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"Stand By Me," Written By Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Ben E. King, To Receive Towering Song Award at the 2012 Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala Event


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“Stand By Me,” the song written by Leiber & Stoller and Ben E. King will receive the Towering Song Award at the 2012 Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Gala Event to be held at the Marriott Marquee Hotel in New York City on Thursday, June 14, 2012, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today. Mike Stoller will accept the award along with Ben E. King, who will also be honored with the Towering Performance Award for his performance on the Leiber & Stoller produced recording of “Stand By Me.”

The Towering Song Award is presented to the creators of an individual song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years. Previous Towering Songs have included “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The Towering Performance Award is given in recognition of one-of-a-kind performances by one-of-a-kind singers. Often called “songwriter’s singers,” they have recorded outstanding and unforgettable interpretations of many pop songs that have subsequently become standards. Past recipients include Tony Bennett.

Other SHOF inductees to be feted on June 14, 2012 at the 43rd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner include: Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman. Lance Freed will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award and Bette Midler will be honored with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1000 each, and are available by calling Buckley Hall Events at 212-573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs. To learn more about the SHOF, please visit the website, www.songwritershalloffame.org. To learn more about Leiber & Stoller, please visit the website www.leiberstoller.com.

“Stand By Me” was written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Ben E. King, who recorded the iconic track with Leiber and Stoller producing. King’s record went to #1 on the R&B Charts in 1961 and was a Top 10 hit on the U.S. pop charts twice: In 1961, and again in 1986 when used as the theme song for the movie, Stand By Me. The song received a Grammy® Hall of Fame Award, and charted more than any other on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The song “Stand By Me” has over 400-recorded versions, including hits by Earl Grant, Spyder Turner, David & Jimmy Ruffin, John Lennon, Mickey Gilley, Maurice White, 4 The Cause, and Prince Royce, and was sampled on Sean Kingston’s #1 hit “Beautiful Girls.” “Stand By Me” is also on the top of the lists of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” the Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century,” and is in the top five of BMI’s most-performed songs of the 20th century.

“Stand By Me” is a favorite song of major acts: U2 has performed it live with Bruce Springsteen; and Lady Gaga with Sting. A 2008 music video featuring “Stand By Me” performed by street musicians from around the world has been viewed on YouTube over 40 million times.

Leiber & Stoller were inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985. They were honored for their legendary catalog that includes Elvis Presley hits “Hound Dog” and “Love Me,” The Coasters’ “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown,” and a host of other career defining standards, including “Kansas City,” “On Broadway” and Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is.”

As a lead singer of Little Cooper and the Drifters and as a famed solo artist, Ben E. King achieved a #1 hit with “Stand By Me,” and in his long career he has earned 12 Top 10 hits and 25 Top 40 hits, from 1959 to 1986.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. There are fewer than 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The list includes Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Mulholland, Albert Hammond, Desmond Child, Paul Williams, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Richard and Robert Sherman, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Irving Burgie, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Garth Brooks, Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen among many others.

Full biographies and a complete list of past inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Virtual Museum sit at www.songwritershalloffame.org. Online membership is quick and easy at www.songhall.org/join.

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