The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced today that a musical celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will be a featured segment at the 45th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 12th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The salute to ascap at the SHOF Dinner will be highlighted by the appearance of several surprise musical guests.
ASCAP, a performing rights organization, was founded on February 13th, 1914 in New York, to licensing and distribute royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of the copyrighted works of its members.
ASCAP’s charter members included Irving Berlin (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”), Jerome Kern (“Old Man River”), George M. Cohan (“Give My Regards to Broadway”), James Weldon Johnson (“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”) and Victor Herbert (“Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life”), who was the driving force behind the establishment of the Society. Since then, ascap has been home to many of the greatest names in American music, past and present – from Duke Ellington to Katy Perry, George Gershwin to Jay Z, Leonard Bernstein to Beyoncé, Marc Anthony to Alan Jackson, and Henry Mancini to Hans Zimmer. Over the years, the lion’s share of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have been members of ascap. Today, ascap members comprise more than 500,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ascap also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide.
Inductees at this year’s event include Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly. The prestigious Johnny Mercer Award will be presented to Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Doug Morris will be honored with the Hitmaker Award and Dan Reynolds (of Imagine Dragons) will receive the Hal David Starlight Award. Del Bryant will be presented with the Visionary Leadership Award. The 2014 Towering Song Award will be presented to “Over the Rainbow,” written by Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Harold Arlen & E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, and published by EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.