Jimmy Webb is receiving the Johnny Mnercer Award, an honor bestowed only upon a writer or writers already inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and selected by the Nominating Committee as one who has established a history of outstanding creative works. Though best known for his instant classics including "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "MacArthur Park," "Didn’t We," "Up, Up and Away" and "Worst That Could Happen," Jimmy Webb’s work continues to grace a multitude of major recording artists’ albums, from Tony Bennett, to Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt, and R.E.M. Webb is the only artist to ever receive Grammy awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. He is a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The National Academy of Songwriters gave Jimmy its Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1999 and Webb was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as one of the State’s most celebrated sons. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for both The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and ASCAP.
Nicholas Firth is Chairman of BMG Music Publishing Worldwide, a unit of BMG, the global music and entertainment division of Bertelsmann AG. Since its 1987 launch under Mr. Firth’s direction, BMG Music Publishing has become an industry leader. The company has made over 200 catalogue and corporate acquisitions in 15 countries, most notably Zomba Music Publishing, Italy’s G. Ricordi, France’s Éditions Durand and Éditions Salabert as well as the catalogues of Santana, Fleetwood Mac, B.B. King, Bryan Ferry, Barry Manilow, Peter Cetera (Chicago) and Gilbert Becaud. The company’s roster includes some of the world’s biggest recording artists such as Nelly, Christina Aguilera, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Alanis Morissette, the Bee Gees, Peter Maffay, Rammstein, Elvis Costello, Beck, Erykah Badu, The Cure, The Eurythmics, Annie Lennox and Wu-Tang Clan. BMG Music Publishing’s successful Film and TV Music division has placed BMG’s copyrights in recent films such as 8 Mile, Spiderman, Sweet Home Alabama, The Scorpion King and Shrek and hit television programs including Malcolm In The Middle, The Sopranos and ER. A 40-year veteran of the music publishing business, Mr. Firth has broad international operating experience in the USA, Europe and the Far East.
Patti LaBelle has been giving her all through her recordings and onstage performances since 1961 when she led The Bluebelles to a million-selling hit with "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman." Since then, the Philadelphia native has been a chart staple through a half-a-dozen hits with the futuristic trio…
Clive Davis has had a profound effect on the world of music. Davis began
his career at Columbia Records and, by the mid-60’s, was named President of
the company. He personally signed Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and The Holding
Company to Columbia. After that, he was directly responsible for the signing
of many more landmark artists in the rock field, among them Blood, Sweat &
Tears, Chicago, Santana, Boz Scaggs, Loggins & Messina, Laura Nyro, Billy
Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith. In addition to bringing this fresh,
brand new talent to Columbia, he signed such artists as Neil Diamond, Pink
Floyd, Herbie Hancock, The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire. Together
with Columbia Pictures, he founded Arista Records in the fall of 1974. Under
Davis' leadership, Arista launched the careers of Whitney Houston, Barry
Manilow, Patti Smith, Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, Monica, Deborah Cox, Next,
Dido and Angie Stone. The label also attracted such important artists as
Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick,
Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Carly Simon. In 2000, Davis was inducted into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, almost simultaneously, it was announced
that the celebrated Arista chief would be the recipient of a Lifetime
achievement award by NARAS at the Grammy Awards. In August of that year,
Davis began a new phase in his career unveiling J Records, the largest new
label ever launched in music industry history. This year, Clive Davis was
named Chairman/CEO of the RCA Music Group
and now oversees both J Records and RCA Records.
Davis' passion for music is matched by a passion for helping his fellow man. The recipient of many Humanitarian honors from organizations such as the TJ Martell Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Cancer Society, Davis began his tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS in 1985. One of the foremost leaders in the battle against the disease, Clive Davis has spearheaded the donation of millions of dollars to AIDS charities over the past 15 years.
Martin N. Bandier is the Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing, the
world’s largest and most successful music publishing company. He is also a director of the Board of EMI Group, plc. EMI controls the rights to more than one million song titles, from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “New York, New York” to “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” In 1975, Bandier co-founded The Entertainment Company, which scored best-selling songs from Dolly Parton, Barbara Streisand and Captain and Tenille. In 1984, he co-founded SBK Entertainment and in five years acquired two of the industry’s most important song collections, Combine Music, a Nashville-based music publishing company, and CBS Songs, the largest acquisition of a music publishing company at that time.
In 1989, SBK sold its music publishing interests to Thorn EMI and Bandier remained on at the newly merged company, soon becoming Chairman and CEO. Since then, Bandier has catapulted the company to new heights with the 50% purchase of Jobete Music Co., the catalog containing classic songs of Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and other legendary Motown hits. He was also responsible for the significant copyright purchases of Filmtrax in 1991, and Windswept Pacific in 1999, one of the largest remaining independent music publishing companies in existence at the time.
Bandier’s involvement has been critical to the development and signing of Grammy-gleaning artists like Alicia Keys, Sting, Enrique Iglesias, Pink and Rob Thomas. Likewise for this year’s EMI Music Publishing’s Grammy artists, who amassed an extraordinary 24 Grammy’s with talents such as Norah Jones, Foo Fighters and Alan Jackson.
Bandier’s civic commitments include membership on the boards of the United Jewish Appeal, City of Hope and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and, he serves as a trustee of the T.J. Martell Foundation. He also serves on the board for the BMI Foundation Inc. He is director of The NMPA (National Music Publishers Association) and the Rock and Roll Hall Fame. His many industry achievements include numerous years as Publisher of the Year, by ASCAP, BMI and Billboard. Bandier is also a trustee of Syracuse University.
This year’s Towering Song will be “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” written by George C. Cory, Jr. & Douglass Cross and published by Colgems-EMI Music Inc. In connection with the Towering Song, the Songwriters Hall of Fame is presenting a new award, the Towering Performance Award.
The Towering Song Award goes to the writers and publishers of the song, while the Towering Performance Award is given to the artist who has one the quintessential performance on that song. The first recipient of the Towering Performance Award is Tony Bennett, for his timeless rendition of this year’s towering song.
“The Towering Performance Award has been established to recognize one of a kind performances by one of a kind singers,” commented SHOF Chairman, Hal David. “For our first presentation of this award, we feel that Tony Bennett is the perfect choice. Tony Bennett is a songwriter’s singer, who has recorded outstanding and unforgettable interpretations of many pop songs which have become standards. He is one of the best examples of the true marriage of song and singer, and all of us at the Hall of Fame look forward to applauding his unique artistry.”
Johnny Mercer Award
Abe Olman Publisher Award
Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award
Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award
Patron of the Arts Award
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”