Entries in Songwriters Hall of Fame (3)


Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone Dead at 79 YORK) -- Acclaimed music producer Phil Ramone has died, about a month after being hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ramone died Saturday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was 79-years-old.

Over his long and successful career, Ramone received a total of 33 Grammy nominations and won 14 awards, including a trophy for Producer of the Year in 1981. Among the many well-known albums he's produced are Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years; Billy Joel's The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses; Frank Sinatra's Duets; Paul & Linda McCartney's Ram; Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company.

Ramone also recorded Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of "Happy Birthday" that she sang to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  In 1973, he won an Emmy Award for producing Liza Minnelli's Liza with a Z special.

In the last few years, Phil had worked on such recordings as Simon's So Beautiful or So What, Tony Bennett's Duets albums and Dionne Warwick's Now.

In 2010, Ramone was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. At the event, Billy Joel talked about what made Ramone such a great producer. "He knows his stuff. He knows music. He's worked in so many genres," explained Joel. "He loves music himself. He's a fan of music. He's just a good human being and he keeps you interested. He keeps you in the studio when sometimes you're ready to give up."

In an interview with Music Radar in November, Ramone explained his approach to producing, saying, "You have to be able to run as fast as the artist, capture the magic early on. After a few takes, people start intellectualizing what they’re doing, and it loses something. What’s special happens right away -- so you have to be ready for it.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Billy Joel Salutes Garth Brooks at Songwriters Hall of Fame

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame(NEW YORK) -- The Songwriters Hall of Fame had its annual induction gala Thursday night in New York City, and the biggest name being honored was country superstar Garth Brooks.

On hand to help do the honors was Brooks' pal Billy Joel -- the two have been friends and shared stages several times, ever since Brooks scored a massive country hit with Joel's song "Shameless."

On the red carpet, Joel said, "Garth has an insight, because he writes himself, on how to interpret other people's songs...I'm a New Yorker.  He had a hit on country-western radio with 'Shameless.'  That's pretty cool!  I never even imagined that."

Speaking more generally, Joel said the Songwriters Hall of Fame, of which he is a member, is important because songwriters don't get the recognition they deserve.

"The toughest part of the job is the writing," he told reporters.  "You can go on American Idol and yell in key, Idol of America or whatever, but writing?  That's a whole other ball of wax.  There's a lot of craft, a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work, aggravation and frustration."

Brooks agreed, saying of songwriters, "A blank piece of paper [to them] is like holding a piece of meat in front of a dog.  They see a blank piece of paper and they see an opportunity to say something."

Other Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Thursday night included Leon Russell; New Orleans pianist, composer and arranger Alan Toussaint, who wrote "Lady Marmalade" and "Southern Nights"; the team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who wrote "Like a Virgin," "True Colors" and "I'll Stand By You"; and Tom Bettis, who wrote "Crazy for You," "Slow Hand," "Top of the World" and "Human Nature."

In addition, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who wrote "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," "Here You Come Again," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," "Just Once" and many other songs, were honored with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.  Chaka Khan was also honored.

On hand to help celebrate the honorees were Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Billy Medley of the Righteous Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Ashford & Simpson, and Sam Moore of Sam & Dave.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Garth Brooks to Be Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Garth Brooks will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 16 during a gala event in New York City.  He's being recognized for his work on such songs as "Unanswered Prayers," "We Shall Be Free," "The Thunder Rolls" and, of course, "If Tomorrow Never Comes."

Among the writers Garth will be inducted alongside this year are the legendary Leon Russell, New Orleans musician, songwriter and producer Alan Toussaint, as well as John Bettis, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who wrote hits such as Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," Madonna's "Crazy for You" and "Like a Virgin," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," The Carpenters' "Top of the World" and Heart's "Alone."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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