As is the case with songwriters, some names you’ll immediately recognize, some you won’t unless you’re an avid liner notes reader.
Jim Weatherly has been writing songs for almost 50 years. Partnering with Larry Gordon who became his publisher and manager, Weatherly’s first hit was “Neither One Of Us” recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips. But it didn’t stop with just one song. Knight & The Pips recorded 12 more Weatherly tunes including “Midnight Train To Georgia,” “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” and “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,” also recorded by Ray Price. Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell and Kenny Chesney are just a few of the artists that have recorded Weatherly’s songs.
Texas-born Mark James first gained notice when his “Hooked On A Feeling” was recorded by B.J. Thomas in 1969, although rockers know the tune from Blue Swede’s 1974 cover. James also penned Elvis Presley’s 1969 hit “Suspicious Minds” as well as Presley hits “Moody Blue,” “It’s Only Love” and “Raised On Rock.” James co-wrote “Always On My Mind,” which was recorded by Presley and became a signature tune for Willie Nelson. His songs have been featured in films such as “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
Inspired by The Beatles, Graham Gouldman began playing guitar when he was 11 and started forming and working with bands when he was 15. After Herman’s Hermits manager Harvey Lisberg took Gouldman on as a client in 1964 the songwriter eventually penned two hits for the band – “Listen People” and “No Milk Today.” However, Gouldman’s first hit as a songwriter came when The Yardbirds recorded his “For Your Love.” The Yardbirds also recorded Gouldman’s “Heart Full Of Soul” and “Evil Hearted You.” In 1972 Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Crème formed 10cc. While in the band, Gouldman co-wrote some of 10cc’s biggest hits, including “I’m Not In Love,” “Rubber Bullets” and “The Things We Do For Love.” Gouldman’s third solo album, Love And Work, was released in 2012.
Donovan, once considered the U.K.’s Bob Dylan, was discovered by Ralph Peer Jr. in 1964. “Catch The Wind” was his first hit and was quickly followed by “Sunshine Superman,” “Mellow Yellow” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” Donovan was the first artist Clive Davis signed for CBS/Epic Records. He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012.
Ray Davies’ career began when he and his brother Dave founded The Kinks in 1964. Davies wrote 14 top ten international hits for The Kinks including “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” “All Day And All Of the Night,” “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” and “Sunny Afternoon.”
The induction ceremonies for the Songwriters Hall Of Fame will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York June 12. Check it out via this link.