Natasha Bedingfield; Joan Jett; John Legend; Naked Brothers; Tom Paxton; Tim Rice; Irwin Robinson; Rouge: Maria Vidal; Diana Grasselli & Myriam Vaille; Blake Shelton; Yankee sportscaster John Sterling; former Yankee and musician Bernie Williams; Lee Ann Womack, Irving Burgie and Madi Diaz are the first artists to sign on as presenters and /or performers at this year’s 2008 Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) gala on Thursday, June 19 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. Albert Hammond, a lifelong resident of Gibraltar, will be inducted by the Chief Minister, the Honorable Peter Caruana, QC. The event, once again produced by Phil Ramone, begins with cocktails at 6pm, dinner is at 7pm and the show begins at 8:30pm.
Hal David, Chairman/CEO of SHOF, today announced that Milt Okun will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award at the 2008 Awards dinner.
Founder of Cherry Lane Music in 1959, Milt Okun’s impressive credits include experience as a musician, teacher, conductor, arranger, producer, publishing executive and author. Well known for his work with legendary artists the Chad Mitchell Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, PlÃ¡cido Domingo, Harry Belafonte, Starland Vocal Band , Tom Paxton, Laura Nyro and The Brothers Four, Okun started out as a junior high school music teacher in the New York City public schools, eventually becoming one of the most successful record producers in the US, with scores of gold and platinum records to his credit.
Under Okun’s leadership, Cherry Lane has become one of the world’s leading independent music publishers, with a current roster of songwriters and composers including The Black Eyed Peas, Will.I.am, John Legend, Quincy Jones, Wolfmother, Mick Mars, West Indian Girl, Ashford & Simpson, Hans Zimmer, Toby Gad, Meleni Smith, Ralph Macdonald and William Salter (“Just the Two Of Us”), Julie Gold (“From a Distance”), William Eaton (“Calypso Breakdown”), Tom Paxton, Irving Burgie (“Day-O”), Maury Yeston (“Titanic – The Musical”), Leslie Bricusse (“Jekyll & Hyde – The Musical”) and the classic catalogues of John Denver and Elvis Presley.