Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honors those whose work represents a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook. Songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond who founded the organization wanted to shine the spotlight on the accomplishments of songwriters who have provided us with the words and music that form the soundtrack of our lives. Each year the Hall of Fame inducts a slate of songwriters voted on by the membership at an Awards Gala that has been recognized by the music industry and the media as the most important of the year. In this digital age, the Hall of Fame has put together an award-winning online museum to honor songwriters who have been inducted. This has become a leading destination for music industry professionals and researchers, along with popular music fans.
Out of the tens of thousands of successful songwriters of our era, there are fewer than 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The list includes Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, Albert Hammond, Desmond Child, Paul Williams, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Richard and Robert Sherman, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Curtis Mayfield, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren and Leonard Cohen among many others.
For the last several years, the music industry focus every June has been on the “Songwriters Hall of Fame Week.” During this special week culminating with the Annual Awards gala, the Hall of Fame sponsors other activities, one being the latest in the series of acclaimed “Master Class” events, in which songwriters the likes of Hal David and Jimmy Webb talk about their craft and answer questions posed by the audience. During the course of each year, the Hall of Fame hosts many special series, including the groundbreaking “Words About Music.” This is part of an offering of conversations and music, providing a unique look at some of America’s most admired songwriters, lyricists and composers.
The Hall of Fame not only celebrates these established songwriters, but is also devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. There is an array of programs designed to teach up-and-coming songwriters the craft and business, while then giving them a platform upon which to shine. We host groups of seminars designed to offer our members an opportunity to interact with working songwriters about their experiences in the industry and their process of songwriting, thus providing new perspectives.
The Hall of Fame has specifically concentrated on digital initiatives, developing two distinct sides to our songhall.org website; both serving to combine an array of innovative features and a wealth of informational content. Those who go to the Virtual Museum will find it provides a much needed and comprehensive research tool. A full list of our esteemed inductees with over 250,000 records of data and over 10,000 pages of content that include biographies, discographies, audio clips, photo galleries, timelines and recommended materials profiling their lives and their works can be accessed there. The other side of songhall.org is geared toward our membership and enhancing communications with the songwriting community.
In 2010, the Songwriters Hall of Fame found its first physical home within the Los Angeles GRAMMY Museum. The SHOF Gallery features video highlights from our Annual Awards Galas, as well as information on all SHOF inductees and honorees. There are also interactive songwriting collaboration kiosks which permit Gallery visitors to try their luck at writing songs with the likes of Hal David, Desmond Child and Lamont Dozier.
The Hall of Fame has taken great pride in laying the groundwork for the process of building a community with resources to assist our members in all aspects of the art and business of songwriting. This has become the premier go-to songwriter organization, whether it’s to research history or plan the future.
Join us! Our mission is to remember, honor and nurture one of the world’s greatest resources: the songwriter.