Saturday, July 13, 2024

Elton John & Bernie Taupin Will Get Special Songwriters Hall of Fame Award


Elton John and Bernie Taupin are receiving the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This is a special award to songwriters of the highest merit who are considered the gold standard. This is exciting news because the songs from this duo really are in a league with the legendary Mercer. And what a night the SHOF will be on June 13th, with Berry Gordy getting his own Lifetime Achievement Award, and the inductees including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, as well as JD Souther and Holly Knight.

Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included songwriting giants: Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Phil Collins, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.

Jimmy Webb said of the duo in a statement: “Some catalogs are more ‘deep’ and significant than others not only because of their pertinence to the times in which they were written, but because their sheer mass is overpowering.  It’s just not that easy to write 40 Top 10 records.  It’s kind of like swimming the English Channel with your hands tied behind your back. Elton’s readily identifiable melodic piano style has proven to be a perfect accompaniment to Bernie’s razor sharp lyrics about relationships and living on the edge of life both in good and bad times.”

PS Look at these catalogs of songs from all these songwriters. Without them, we’d have nothing. And given what songwriting is like now, we’re going to be hard pressed to find new honorees for these kinds of awards in ten years. Songs now are sampled, interpolated, lifted, stolen, and worked on by committees. Very disappointing.




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.

Read more

In Other News