June 09, 2005 @ Marriott Marquis in New York City


NEW YORK, N.Y. - Steve Cropper, John Fogerty, Isaac Hayes and
David Porter, Richard and Robert Sherman and Bill Withers were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 9, 2005.

This years ceremony also honored the legendary careers of Smokey Ronison, Les Paul, Beebe Bourne, Henry Juszkiewicz and present Alicia Keys with the Starlight Award. Presenters and performers at the 2005 ceremony include Peabo Bryson, Ryan Cabrera, Faith Evans, Ricky Fante, Lalah Hathaway, Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis, Jason Mraz, Angie Stone and Rob Thomas.

"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!"


As a founding member of the legendary Booker T and the MG’s, as well as an A&R man, producer and songwriter, Steve Cropper was involved in virtually every record issued by the seminal Stax recording label from the fall of 1961 through year end 1970. Some of his songwriting credits include the classics “(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Knock on Wood” and “In the Midnight Hour.” Cropper produced and played on sessions by the likes of Poco, Jeff Beck, Jose Feliciano, Yvonne Elliman, John Prine, Dreams and Tower Of Power. As a member of the original incarnation of the Blues Brothers, he recorded three albums with them, including the number one Briefcase Full of Blues. Over the past 20 years. Cropper has continued to be an in-demand musician and producer. His string-bending talents are showcased on CDs by Elton John, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Buddy Guy, Steppenwolf and Johnny Lang.

John Fogerty’s enduring songs like “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” “Lodi,” “Looking Out My Back Door,” “Run Through The Jungle,” “Centerfield” and “Fortunate Son” are now so firmly engrained in our collective consciousness they seem to have come to us from the American soil as much as from any one man. John Fogerty recorded many of his great songs as the leader of the now legendary band Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR released nine Top Ten singles between 1969 and 1971, beginning with the classic "Proud Mary," and scored eight gold albums between 1968 and 1972. As a solo artist, Fogerty released an critically acclaimed eponymous album in 1975, and in 1984 released a Top Ten single, "The Old Man Down the Road," and a number one album, Centerfield. CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1997, Fogerty released the Grammy Award-winning Blue Moon Swamp and the live album Premonition a year later. His most recent album, Déjà vu All Over Again, was released in 2004. To this day, John Fogerty remains a genuinely great artist, one of the defining songwriters of our time.

Isaac Hayes and David Porter were one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 1960s. After playing on several sessions for Otis Redding, Hayes was tapped to play keyboards in the Stax house band, and eventually established a partnership with songwriter David Porter. Under the name the Soul Children, the Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, reeling off a string of hits for Stax luminaries like Sam & Dave (the brilliant "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," "Soul Man," “I Thank You” and "Hold On, I'm Comin'"), Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y,") and Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "I Had a Dream"). As an individual artist, Isaac Hayes went on to become the first African American composer to win an Oscar for “Best Score” for his soundtrack to the film “Shaft,” the theme song of which became a #1 hit. David Porter went on to engineer the relaunch of the Stax label and is a current member of th Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy.

One of Walt Disney's most successful songwriting teams was that of brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. These incredible children’s film composers created the music heard in “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book,” “Parent Trap,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Aristocats,” and many more Oscar-nominated scores. The Shermans have won several Oscars for their scores and songs, many of which are warmly and firmly ingrained in our memories like "Chim Chim Cheree" (“Mary Poppins”), "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" (“The Jungle Book”), “It’s A Small World” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which is about to open on Broadway with the Shermans’ Oscar-winning score. They also scored “Aristocats - (1970) and 1971's “Bedknobs Broomsticks,” which garnered them more Oscar nominations for “Best Score” and “Best Song.” After this, the Sherman Brothers began freelancing work on screenplays and scores, including “Snoopy, Come Home” (1972), “Tom Sawyer” (Oscar-nominated score), “Charlotte's Web” (1973), Disney's “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, “The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella” (1977; Oscar-nominated score and song), and “The Magic of Lassie” (1979; Oscar-nominated song).

Bill Withers’ music and lyrics have phenomenal accessibility and universal appeal. Withers was awarded his first Grammy award as a songwriter for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” in 1971. His classic composition “Lean On Me” went to #1 in 1972. Withers’ other classic compositions include the soulful “Use Me,” the hit song “Lovely Day” and the infectious “I Want To Spend the Night,” and the still-vibrant “Just the Two of Us” with Grover Washington, Jr. Withers was nominated for four Grammy’s for "Just The Two of Us" in 1981 and won the Grammy for songwriting for it. Withers received his ninth Grammy nomination and third Grammy as a songwriter in 1987 for the re-recording of "Lean On Me" by Club Nouveau. As evidence of their undeniable appeal, Withers’ songs have been recorded by hundreds of artists including Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Will Smith, Lionel Hampton, The Temptations, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger and Crystal Gayle just to name a few.


Smokey Robinson will be this year's recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. "In a career of more than 40 years, Smokey Robinson has written lyrics that combine an earthy directness with a subtle and playful wit," emphasized Hal David. "On the musical side, he possesses an unerring sense of melody that spans the generations. He is a songwriting master and a most welcome addition to our distinguished list of Johnny Mercer Award recipients."

This years Abe Olman Publisher of the year award goes to Beebe Bourne, part of the legendary Bourne music publishing family. Bourne Co., now approaching its 86th anniversary, was founded by her father, Saul Bourne. Beebe, who took over the reins of the company in 1991, controls the publishing of such American classics as “Unforgettable,” “Me And My Shadow,” “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “Swinging On A Star” and “Black Magic Woman.” Ms Bourne also owns and operates the prestigious serious music catalog, International Music Co., one of the most important publishers of classical music in the world. Beebe is currently the President of the Music Publishers Association on whose board she has served for the past eleven years. Having been the Executive Secretary of the New York Chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers for the last nine years, she is now serving as its Executive Director. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Music Publishers Association and serves on its International and Legislative Committees, and is a member of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. In 2002, she received the Women in Music Touchstone Award given for Distinguished Service to the Music Industry. Previously, Beebe was President and C.O.O. of the THinc Consulting Group; C.E.O. of Seversky Electronatom; Special Assistant to the President Of The United States; and Executive Assistant to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. The Abe Olman Award, named after one of the founders of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, goes to a music publisher who has had a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned and have furthered the careers and successes of many songwriters. Recent Abe Olman Award recipients have included Martin Bandier, Les Bider, Nicholas Firth, Ed Murphy and Ralph Peer, among others.

Alicia Keys will be the recipient of the Starlight Award. 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.

With her unmistakable blend of soul, hip-hop, jazz and classical music, Alicia Keys burst onto the music scene in June 2001 with her debut release Songs In A Minor on Clive Davis’ J Records. Songs In A Minor debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 Chart selling over 235,000 copies in its first week and spawning the #1 single “Fallin’.” The album went on to sell more than 10 million units worldwide symbolizing the international impact she has as an artist. After relentless touring, Alicia followed up her successful debut with, The Diary of Alicia Keys released in December 2003. The album was hailed by critics and sold over 618,000 copies its first week of release in the United States, spawning the #1 singles, “If I Ain’t Got You” and “My Boo.” The Diary of Alicia Keys is currently 7 times platinum. Throughout her career Alicia has garnered three #1 singles and six Top 10 singles, as well as won nine Grammy Awards and eleven Billboard Music Awards.

Henry Juszkiewicz, 2005 recipient of the Patron of the Arts award, is the Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp. Refocusing the company on achieving the highest possible standards of quality and customer service, he drove Gibson from the brink of closing to a company that has regained worldwide respect with annual average growth of 20 percent over the last decade. Juszkiewicz began fulfilling his vision of Gibson as a full-line musical instrument company by acquiring other music-related companies. Today, Juszkiewicz oversees Gibson, Epiphone, Dobro® guitar lines and the Baldwin Piano Company, among others. The Patron of the Arts Award goes to influential executives who are great supporters of the performing arts. Past awardees include Martin Bandier, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Iris Cantor, Roger Enrico, Theodore Forstmann, Michael Goldstein, Robert Mondavi, Stephen Swid and Jonathan Tisch.

Les Paul will be the recipient of the prestigious Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. Still active after seven decades in music, Les Paul is a unique blend of musician and inventor. His many recording innovations--including sound-on-sound, overdubbing, reverb effects, and multi-tracking--greatly accelerated the advancement of studio recording. The Les Paul Trio, which included his talented wife Mary Ford, produced such hits as "Tennessee Waltz," "Mockin' Bird Hill," "How High The Moon," and "Vaya Con Dios." He also won a 1977 Grammy with Chet Atkins for the album Chester and Lester. As an inventor, Mr. Paul's breakthrough creation of the solid-body electric guitar paved the way for electric music and made the sound of rock and roll possible. The Gibson Les Paul guitar went into production in 1952 and was the first solid body electric that Gibson made. In 1953 while performing with Bing Crosby, he perfected the first multi-track recording machine, allowing separate lines of instrumental music and vocals to be blended together. In 1978, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil will be honored as the Towering Song and Bill Medley, founding member of The Righteous Brothers, will receive the Towering Performance Award.


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 35 years, some key Songwriters’ Hall of Fame inductees have included Carole King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison and Cy Coleman among many, many others. The stars came out last year for the 35th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards event at the Marriott Marquis’ Grand Ballroom. Inductees Charles Fox, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Don McLean, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and special award recipients Stevie Wonder (Johnny Mercer Award), Rob Thomas (first ever Starlight Award recipient), Neil Sedaka (Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award), Les Bider (Abe Olman Award), Michael Goldstein (Patron of the Arts Award) and Hal David/Burt Bacharach (Towering Song Award for “What The World Needs Now Is Love”) mingled with presenters and performers India.Arie, Garth Brooks, Cedric The Entertainer, Bill Cosby, Jamie Cullum, Macy Gray, Jimmy Jam, Mick Jones, Jonny Lang, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, Moby and Regis Philbin in a mutual admiration society of many outstanding moments.

Garth Brooks, presenter and performer for Don McLean, in Brooks’ first public performance in over two years, sang a gorgeous rendition of McLean’s “Starry, Starry Night.” Jonny Lang performed a blistering version of Stevie Wonder’s “Livin’ For The City;” Brian McKnight did justice to Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile,” in a soulful performance of the classic song; Roberta Flack drew one of many standing ovations of the night for her Charles Fox-penned Flack classic “Killing Me Softly,” and Don McLean brought everyone to their feet to sing along on his epic song “American Pie.” The evening concluded with Dionne Warwick presenting the Towering Song Award to Hal David for his timeless classic “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” which the incomparable songstress also sang. Warwick and David were then joined onstage by the entire group of artists who sang along in a rousing finale.

Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Virtual Museum at http://www.songwritershalloffame.org.


Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame begin at $800 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.