Songwriters Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Inductees
Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman to be Inducted June 14th in NYC
New York, NY – February 21, 2012 – Musical geniuses Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman will become the newest members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 43rd Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. The star-studded event is slated for Thursday, June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
“Each of our 2012 inductees has created a unique range of extraordinary contributions, a body of work that has resonated with audiences around the world, and greatly enriched our global culture,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “We are looking forward to celebrating their craft and careers at our Annual Awards Gala.”
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) serves as a vital bridge between music’s past and future. In the Hall, musical pioneers are enshrined and celebrated, while the organization’s music community outreach grooms the next generation of troubadours.
Performing songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is credited for helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He is the author and voice of many timeless songs including: “Early Morning Rain,” “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” “Sundown,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Carefree Highway,” “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Beautiful,” “Ribbon Of Darkness,” “Rainy Day People,” “That’s What You Get For Lovin’ Me,” “Did She Mention My Name,” “I’m Not Sayin’ That I Love You,” “Race Among The Ruins,” “Softly,” “Song For A Winter’s Night,” and “Summer Side Of Life.” Many of Lightfoot’s albums have achieved gold and multi-platinum status internationally and his songs have been recorded by some of the world’s most renowned artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Sarah McLachlan, Barbra Streisand, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Belafonte, Jane’s Addiction, Richie Havens, Glen Campbell, Toby Keith, Anne Murray, Nana Mouskouri and George Hamilton IV. He has received five Grammy® nominations and seventeen Juno Awards in his native Canada, and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, among his many other distinctions. Lightfoot is slated to release his first record since 1994 in the spring of 2012.
Performing songwriter Bob Seger is universally acknowledged by fans and musicians as one of the defining voices of American music. Some of the classic songs he has penned include, “Against The Wind,“ “Turn The Page,” “Night Moves,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Rock And Roll Never Forgets,” “Katmandu,” “Mainstreet,” “Still The Same,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “The Fire Down Below,” “Like A Rock,” and “Beautiful Loser,” to name a few. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Metallica, Kid Rock, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Cher, Johnny Hallyday, Martina McBride, Waylon Jennings, Dottie West, The Pointer Sisters, Barry Manilow, Brooks & Dunn, Conway Twitty and Keb’ Mo’. Seger and his Silver Bullet Band have sold more than 51 million records worldwide, with twelve platinum and seven multi-platinum RIAA-certified album sales awards. Seger holds the distinction for the #1 Catalog Album of the Decade (2000-2010) for his Greatest Hits, which has sold more than nine million copies in the U.S. to date, posting an unbroken 17-year streak on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and Catalog Albums charts. In 1981 Seger won a Grammy® for his song “Against The Wind” in the Best Rock Performance by a Group or Duo category. In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Songwriter Don Schlitz’s first recorded song “The Gambler,” sung by Kenny Rogers, won him the 1978 Grammy® for Country Song of the Year. Randy Travis’ “Forever And Ever, Amen” earned him the same award in 1988. His songbook includes 24 #1 hits, with such country standards as: “On The Other Hand,” “I Feel Lucky,” “Houston Solution,” “One Promise Too Late,” “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” “40 Hour Week (For A Livin’),” “Rockin’ With The Rhythm Of The Rain,” “When You Say Nothing At All,” “Deeper Than The Holler,” “Learning To Live Again,” and “Strong Enough To Bend.” His songs have been sung by Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Keith Whitley, Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tanya Tucker, The Judds and many others. In 2001 he wrote the songs for the Broadway show The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This four-time ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993 and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Schlitz has won three CMA Song of the Year Awards and two ACM Song of Year Awards. Schlitz received the ASCAP Creative Achievement Award in 2007, and in 2010 was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Poet’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting.
Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones:
Composer Harvey Schmidt and lyricist Tom Jones are the legendary writing team best known for shaping the American musical landscape with their 1960 hit, The Fantasticks. The show, which was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1991, is the longest running musical in history. Its best known song “Try To Remember,” has been recorded by hundreds of artists over the decades including Ed Ames, Harry Belafonte, Barbra Streisand and Placido Domingo. “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” and “They Were You” are also among the musical’s most recognized songs, for which Schmidt composed and Jones crafted the lyrics. In 1963 they wrote the Broadway show 110 in the Shade, which earned the duo a Tony Award nomination for Best Composer and Lyricist. I DO! I DO!, their two-character Broadway musical followed in 1967, also earning them a Tony Award nomination for Best Composer and Lyricist. In 1998, the duo was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Other awards and honors include an Obie Award, induction into the Broadway Hall of Fame, the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award, and their “stars” added to the Off-Broadway Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre in NYC.
Jim Steinman began his writing career in theatre with Joseph Papp and the NY Shakespeare Festival in 1969 after Papp was stunned by Dream Engine, a sensational rock opera Steinman wrote and starred in at Amherst College. Steinman moved to recording in 1977 when he wrote every song on the legendary Bat Out of Hell album sung by Meat Loaf, selling 44 million copies. In 1993 Steinman wrote and produced Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which sold 26 million copies. Overall, Steinman’s repertoire has sold more than 190 million records. Top #1 songs include “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” “I’d Do Anything For Love But I Won’t Do That” and “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.” His “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” won the 1997 BMI Song Of The Year Award. The same year, he earned a Grammy® for Album Of The Year for his work as producer for Celine Dion’s Falling Into You. Moving back to theatre, Steinman wrote the music for Tanz Der Vampyr, now in its 16th year selling out in Europe. He is currently writing book, music and lyrics for the musical Bat Out Of Hell for Imminent Production and Nutcracked, a heavy metal version of The Nutcracker with lyrics set to a Tchaikovsky score. He also wrote the lyrics for the musical theater production Whistle Down the Wind, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as music for films such as Footloose, Streets of Fire, The Shadow and Mask of Zorro.