Monday, February 26, 2024

Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Boz Scaggs Set for Songwriter Hall of Fame Dinner


The last time Billy Joel presented an award at the annual all star Songwriters Hall of Fame dinner, it was to Jimmy Webb. Billy sat at the piano and taught a master class on how Webb wrote “Wichita Lineman.” It was an extraordinary moment. God only knows what he;ll do on June 16th when he presents to Garth Brooks. Billy just signed on to the show, which is the hottest night of the year after Clive Davis‘s Grammy party. Other presenters and performers are going to include Ashford and Simpson, Sam Moore, Bill Medley, Boz Scaggs, Chrissie Hynde, Jimmy Jam Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Dominic Chianese, and Mrs. Brooks aka Trisha Yearwood.

This year’s inducteess besides Garth: Leon Russell, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly, John Bettis and Allen Toussaint. The Johnny Mercer Award will be presented to Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and the Towering Song is “It Was A Very Good Year,” to be accepted by composer and lyricist Ervin Drake. The Hal David Starlight Award will be presented to hip hopper Drake, who is no relation to the aforementioned Mr. Drake. The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award recipient will be Chaka Khan, because she’s had hits by Prince, Ashford and Simpson, etc. The first-ever Visionary Leadership Award will be presented to beloved SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David, the famed lyricist who wrote dozens of smash hits with Burt Bacharach and others.

As usual, the concert is produced by Phil Ramone. Linda Moran, who’s turned the Songwriters Hall of Fame into a five star operation, presides. The show should be on TV, but everyone says that would ruin it. You have to be there to see it and to hear it.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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