BMI Songwriter Carole King to Receive SHOF’s Johnny Mercer Award

Posted in News on May 1, 2002

The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame, has announced that BMI songwriter Carole King will be this year's recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the 2002 Awards dinner, set for Thursday, June 13 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. Other inductees were announced previously and include BMI songwriter/artists Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson and Sting, as well as Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, Randy Newman, Garth Brooks (Hitmaker Award), Stevie Wonder (Lifetime Achievement Award), National Music Publishers Association CEO Ed Murphy (Abe Olman Publishers Award) and "You're A Grand Old Flag," written by George M. Cohan (Towering Song Award).

 Chairman/CEO Hal David commented: "Carole King has been a tour de force in our industry ever since I can remember. She is a gifted songwriter and performer who epitomized a wonderful era of music. I am so pleased that the Songwriters Hall of Fame will be recognizing her outstanding accomplishments at this year's event."  

Pop music as we know it would not be the same without Carole King. She began her career during the famed "Brill Building" era in the late 50s and early 60s, creating hit after hit. She composed her first #1 hit "Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow," with Gerry Goffin for the Shirelles at age 17. The #1 and Top 10 hits she and Goffin (whom she later married) wrote during this period are part of music legend. In the early 70s, King once again led the way, opening the doors for a brand new genre of artist: the singer/songwriter. Carole released her first solo album, Writer in 1970, but it was 1971's Tapestry that took her to the pinnacle. It spoke personally to every one of her contemporaries, women in particular, and provided the spiritual musical backdrop to the decade. Tapestry remains on the charts some 30 years later, having grabbed the first Grammy grand-slam for a woman: Best Record, Best Song, Best Album and Best Female Vocalist. The album has also received the Diamond Award from the RIAA for sales of over 25 million units and remained the best selling album by a woman for 25 years. King has also amassed three other Platinum records as well as six Gold records in a career that spans nearly half a century.

Carole is one of the first musical performers to move into acting, highlighted by her starring role in "Blood Brothers" on Broadway in 1994. Her acting skills will once again be tested as she will be introduced during May sweeps on the "Gilmore Girls," in a role that she will reprise in the Fall. King also writes for film and television. Recent credits include writing and singing the theme (with daughter Louise Goffin) for "Gilmore Girls," and her 2000 Emmy nomination for "Song of Freedom" (the title track to "Freedom Song," a TNT original movie produced by and starring Danny Glover and executive produced and written by Phil Alden Robinson). Other credits include the films "You've Got Mail," "A League of Their Own" and "Murphy's Romance." In this, her 60th year, the ever prolific King has released her 24th album of timeless pop music with all the bravura of her indomitable female spirit.

The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame, the organization dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world, is one of the most prestigious in the industry. At last year's event, the stars came out to honor each other, with Dolly Parton, songwriter Diane Warren, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, singer/songwriter Paul Williams, Billy Joel (Johnny Mercer Award), Gloria & Emilio Estefan (Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award), Dionne Warwick (Hitmaker Award), Ralph Peer (Abe Olman Publishers Award) and Iris Cantor (Patron of the Arts Award) being honored. Songwriters Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, Clive Davis, Paul Shaffer, Elvis Costello, Judy Collins, Jimmy Webb, Emmylou Harris, Deborah Cox, Marc Anthony, Maria Elena Holly (Buddy Holly's widow), Blu Cantrell, Richard Belzer, Tony Randall, Jon Secada, and even Kermit the Frog came out to present or perform for the honorees. A highlight of the evening was the grand finale performance of "Not Fade Away" that featured all of the artists onstage together.

The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters' Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The NAPM/SHOF is also devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. Over the past 32 years, some key Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have included Burt Bachrach, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield, among many, many others.

Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame are $750 each and are available through Buckley Hall Events at (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go towards the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s educational programs.


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