When the members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame convene for its annual gala award dinner on June 18 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, attendees will celebrate not just a stellar group of inductees but also the organization's 40th anniversary.

Along with its annual star-studded dinner, the SHOF has a virtual presence in the music industry year-round. The organization's online museum at songwritershalloffame.org offers some 10,000 pages of content including biographies, discographies, audio clips, photo galleries and timelines. It provides an educational program aimed at helping young songwriters develop their craft.

SHOF chairman/CEO and acclaimed lyricist Hal David, says, "We are moving forward and we think we have a real good virtual museum now. We may be finding that we will get the real thing soon. That is a major goal and we would love to have it in New York."

SHOF also is gearing up for its third songwriter's Master's Class workshop, which will be led June 16 at New York's Merkin Hall by Lamont Dozier, of the famed Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, who this year will receive the Johnny Mercer Award.

These events are "terribly important because it brings out a lot of young songwriters who can show their songs and listen to others and then something sparks and before you know it you have another Johnny Mercer or Burt Bacharach," David says.

That's exactly what happened about seven years ago when a certain songwriter, then known as John Stephens, received the Abe Olman Scholarship for Excellence in Songwriting as the BMI-sponsored artist that year.

"Our poster child is John Legend, who used the money from the scholarship to finish his first album," recalls SHOF president Linda Moran. "Five years later, he got the Hal David Starlight award."

This year's scholarship winners will be honored during the June 16 master class.

Moran doesn't mind that "everyone thinks of us as the organization that acknowledges and celebrates songwriters." But she also says educating and developing new songwriter through workshops, showcases and providing networking events is also an equally important part of the organization's mission and something "we take very seriously."

This year's award dinner "will be one of our greatest galas," David promises. In fact, "they have all been pretty good up `till now. But this one will be the best."

Here's a look at this year's honorees:

The Abe Olman Publisher Award
Maxyne Lang


Maxyne Lang spent the first 11-years of her publishing career at the Chappell/Intersong Music Group, where she eventually became VP of special products and standards. She represented a broad spectrum of music, including the catalogues of Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees, Leiber and Stoller, Pomus and Shuman, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Since 1988, Lang has served as president of Williamson Music and Williamson Music International, the U.S. and global publishing divisions of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, which was recently sold to the Imagem Music Group.

In addition to the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog, and songs by Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin and T.S. Eliot, Williamson Music represents writers such as Adam Guettel, Ricky Ian Gordon, Henry Krieger, John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Joe DiPietro, Sheldon Harnick, Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx, Jimmy Roberts, Stephen Schwartz, and David Zippel.

The company's successes include: "In The Heights" (2008 Tony Award, Best Musical), with a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda; "Legally Blonde," with a score by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin; "Grey Gardens," with a score by Michael Korie and Scott Frankel; and "Avenue Q" (2004 Tony Award, Best Musical), with a score by Lopez & Marx.

Lang was elected to the National Music Publishers' Assn. Board of Directors in 1994, and became a member of the board of the Harry Fox Agency in 2001. She is also a member of the NMPA finance fommittees, and is currently chairman of the communication and public relations committee. She is also serving her fifth term as a member of the ASCAP Board of Review. In addition, Lang served for three terms on the Board of Directors of the New York chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP). In recognition of her dedication to the AIMP and success as an independent music publisher, Lang was honored with the organization's 1999 Indie Award.
In 2003, she received the Touchstone Women in Music Award.

The Abe Olman Publisher Award goes to music publishers who have had a substantial number of songs that have become world renowned and have furthered the careers and success of many songwriters.

Towering Song
"Moon River"
Towering Performance Award
Andy Williams


Written in 1961 by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini and originally sung by Audrey Hepburn in the film "Breakfast At Tiffany's, "Moon River" won an Oscar as best original song of that year. "Moon River" later became the theme song for Andy Williams who sang it at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1962 and performed the opening bars each week to his television show, "The Andy Williams Show."
While Williams has been an active performer down through the years and particularly became known for his Christmas TV specials and the
recording of eight Christmas albums, in 1992 he built a state-of-the-art
theater in Branson, Miss., which was christened the Andy Williams Moon River Theater. The Towering Song Award is presented each year to the creators of an individual song that has influenced pop culture in a unique way. The Towering Song Performance Award is given, according to the SHOF, in recognition of "one-of-a-kind performances by one-of-a-kind singers."

Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award
Tom Jones


With 18 top 40 songs in the United States, Tom Jones' recordings of songs have kept many a songwriter flush in royalties through the years, especially Les Reed and his then-manager Gordon Mills who penned some of his early hits like "Its Not Unusual" and "Delilah." Known for performances that have induced hysteria among his female fans, Jones is an acclaimed song stylist and interpreter. When the pop hits stopped coming, Jones ventured over to the country music during the 1970's and 1980's, scoring 16 singles on the Billboard country singles charts. In the U.K., through collaborations with artists like the Art of Noise and producers like Trevor Horn and Teddy Riley, Jones remained a pop hitmaker through the 1990s. In fact, according to the artist's website, Jones "Reload" album in 1998 is his best-selling
album of his career, with worldwide sales of 4 million units. The
Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award is presented to performers who have been responsible for substantial number of hits songs over an extended period of time.

Johnny Mercer Award
Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland


Along with John Lennon and Paul McCarthy, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland are arguably the most successful songwriters of their generation and of the last 50 years. From 1962 to1967, triple credit of Holland-Dozier-Holland appeared on 70 Top 10 songs, 50 of them No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and 13 of those were consecutive No. 1 hits, according to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Moreover, as producers for most, if not all of those Motown songs, H-D-H invented what became known as the "Sound Of Young America," which their original fans now are growing old with. Their hits include, "Baby, I Need Your Loving," "You Can't Hurry Love," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," "Reach Out I'll Be There,"
"Love Is Here And Now You're Gone," "Standing In The Shadows Of Love, "Stop In The Name Of Love," "Baby Love," "Can't Hurry Love,"
"Reflections," "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Same Old Song," "Can't Help Myself, " "Heatwave," "Quicksand," and "Jimmy Mack." After leaving Motown, they started their own labels Invictus and Hot Wax and were involved in another slew of hits songs for Frank Sinatra, Honey Cone and Freda Payne, among others. The Johnny Mercer Award is reserved for existing members of the SHOF to recognize a life-long body of work of high quality and impact.

Hal David Starlight Award
Jason Mraz


Jason Mraz made his major label debut in 2002 with "Waiting For My
Rocket to Come" which both earned him acclaim for his songwriting and commercial success, selling more than TK units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. His second release three years later, "Mr. A-Z," debuted No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and earned his first Grammy nomination. Mraz's decision to take a year off the road and out of the studio was followed, in 2008, by his third album "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things." The album's single, "I'm Yours,"
earned the singer his first spot in the top ten on Billboard's Hot 100
chart and received a 2008 Grammy Award nomination as song of the year. The Hal David Award recognizes gifted songwriters who are at the apex of their careers and making a significant impact on the music industry with original songs.

THE INDUCTEES
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora


In the 25 years since the release of Bon Jovi's self-titled debut album, frontman Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora have, individually and together, have co-written and collaborated on the rockers, ballads and anthems that has propelled the band to global success. Hits such as "You Give Love A Bad Name," "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There For You" have topped the Billboard Hot 100. The band's 2007 album, "Lost Highway," yielded the hit "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and a concert run recognized by Billboard as the top-grossing tour of 2008. The band's Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation received the Humanitarian Award at the 2008 Billboard Touring Awards for its charitable endeavors with aiding in finding affordable housing for the less fortunate.

Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati

Between 1965 and 1970, the Young Rascals (later, the Rascals) had a
remarkable run of hits on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the soulful
songwriting of Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and their pop classics
including "Groovin'," "Good Lovin'," and "A Beautiful Morning."
Later, working with producer Arif Marden, the Rascals incorporated jazz and psychedelia into their garaged-up blendings of soul and pure pop. In 1968, in the wake of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the duo wrote "People Got To Be Free" and the song touched a national nerve, topping the Hot 100 for five weeks that summer.

Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway

When the Fortunes, a British pop quintet, scaled the Billboard Hot 100
in the summer of 1965 with the winsome Top Ten hit "You've Got Your
Troubles," the song also marked the U.S. breakthrough for songwriting partners Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. The two Rogers (who also achieved recording success in the U.K. under the alter ego David & Jonathan) penned a rich run of hits on either side of the Atlantic, including the Fortunes' followup, "This Golden Ring," the Gary Lewis & the Playboys' hit "Green Grass," the Hollies' Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress" and others. But perhaps their landmark musical statement was an early 70s hit that started as a Coke jingle and subsequently became a top 15 hit for both the New Seekers and the Hillside Singers, the bouyant anthem "I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)."

Crosby, Stills & Nash

The first of the super groups, the trio formed in 1968 by David Crosby
of the Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of
the Hollies reflected their era. Their songs were a soundtrack to a period of antiwar protests and anti-establishment lifestyles. Musically, CS&N's repertoire ranged from sweet acoustic ballads marked by rich harmonies to raucous guitar jams, particularly when Neil Young later joined their ranks. And like Bob Dylan with "Like A Rolling Stone" or the Beatles with "Hey Jude," they helped break down the three-minute song barrier on the radio with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." Their achievements as pop hitmakers continued into the 1980s with the such Hot 100 singles as "Wasted On The Way" and "Southern Cross." The trio continue to tour together and each maintain vital solo careers.

Galt MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni

Actors and songwriters James Rado and the Gerome Ragni met in 1964, and together with Canadian pianist and composer, Galt MacDermot, the three produced the Grammy Award-winning musical "Hair." They were the first to introduce the genre "rock musical" to the theater scene. "Hair' boasts a triumphant record of 2000 shows performed in London and New York. Rado and Ragni were nominated for the "best musical" Tony Award in 1969 and won the Grammy for "best musical" in 1969. This musical sensation was adapted into a movie in 1979 (which Rado and Ragni were not particularly happy with) and once again is being staged on Broadway. Ragni passed away in 1991. While the three songwriters may have written ony one show together, "Hair" "revolutionized Broadway and it was unique in that practically every song from the play became a hit," says SHOF president Linda Moran.

Stephen Schwartz

Best-known for his contribution to the music and lyrics for the 1970
Grammy-winning musical "Godspell," Steven Schwartz has a long list of professional successes to his credit, including "Pippin," "The Magic
Show," and "The Baker's Wife." One of Godspell's most memorable songs, "Day By Day," reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Schwartz more recently wrote the lyrics and music to the Broadway hit "Wicked." For the screen, Schwartz wrote the lyrics for Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Pocahontas" and wrote both the lyrics and music for DreamWorks' "Prince of Egypt," which included the Oscar-winning song "When You Believe." For the 2007 film "Enchanted," Schwartz resumed his collaboration with longtime Disney composer Alan Menken and three of their songs for the film were nominated for Oscars.

Additional editorial for this story was written by Lara Marsman