ROBERT “KOOL” BELL, RONALD BELL, GEORGE BROWN & JAMES “JT” TAYLOR P/K/A “KOOL & THE GANG,” STEVE DORFF, JERMAINE DUPRI, ALAN JACKSON, JOHN MELLENCAMP AND ALLEE WILLIS ALSO TO BE INDUCTED
Musical titans Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor P/K/A “Kool & The Gang,” Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and Allee Willis will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.
These legendary songwriters wrote mega-hits such as, “Mama Sang a Song,” “Celebration,” “Through The Years,” “Always Be My Baby,” “Chattahoochee,” “Jack And Diane,” and “I’ll Be There For You.” The star-studded induction event is slated for Thursday, June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel inNew York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
“The 2018 roster of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees is a prodigious representation of creators of cross-genre hits, certain to resonate with everyone,” said SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff and president/CEO Linda Moran. “Each year, the slate of songwriters we induct is more diverse and illustrative of the history and contributions that we strive to acknowledge and honor. We could not be more excited to preside over this year’s event and to give these songwriters their due respect.”
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. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.
Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year, and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, “City Lights,” was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958. The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to sign with BMI and Tree Publishing.
Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed “City Lights” with country standards like “Tips Of My Fingers,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Once A Day,” “Saginaw, Michigan,” “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome,” “I Missed Me,” “Cold Hard Facts Of Life,” which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, “Mama Sang A Song,” the crossover smash, “Still,” and countless others. He was voted country Songwriter Of The Year six times during his first decade in Music City.
His success continued into the seventies with award-winning hits like “Slippin’ Away,” “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,” “I May Never Get To Heaven,” and the disco-flavored, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer.” The eighties saw Anderson’s chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain, and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the nineties, he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time.
Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like “Wish You Were Here,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Two Teardrops,” “A Lot Of Things Different,” for Kenny Chesney, “Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn),” for Vince Gill and two Song Of The Year awards for “Whiskey Lullaby,” with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Straight’s “Give It Away,” in 2005 and 2007 respectfully. He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s “Dying To See Her.” For more information, visit billanderson.com.