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Song Hall Honors Thom Bell, Mac Davis, Kris Kristofferson

Posted in News on June 19, 2006
The 2006 Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony pulled out all the stops as SHOF Chairman/CEO Hal David and President Linda Moran helped honor BMI songwriting heavyweights Thom Bell, Mac Davis, Will Jennings, Sylvia Moy and Kris Kristofferson. The 37th annual induction ceremony, which also saluted songwriters Henry Cosby, John Mayer, Peter, Paul & Mary, and ABKCO Publishing's Allen Klein, took place June 15 at New York's Marriott Marquis Hotel.

BMI President & CEO Del Bryant, Kris Kristofferson, and SHOF Curator Oscar Brand

The evening was full of special moments, including one from music impresario Paul Shaffer, who honored inductee Thom Bell with a medley of some of his most famous songs, including "I'll Be Around," "You Make Me Feel Brand New," "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time" and "You Are Everything."

Inductee Will Jennings, SHOF President Linda Moran, Kris Kristofferson, Frances Preston, and inductee Mac Davis

Hal David gave the introduction to Johnny Mercer Award honoree Kris Kristofferson: "Tonight's honoree is a Rhodes Scholar and former United States Army helicopter pilot who, in 1965, resigned his commission, gave up a teaching post at West Point, and moved to Nashville to fulfill his dream of becoming a successful songwriter."

Country star Trace Adkins did Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" proud and presented the honor to his old friend. Kristofferson then thrilled the packed audience with a performance of "Help Me Make It Through the Night."

SHOF Chairman/CEO Hal David, inductee Sylvia Moy, and Will Jennings

BMI composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) came out to help induct fellow BMI affiliate Will Jennings, citing Jennings' amazing songwriting record, which includes co-writing Barry Manilow's first No. 1 smash, "Looks Like We Made It," as well as his extremely successful partnership with Steve Winwood. Broadway vocalist Linda Eder performed his blockbuster hit, "My Heart Will Go On," from Titanic.

Trace Adkins, Will Jennings, ASCAP's John LoFrumento, Paul Shaffer, Mac Davis, Lise Davis, Sylvia Moy, Del Bryant, inductee Thom Bell, and Hal David

Former BMI President & CEO Frances Preston helped induct her longtime friend, Mac Davis. "My first remembrance of Mac Davis was from a very early Nashville music festival," Preston reminisced. "I knew at that moment that Mac Davis was going to be one of America's greatest songwriters."

Thom Bell accepts his award

Davis, who signed his own recording contract in 1970, topped the charts in 1972 with his song, "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me," and wrote the Elvis Presley classics "A Little Less Conversation," "Memories" and "In the Ghetto," which he performed to a standing ovation.

Publishing giant Allen Klein was honored with the Abe Olman Publishing Award, presented by EMI Music Publishing's Martin Bandier and Carlin America, Inc.'s Freddy Bienstock, both previous recipients of the award. Klein's close friend, Yoko Ono, sent a congratulatory letter, which Bandier read. BMI artist Gavin DeGraw then performed an amazing rendition of ABKCO artist Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."

Kris Kristofferson performs

The induction of BMI writer Sylvia Moy and the late Henry Cosby closed the show, presented by their longtime Motown collaborator, Stevie Wonder. The pair co-wrote many of Wonder's most famous early hits, including "I Was Made to Love Her," "Shoo Bee Doo Bee Da Day" and "My Cherie Amour," which Wonder performed during the ceremony.

Mac Davis performs

Dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world, 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. BMI is a long-time supporter of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.