New York, N.Y. – March 17, 2009 – Hal David, Chairman/CEO of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, today announced that Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) will be this year’s recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the 2009 Awards dinner, slated for June 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.
With a catalogue of seminal pop songs, an overwhelming number of which are still in strong demand many years after they were first written and recorded, the songwriting powerhouse of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, aka Holland-Dozier-Holland, are the stuff of songwriting legend. Penning smashes for the Supremes, The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye, among other Motown artists, Holland-Dozier-Holland were often credited with developing the Motown Sound and were largely responsible for ushering in one of the most powerful and memorable eras in popular music.
“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,” commented Chairman/CEO Hal David. “The Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to bestow our prestigious Johnny Mercer Award upon this groundbreaking team.”
Early on, Holland-Dozier-Holland took Diana Ross and the Supremes under their wing, writing and producing the group’s first smash recording, “Where Did Our Love Go?” with many more to follow. During their incredibly prolific and successful Motown years, from 1962-1967, H-D-H wrote 70 Top 10 songs, 50 of them #1’s and 13 of those #1’s in a row! Of the Top 100 Songs of the Century, Holland-Dozier-Holland hold three prestigious places for “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” H-D-H-composed hits that brought them a combined total of 79 BMI Pop Songwriter Achievement Awards, including “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone,” and “Standing In The Shadows Of Love.” In 1988, Holland-Dozier-Holland were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2003 they were honored with the BMI Icon Award. Other H-D-H hits include such pop classics as “Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Baby Love,” “Can’t Hurry Love,” “Reflections,” “You Keep Me Hanging On” “Nowhere To Run,” “Same Old Song,” “Can’t Help Myself, ” “Heatwave,” “Quicksand,” “Jimmy Mack” and “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” among a slew of other popular titles. But more than pop hits, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland crafted a durable piece of Americana as the architects of the self-titled Sound of Young America, and created songs that helped shape our culture.
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. Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included songwriting giants: 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.
Inductees at this year’s event include Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora; Felix Cavalieri and Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals ); Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Galt MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni (deceased); and Stephen Schwartz. Other honorees to be announced.
Photo caption: Songwriters Hall of Fame President Linda Moran congratulates Lamont Dozier on being chosen as a recipient of the organization’s Johnny Mercer award at it’s upcoming gala on June 18th. Dozier met Moran last week at the BMI Latin Music Awards where he was one of the night’s honorees.
Photo ID (from left to right): Lamont Dozier and SHOF President Linda Moran
About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. Over the course of the past 40 years, some key Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have included Desmond Child, Loretta Lynn, John Sebastian, John Fogerty, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Steve Cropper, Dolly Parton, Richard and Robert Sherman, Bill Withers, Carole King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison and Cy Coleman among many, many others. The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond.
Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Virtual Museum at www.songhall.org.
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1000 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go towards the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.