Honors to the Kinks maestro Ray Davies, Donovan and the writers of "Midnight Train to Georgia," "Hooked on a Feeling," "The Things We Do for Love, "Bus Stop," "Suspicious Minds" and more. The official word:
Musical titans Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 45th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. These legendary songwriters wrote such mega-hits as “You Really Got Me,” “Mellow Yellow,” “For Your Love,” "Suspicious Minds,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The star-studded induction event is slated for Thursday, June 12th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
“Each of our 2014 inductees has been responsible for captivating the world with their creativity for decades, serving up a rich variety of songs for our global soundtrack,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “We are looking forward to celebrating their contributions 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 outreach to the music community grooms the next generation of troubadours.
Ray Davies founded the rock band The Kinks with his brother Dave in London in 1964. As the band’s lead singer and chief songwriter, Davies penned countless tracks including a string of 14 top ten international hits starting with “You Really Got Me,” and followed by “All Day and All of The Night,” “Tired of Waiting For You,” “Set Me Free,” ‘‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “Lola,” “Apeman,” “Come Dancing” and many more. In addition to The Kinks, Davies has written songs for Van Halen and The Pretenders, among others. In 1981 he collaborated with Barrie Keeffe on his first stage musical, Chorus Girls, and in 1988 wrote 80 Days with Snoo Wilson. He returned with his third musical, Come Dancing, in 2008. Throughout his career Davies has released two solo albums and penned two autobiographies. In 1990 The Kinks were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2004 he received the CBE from Queen Elizabeth II for "Services to Music" and in 2006 he was awarded the BMI Icon Award for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers." In 2010 Davies collaborated with Metallica, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons and others on an album entitled See My Friends. This year marks The Kinks 50th Anniversary with a new box set, a Kinks’ musical entitled Sunny Afternoon and brand new solo album from Davies in the works.
Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan was discovered by Ralph Peer Jr. in 1964, and was soon in the pop charts with his first hit “Catch The Wind,” which garnered him the Ivor Novello Award for songwriting. Donovan and producer Mickie Most then collaborated on other chart-topping songs including “Sunshine Superman,” “Mellow Yellow” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” all of which landed in the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1965 Donovan became the first artist Clive Davis signed to CBS/Epic Records. Donovan’s hits, along with many of his other songs including “Atlantis,” “Catch The Wind” and “Season Of The Witch,” have been featured in films and TV shows such as Goodfellas, Dark Shadows, The Simpsons and Futurama as well as in major advertisements for General Electric, The Gap and Microsoft. He also served as the musical composer for the films Poor Cow, Brother Sun, Sister Moon and The Pied Piper. Throughout his career Donovan has collaborated with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ronnie Wood, Jeff Beck, among others. Donovan was designated as a BMI Icon in 2009 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Born in Manchester, England, Graham Gouldman began to play the guitar when he was 11 years old, and by the age of 15 he was forming and working with local bands. Inspired by The Beatles and encouraged by his parents, his dad Hymie often helped him with lyrics, he started writing songs. In 1964, he met Harvey Lisberg who became his manager. Harvey also managed Herman's Hermits for whom Graham would later write “Listen People” and “No Milk Today.” Gouldman had his first hit as a songwriter in 1965, writing “For Your Love” for The Yardbirds, for whom he also wrote “Heart Full of Soul” and “Evil Hearted You.” In the same year, The Hollies recorded his song “Look Through Any Window,” followed by “Bus Stop” in 1966. In 1972, along with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, he formed the band 10cc. He co-wrote many of their hits including “Rubber Bullets,” “I'm Not In Love” and “The Things We Do For Love.” During the 1980’s, Gouldman formed the band Wax with the late Andrew Gold. They enjoyed chart success in Europe with the hits “Right Between The Eyes” and “Bridge To Your Heart.” Gouldman has also written songs for Cher, Jeff Beck and Wayne Fontana. In 2012, he released his third solo album, Love and Work. Gouldman still tours with his version of 10cc and continues to write.
Texas born songwriter Mark James first came to prominence penning "Hooked On A Feeling" for B.J. Thomas in 1969. Later, the band Blue Swede transformed it into a 1974 chart topper. James’ career breakthrough came when Elvis Presley cut his song "Suspicious Minds," which landed him a number one hit around the world and helped resurrect "The King's" career as a recording artist. In addition to hits penned for Presley which include "Moody Blue," "It's Only Love" and "Raised On Rock," James co-wrote the classic "Always On My Mind," which was recorded by Elvis and became a signature hit for Willie Nelson in 1982. In 1983, the song earned James two Grammy’s® for “Song of the Year" and "Best Country Song," as well as a BMI Award for "Song the Year." Four years later, Pet Shop Boys scored a smash hit with their cover of the track. Fine Young Cannibals, Jay-Z, Dwight Yoakam and Bill Withers are among the diverse array of artists that have recorded James’ songs. His music has been featured in films such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Black Hawk Down and Reservoir Dogs. In 1999, BMI announced its Top 100 Songs of the Century, which included three songs by James. Ranked #91 on Rolling Stone Magazine's “Top 500 Songs of All Time, "Suspicious Minds" remains his most beloved and enduring composition.
Jim Weatherly has been writing songs for almost 50 years. In the early 1970’s, he partnered with Larry Gordon who became his publisher and manager. With Larry's guidance, Weatherly’s songwriting began to flourish. He garnered his first hit with "Neither One Of Us," which was recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips. Gladys and The Pips went on to record 12 of his songs including "Where Peaceful Waters Flow," "Midnight Train To Georgia" and "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.” The latter was also recorded by Ray Price, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1973. Ray Price went on to record 38 of Weatherly's songs. Bob Luman also had a top five hit with "Neither One Of Us" in 1973. As an artist, Weatherly has had his own success with "The Need To Be," and country hit "I'll Still Love You." Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks are just some of the artists who have recorded Weatherly’s songs throughout the years. His songs have also been used in movies and TV shows such as Broadcast News, The Deer Hunter, Modern Family, Chicago Hope and Ally McBeal.
About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are approximately 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The list includes Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Albert Hammond, Desmond Child, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Richard & Robert Sherman, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Sir Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry and Leonard Cohen among many others.
Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame's Virtual Museum at http://songwritershalloffame.org/. Joining online is quick and easy: http://songhall.org/join
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1000 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.