TV and Film Composers Score at BMI Awards

Posted in News on May 16, 2001

BMI last night honored the composers and songwriters of the music in the top-grossing films of the year and the top-rated prime-time network television shows at its annual Film & Television Awards dinner. Held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, the black tie gala was hosted by BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston. More than 50 awards were given out during the ceremonies, including the prestigious Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement presented to composer W.G. "Snuffy" Walden.

One of the most successful contemporary TV composers today, Walden is responsible for the music for some of the most popular and critically acclaimed programs in TV history. From the acoustic guitars of thirtysomething and The Wonder Years, to the sweeping Americana theme of The West Wing to the raucous garage-band backdrop of The Drew Carey Show, Walden's creative musical vision has made him one of the industry's busiest composers.

The BMI Family photo of winners at the BMI Film and TV awards.


A former guitarist who toured with such acts as Chaka Khan, Eric Burdon and Donna Summer, his first TV show for which he created music was thirtysomething. Other credits include The Wonder Years, Ellen, Rosanne, Sisters, Early Edition, The Drew Carey Show, Once & Again, The West Wing, Norm, Providence, the Stephen King mini-series The Stand, Felicity and many others. Walden, previously nominated for eight Emmys, won for The West Wing in 2000. He also released his first guitar-based solo record for Windham Hill Records this year.

Trevor Rabin, Harry Gregson Williams, Ed Shearmur, Ray Yee

Thirtysomething and Once & Again Producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, The West Wing Creator/Executive Producer Aaron Sorkin and Executive Producer/Director Thomas Schlamme, and The Wonder Years Director Michael Dinner all honored Walden via videotaped messages at the dinner.

Calling him, "A very artistic soul whose sensibility was much closer to ours than any of us realized," Zwick said Walden was, " interested in talking about what the story was as much as what the music should be."

Herskovitz called Walden's theme for thirtysomething a part of the signature of the show, adding, "...that particular guitar sound was like a character in the show. It was very important to us and very recognizable and it wouldn't have worked if it wasn't so tied into what the dynamics of the drama were all about...Snuffy understood the irony of our generation and particularly of that show, and he found a musical expression for that."

Dinner described him as, "...really tuned into the drama. He's really sensitive with what you're trying to accomplish in the piece and has the big picture besides just the scene (in mind)."

Sorkin said, "Snuffy's music is as every bit as much of the show as the words, the performances, Tommy's direction...the music is very much an extension of Snuffy and he becomes very emotionally involved in the piece. He's happy when he can put a lump in your throat."

Schlamme concurred, saying, "...His music is an extension of himself, he gets incredibly emotionally involved in whatever it is he's doing. What he adds is his emotional life - it is actually part of this show - and we're very lucky to have that."

Other composers who received multiple Film Music Awards included Trevor Rabin for Gone In 60 Seconds and Remember The Titans and Edward Shearmur for Charlie's Angels and Miss Congeniality. Composer Lalo Schifrin received a special Film Music Award for his legendary theme "Mission: Impossible" that was used throughout Mission: Impossible 2. Other composers receiving awards included Harry Gregson Williams, Chicken Run; Michael Kamen, X-Men; David Newman, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Cliff Martinez, Traffic; Richard Marvin, U-571, Mark Mothersbaugh, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie; and Danny Elfman, The Family Man.

"Doesn't Really Matter" from Nutty Professor II: The Klumps was named The Most Performed Song From A Motion Picture. "Doesn't Really Matter" was written by Janet Jackson and published by Black Ice Publishing.

The composers of the top-rated network prime-time television shows were also feted. Amongst those receiving multiple Television Music Awards were Mike Post for NYPD Blue, Law and Order and Law & Order: SVU; Walden for The West Wing and The Drew Carey Show; and David Vanacore for Survivor and Temptation Island. Other composers receiving awards were Martin Davich, ER; Allee Willis, Friends; Darryl Phinnessee, Frasier; John M. Keane and Pete Townshend, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; and Steve Hampton and Korbin Kraus, Just Shoot Me.

BMI's Emmy Award winning composers were also honored, including Walden, The West Wing; John Kimbrough, Nickellennium; Paul S. Glass and Dominic Messinger, One Life To Live; Messinger for "When I Think Of You" from One Life To Live; and Richard Stone, Steve Bernstein and Julie Bernstein, Hysteria! In an emotional moment, Stone's children, Mike and Rick, accepted the late composer's award; Stone died of cancer earlier this year.

High-resolution photos of the 2001 BMI Film/TV Awards are available for downloading on the BMI Media Relations web site at


Richard Kirk Award
W.G. "Snuffy" Walden

BMI Film Music Awards

Michael Kamen

David Kitay
Scary Movie

Ed Shearmur
Charlie's Angels
Miss Congeniality

David Newman
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Richard Gibbs
Big Momma's House

Cliff Martinez

Trevor Rabin
Remember The Titans
Gone In 60 Seconds

John Williams
The Patriot

Harry Gregson Williams
Chicken Run

Lalo Schifrin
Mission: Impossible 2

Lennie Niehaus
Space Cowboys

Richard Marvin

Mark Mothersbaugh
Rugrats In Paris: The Movie

Danny Elfman
The Family Man

BMI Most Performed Song from a Film

Janet Jackson
Black Ice Publishing
"Doesn't Really Matter" from Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

BMI TV Music Awards

Jeff Beal
Family Law

Kenneth Douglas Berry
Temptation Island

Martin Davich

Kurt Farquhar
Josh Goldsmith
Andrew Gross
The King of Queens

Steve Hampton
Just Shoot Me

Tom Hiel
The Practice

John M. Keane
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Korbin Kraus
Just Shoot Me

James S. Levine
What About Joan

Marc Lichtman
Touched By An Angel

Darryl Phinnessee

Mike Post
Law & Order
Law & Order: SVU

Edward Rogers

Peter Scaturro
The Practice

Barrett Strong
Family Law

Pete Townshend (PRS)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

David Vanacore
Temptation Island

W.G. "Snuffy" Walden
The Drew Carey Show
The West Wing

Norman Whitfield
Family Law Allee Willis

Cathy Yuspa
The King of Queens

BMI Emmy Award Winners

W. G. "Snuffy" Walden
The West Wing

John Kimbrough

Julie Bernstein
Steve Bernstein
Tim Kelly
Richard Stone

Paul S. Glass
Dominic Messinger
One Life To Live

Dominic Messinger
"When I Think Of You" from One Life To Live


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