Melissa Manchester among the members of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame • Current edition


Legendary lyricist Sammy Cahn, singer / songwriter Melissa Manchester and songwriter / arranger Billy Strayhorn will be honored at an upcoming online event as 2021 inductees to the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.

Premiering at 8 p.m. on November 13 on the Great American Songbook Foundation’s Facebook and YouTube channels, the 2021 Songbook Hall of Fame virtual induction will also feature video testimonials, interviews and tributes from the founder of the Songbook. Foundation, Michael Feinstein; Manchester; Alyce Claerbaut, niece of the late Strayhorn and President of Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc .; Galen Demus, nephew of Strayhorn and board member of Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc .; Tita Cahn, widow of Sammy Cahn; and New York-based rising jazz singer Anaïs Reno, a former student of the Songbook Academy’s annual summer intensive for high school artists.

In addition to video induction, the foundation will unveil new opportunities on for viewers to continue celebrating and discovering the musical legacy of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Videos and interactive learning opportunities will include Strayhorn Sundays by bassist / composer Marlon Martinez; Songbook Academy masterclass moments with Manchester; a preview of the Emmy Award won by Cahn and his frequent collaborator Jimmy Van Heusen for “Love and Marriage”, courtesy of Van Heusen’s grandnephew, Brook Babcock; music playlists and more.

The program is free to view. For event reminders and viewing links, sign up at

The Songbook Hall of Fame celebrates the composers, lyricists and performers who “created the soundtrack of our lives” with their contributions to American popular music. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on factors such as musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and overall work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, and overall musical excellence.

Former inductees include Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Rita Moreno.

About the inductees:

  • Sammy Cahn (1913-1993), Legend Award: Cahn put words to some of the most famous popular songs of all time, including “Come Fly with Me”, “Love and Marriage”, “My Kind of Town”, “The Second Time Around ”,“ Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! ”And hundreds of others. His work has been recorded by virtually every great singer of his time, including Frank Sinatra but also Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. cinema has earned him over 30 Oscar nominations and four wins.
  • Melissa Manchester (born 1951), New Standard Award: Songwriter since his teens, Manchester was a backing vocalist for Bette Midler before scoring his first Top 10 hit in 1975 with “Midnight Blue”. In 1980, she became the first recording artist to have two Oscar-nominated film themes in a single year, “Through the Eyes of Love” by Ice Castles and “I’ll Never Say Goodbye” by The Promise. She played both on the Oscar show. She received a Grammy nomination in 1980 for “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and won the Best Singer Award in 1982 for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”. Feinstein presented the Hall of Fame award in Manchester in May during a joint performance at the Songbook Foundation headquarters at the Palladium of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.
  • Billy strayhorn (1915-1967), Legend Award: Originally a classical pianist, Strayhorn joined the Duke Ellington big band in 1939 and spent three decades as a composer, arranger and closest collaborator to the conductor, though that it was not always credited. His compositions include Ellington’s theme, “Take the ‘A’ Train”, as well as “Chelsea Bridge”, “Lush Life” and other classic songs.

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