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Songwriting Awards

Bruce Springsteen – Prolific

Billboard has uploaded their new cover story with Bruce Springsteen, who just wrapped up another epic tour behind his latest album, Working On A Dream. In it, Springsteen discusses the ritual of taking requests from the audience, his decision to play full albums from Born To Run to The E Street Shuffle, and the longevity of the E Street Band.

“I’ve been prolific with my songwriting,” says Springsteen, “so I’ve been able to just get more music out there, which is something I always wanted to do. I found my 50s to be very, very fruitful. The songs came — I don’t want to say easily, but they came in a continuous flow. I had a lot of things I wanted to write about, so it allowed us to record quite a bit, and then back it up with the touring.”

Read the whole thing here. And watch Bruce live in Philadelphia below… May the Muse continue to stay with you Bruce…

Finally, the Kennedy Center honoured Bruce as a singer and a songwriter last Sunday… read about that here.

McCartney wins Gershwin songwriter prize

Paul McCartney will be honoured with a fledgling but prestigious musical honour, after being named Monday as the latest recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The U.S. Library of Congress, which administers the honour, announced the 67-year-old British musician and former Beatle as its third winner of the songwriting prize on Monday.

"It is hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a more indelible and transformative effect on popular song and music of several different genres than Paul McCartney," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement.

Billington selected McCartney after discussion with entertainment industry leaders.

The Library of Congress houses the George and Ira Gershwin Collection, a vast resource of musical manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, other documents and memorabilia that originally belonged to the famed songwriting brothers.

"As a great admirer of the Gershwins’ songs, I am highly honoured to be given the Gershwin Prize by such a great institution," McCartney said.

Organizers will celebrate McCartney with a star-studded tribute concert being planned for spring 2010, with a line-up of performers to be announced later.

First awarded in 2007, the Gershwin Prize was created by Bob Peter and Bob Kaminsky, Mark Krantz and Cappy McGarr — who also created the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The first two Gershwin Prize recipients were musical icons Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

Echo Prize 2009 – More Canadian Songwriting Awards


There is still time to vote for one of the five Canadian songwriters nominated for SOCAN’s fourth annual ECHO Songwriting Prize. ECHO celebrates the songwriting talents of some of the best independent and innovative songwriters in Canada.

The five nominated songs, as selected by an independent panel of music community tastemakers, are:

o “Lay Down In the Grass” written by Taylor Kirk, performed by Timber Timbre
o “Love Can Be So Mean” written by Sebastien Grainger, performed by Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains
o “Nobody With a Notepad” written by Derek Christoff and Robert Bakker, performed by D-Sisive
o “Some Are Lakes” written by Elizabeth Powell, performed by Land of Talk
o “Through and Through and Through” written and performed by Joel Plaskett

The writer(s) of the song that receives the most votes will receive a $5,000 CDN cash prize. SOCAN invites the public to cast votes for their favourite song at http://www.echoprize.ca. The contest runs until 4:59 p.m. EST, September 29, 2009.

The Prix de la chanson ECHO, celebrating the songwriting talents of some of the best independent Francophone songwriters in Canada, is running concurrently.
Visit http://www.prixecho.ca for more details.

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John Fogerty Honoured With Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting

The Americana Music Association awarded John Fogerty with a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting last week. As the 2009 honoree, Fogerty joins an elite list of previous recipients which includes John Hiatt, Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Cowboy Jack Clement, John Prine and Billy Joe Shaver.

Throughout his prolific career, John Fogerty has celebrated and shaped American roots music.

He is a quintuple threat: songwriter, singer, lead guitarist, arranger, and producer. A roots classicist in love with Memphis-style rockabilly, New Orleans-drenched rhythm-and-blues, and classic country styles, Fogerty was ahead of his time in forging a hybrid of these genres before it was common or stylish to do so. He was more than prescient: As Springsteen said upon Creedence Clearwater Revival’s induction into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, “Creedence wasn’t the hippest band in the world, but they were the best.” Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Grammy Award-winner, Fogerty began his work four decades ago, and thankfully, he never finished.

While his 60s contemporaries stretched into lavish musical experimentation, Fogerty wrote songs with defiant concision. Rarely has one songwriter been able to write about fun times and ominous times with equal power and clarity. Such self-confidence and panoramic awareness resulted in music that is timeless: “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Green River,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Lodi,” “Run Through the Jungle,” “Centerfield,” “Looking Out My Back Door” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” shift between head-banging escapism, subtly poetic self-reflection, and trenchant political analysis, all while remaining essentially and unrepentantly American.

But it’s also universal… and for that the Muse will continue to be with Mr. Fogerty…

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And The 2009 Polaris Music Prize Winner Is…

Click on the pic to open the player and here all the 2009 Polaris Music Nominees…

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Polaris Music Awards live on CBC Radio 3

CBC Radio 3 (webradio) today announced that it would broadcast live the 2009 Polaris Music Prize Gala at 9:00 pm ET tonight (September 21, 2009). If you have Sirius Canada Satellite radio, you can catch the program on CBC Radio 3 channel 86.

The prize, which is modeled after the UK’s Mercury Music Prize, is a Canadian music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label.

The award, picked by a jury of Canadian music industry insiders, was established in 2006 by Sirius and includes a C$20,000 cash prize. The winner will be announced during the broadcast.

This years event will be hosted by CBC Radio 3 Host Grant Lawrence and will feature live performances from all ten short-list nominees Great Lake Swimmers, Hey Rosetta!, K’NAAN, Malajube, Metric, and Joel Plaskett.

Last years winner was Caribou for Andorra.

This years nominees include:

* Metric – Fantasies
* Elliot BROOD – Mountain Meadows
* Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life
* Hey Rosetta! – Into your Lungs
* Malajube – Labyrinthes
* Joel Plaskett- Three
* Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
* K-NAAN – Troubadour
* Great Lake Swimmers – Lost Channels
* Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplane

Listen to them here… (choose the flash player in the right hand margin) and may the Muse stay with all the nominees…

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Songwriters Hall of Fame – 2009 Ceremony

The Songwriters Hall of Fame will be having its induction ceremony on June 18, 2009 (not yet sure if it will be televised). From the press release:

Jack Ingram, Joe Nichols and American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi are among the singers, songwriters and musicians scheduled to appear at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 40th anniversary gala taking place June 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of the Rascals, Crosby, Stills & Nash; Galt MacDermot, Stephen Schwartz and James Rado and the late Gerome Ragni. Also being inducted is the songwriting duo of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Cook, already a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, is the father of CMT host Katie Cook. His songwriting credits Don Williams’ “I Believe in You” and Crystal Gayle’s “Talking in Your Sleep.” Others performing or presenting awards at the gala include Daughtry, Berry Gordy, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., John Ondrasik, James Taylor, Ryan Tedder, Rob Thomas and Paul Williams.

Should be some shindig I suppose…

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Gamble and Huff Honoured

Last month I wrote about the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland being honoured, and now it’s time for Gamble and Huff.

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff recently received the Icon Award for lifetime achievement from BMI.

Gamble and Huff embodied the “Philly Soul” sound of the early 1970’s that followed the Motown era and preceeded the Disco era… From Reuters:

They wrote or co-wrote about 3,000 songs during their heyday, still own the masters and copyrights, and keep busy licensing the tunes for use in movies, TV and commercials.

“Every time I turn around, my wife is hollerin’ ‘One of your songs is in the movies,'” Huff, 67, said in a recent interview with Reuters, sitting alongside Gamble.

One would have to try pretty hard to go through a week without hearing a Gamble and Huff tune on the radio or the screen. The catalog includes “Love Train” by the O’Jays, “When Will I See You Again” by the Three Degrees, Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Rawls’ “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” and Jerry Butler’s “Only the Strong Survive” (which Butler co-wrote).

And then there are the covers, whether it be Simply Red’s take on Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” for which Gamble and Huff won a songwriting Grammy; Third World’s update of the O’Jays’ “Now That We’ve Found Love”; or the Rolling Stones performing “Love Train” during their recent tour.

What was the Gamble & Huff formula?

“We were looking at standard classic music that you would hear 30 years later,” Huff said. “The quality was what we were into. The artists that we signed had to have a certain quality of voice and talent.”

The duo’s emphasis was on the arrangement of songs, establishing an undeniable rhythm with lots of strings and horns. They helped lay the foundation for disco.

Certainly a great songwriting team, and certainly worthy of the recognition… May the Muse remain with you both, Mssrs. Gamble and Huff…

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Holland-Dozier-Holland Honoured

From a recent American Songwriter Blog post by Evan Schlansky, here is an article about one of my favourite songwriting teams and the award they’ll be receiving in June:

Legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland will receive the coveted Johnny Mercer Award at the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards dinner on June 18th at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The trio, who wrote indelible hits for the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye are considered key architects in the Motown sound. Together they penned Where Did Our Love Go?, Baby, I Need Your Loving, You Can’t Hurry Love, Stop In The Name Of Love, Baby Love, Can’t Hurry Love, You Keep Me Hanging On, Nowhere To Run, Same Old Song, and Can’t Help Myself, to name just a few. In total, the team wrote 70 Top 10 songs from 1962 to 1967, including 50 #1 hits.

“Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland’s massive stream of classic songs changed the face of popular music in a way that has endured, creating a style that is highly influential and relevant today,” said Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman/CEO Hal David in a statement. “The Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to bestow our prestigious Johnny Mercer Award upon this groundbreaking team.”

The Johnny Mercer Award is exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer (who’s songs include “Stardust” and “Moon River”). Past recipients of the award include Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Jimmy Webb, and Paul Simon.

Holland-Dozier-Holland… May the Muse stay with you…

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Caribou Wins Polaris Music Prize 2008!

Congratulations to Caribou for winning the 2008 Polaris Music Prize for their album, Andorra! You can watch last year’s winner, the band Patrick Watson, make the announcement here:

Patrick Watson (2007 winner) announces 2008 Polaris Music Prize!
May the Muse be with you… all you Music Prize winners…

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