event, check out RollingStone.com.