Robbie Robertson and French-Canadian songwriter Luc Plamondon are the next inductees into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), the organization announced Tuesday at a press conference at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where the gala will take place April 2 inside George Weston Recital Hall.
"The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to recognize and honor the accomplishments of our songwriters, and to educate Canadians about our rich songwriting legacy," said CSHF executive director Dominic Denny in a press statement. "The work we do would be impossible without the loyal support of our sponsors, including our presenting sponsor, BMO Nesbitt Burns."
In addition to Robertson and Plamondon - who represent the "modern era 1970 - 1985, " according to CSHF's catagories - the other inductees are Pierre Létourneau and Jack Scott (radio era: 1939 - 1969); and Roméo Beaudry and John Stromberg (pioneer era: up to 1938).
For the first time in CSHF's seven-year history, the upcoming awards ceremony will also induct songwriters and their entire catalogue. "In past years, the CSHF has inducted specific songs from Canadian songwriters, but we felt it was also important to acknowledge their entire portfolio of songs, and their overall contributions as Canadian songwriters and storytellers," CSHF president Sylvia Tyson said in a statement.
Robertson's body of work includes many classics he wrote for the Band, including "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "The Weight," and solo songs like "Broken Arrow." Plamondon has penned hits for numerous Quebecois singers, including "Je danse dans ma tête" for Céline Dion and "J'taime comme un fou" for Robert Charlebois.
In the other eras, the following songs will be inducted: for the pioneer era "Votre avion va-t-il au paradis? " by Roméo Beaudry and "Squid Jiggin' Ground" by Arthur Scammell; the radio era "La chanson des pissenlits" by Pierre Létourneau and "My Heart Cries for " by Percy Faith/Carl Sigman; and the modern era "Je suis cool" by Gilles Valiquette; "Pas besoin de frapper pour entrer" by Jacques Michel; "Oh What a Feeling" by Kelly Jay/Roly Greenway; "When I Die" by Willie Smith/Steve Kennedy and "Wildflower" by Doug Edwards/Dave Richardson.
This year's Frank Davies Legacy Award, named after the founder of the CSHF/PACC, will be given to folk music archivist and historian Edith (Margaret) Fowke and folklorist (Mary) Helen Creighton. The CMPA (Canadian Music Publishers Association) Legacy award will be given to music impresario Yvan Dufresne.
The CSHF's 7th annual gala is presented by BMO Nesbitt Burns. The full line-up of performers will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, go to www.cansong.ca.