From the press release:
The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF), which was established in 1969 to honor the creators of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook, has taken a major step in achieving its goal of having a physical entity in which to do so.
A new Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery will debut later this month at The Grammy Museum in the L.A. Live complex in Downtown Los Angeles. The grand opening will involve a series of special events highlighting the cultural contributions of songwriters and the relationship between the areas of songwriting and recording.
The SHOF Gallery will feature video highlights from annual SHOF awards and induction ceremonies, as well as information on all SHOF inductees and honorees. Additionally, interactive songwriting collaboration kiosks will allow Gallery visitors to try their hand at songwriting with Hall of Famers like Hal David and Desmond Child–the first two collaborators scheduled participate.
Hal David, of Burt Bacharach & Hal David songwriting team fame, is SHOF chairman and CEO.
“This is the start of the realization of our longtime dream of a bricks and mortar presence for our Hall of Fame,” he says. “I’m thrilled with the location, because the Grammy Museum represents the recording end of the creation of music, and we’re the writing end. So it puts us both together–as it should be. But it’s only the beginning–the dream has just begun to pay off!”
Up until now the SHOF has had a Virtual Museum at its songwritershalloffame.org web page; it displays inductee exhibits and other sections highlighting the induction ceremonies and “Songwriters Friends,” i.e., singers.
“Now we’ll have many exhibits, and a lot of history on film that I think is really sensational,” continues David, who will host the Oct. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow and Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli. The event will be attended by songwriting and recording dignitaries, and will also feature a Songwriting Legends-in-the-Round performance at the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater–an event featuring a stellar gathering of SHOF inductees performing their hits and including David, Lamont Dozier, Mac Davis, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson and Paul Williams.
On Oct. 20, SHOF inductee Jimmy Webb will be interviewed by journalist Paul Grein in the Davis Theater, and will also perform selections from his hit catalog. And on Oct. 21, a “Master Class” conducted by the legendary SHOF songwriting husband-and-wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil will take place in the theater.
“Special events like those celebrating our launch are designed to bring the men and women behind the songs before the song-loving public, and we look forward to more in the months and years ahead,” concludes David. Adds Santelli, “We are privileged to showcase the many songwriters that the Songwriters Hall of Fame honors and celebrates who have written the soundtrack of our lives and of history, and this is a perfect addition to our existing exhibit that spotlights songwriters and their writing process.”
The SHOF was founded by Johnny Mercer and music publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. It numbers well over 300 inductees including the varied likes of John Fogerty, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Bill Withers, Carole King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Curtis Mayfield, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and Cy Coleman.
The organization also develops new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.