New York, NY
Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today that Barry Mann
and Cynthia Weil will be the 2011 recipients of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 42nd
Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 16 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel
in New York City.
Throughout the past four decades, the melodies of Barry Mann and the lyrics of
Cynthia Weil have comprised one of the most successful songwriting teams in history. Their
body of work is so significant that it is often described as "a soundtrack to our lives." The
husband and wife team have written legendary songs such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"
(with Phil Spector), "On Broadway" (with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller), "Walking In The
Rain," "Kicks, Soul And Inspiration," "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place," "I Just Can't Help
Believing," "Here You Come Again," "Never Gonna Let You Go," "Just Once," and the Grammy®
nominated "Don't Know Much" (with Tom Snow) to name just a few.
"Barry and Cynthia's massive stream of classic songs have changed the face of
popular music in a way that has endured, with songs that have a straight-from -the-heart,
deep appeal," commented legendary songwriter, SHOF inductee and Chairman Jimmy Webb. "The
Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to bestow our prestigious Johnny Mercer Award upon this
The Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of
Fame, is exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted 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.
Mann and Weil have produced lyrics and music that have an impact far beyond
that of an average hit. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Soul And Inspiration" were not
just songs that launched The Righteous Brothers; they defined the genre we now call "blue
eyed soul." "On Broadway," "Uptown" and "Only In America," transcended early rock and roll's
romantic "moon and June" fixation. "Kicks" proved that Mann and Weil could not only write for
rock bands, but that a commercial hit could address a serious issue like drugs. "We Gotta Get
Out Of This Place" is not only considered one of the classic rock songs of all time, but it
became an anthem for Vietnam soldiers and protesters alike.
"Here You Come Again" provided country star Dolly Parton with her first
crossover hit and helped country artists gain their rightful place in the world of popular
music. "Just Once" launched the career vocalist James Ingram and "Don't Know Much"
reintroduced the world to the voice of Aaron Neville.
The duo have created scores for many films such as An American Tail for which
they wrote the double-Grammy® winning "Somewhere Out There" with James Horner. In addition to
collecting Grammys® for Song of the Year and Motion Picture or Television Song of the Year,
the song also received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations and won BMI's Most Performed Film
Together Mann and Weil have amassed 112 pop, country and R&B awards from
Broadcast Music Inc., recognizing highest performance popularity on American radio and
television in a particular year and 115 Millionaire Awards, signifying radio performances of
a million or more plays. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" received 14 pop awards and has
been honored as the most performed song in the BMI catalogue and the most performed song of
the twentieth century. It has garnered more than fourteen million performances, the first BMI
song ever to achieve that milestone.
Additional recognition of Mann and Weil's achievements include; the first
Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters, The Clooney Foundation's
Award for Legendary Song Composition, BMI's Robert Burton Award for the most performed
country song of 1977, "Here You Come Again," induction into the prestigious SHOF, and the
2003 Heroes Award from the New York Chapter of NARAS. In 2010, Mann and Weil were
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included songwriting giants: 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.
This comes from an exclusive press release from SHoF