Guitar Legend Les Paul to Receive SHOF Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award On His 90th Birthday

Hal David, Chairman/CEO of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, today announced that Les Paul will be the recipient of the prestigious Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Awards dinner, slated for Thursday, June 9 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The guitar and recording giant will turn 90 that same day.
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The Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award honors an industry veteran who is acknowledged as a pioneer in his/her craft, whose body of work over time has been substantial, enduring and influential, and whose success and contributions over a lifetime have inspired the music community. Past awardees include Patti LaBelle, Dick Clark, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Neil Diamond, Berry Gordy, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Nat King Cole, Neil Sedaka and Quincy Jones.

Inductees at this year's event include Steve Cropper, John Fogerty, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Richard and Robert Sherman and Bill Withers. The Abe Olman Publishers Award will be given to Beebe Bourne, President of the Music Publishers Association, and Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman/CEO of the Gibson Guitar Corp, will receive the Patron of the Arts Award.

Still active after seven decades in music, Les Paul is a unique blend of musician and inventor. His many recording innovations—including sound-on-sound, overdubbing, reverb effects, and multi-tracking—greatly accelerated the advancement of studio recording. The Les Paul Trio, which included his talented wife Mary Ford, produced such hits as "Tennessee Waltz," "Mockin' Bird Hill," "How High The Moon," and "Vaya Con Dios." He also won a 1977 Grammy with Chet Atkins for the album Chester and Lester. As an inventor, Mr. Paul's breakthrough creation of the solid-body electric guitar paved the way for electric music and made the sound of rock and roll possible. The Gibson Les Paul guitar went into production in 1952 and was the first solid body electric that Gibson made. In 1953 while performing with Bing Crosby, he perfected the first multi-track recording machine, allowing separate lines of instrumental music and vocals to be blended together. In 1978, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The NAPM/SHOF not only celebrates songwriters and educates the public on their great achievements, but is also devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.

Over the course of the past 35 years, some key Songwriters' Hall of Fame inductees have included Carole King, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Paul Simon, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Sting, Randy Newman, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Barry Manilow and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Jimmy Webb, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Cy Coleman, Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Stephen Sondheim, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Don McLean and Al Green, among many, many others.

Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame begin at $800 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go towards the Songwriters Hall of Fame educational and professional programs.

For a full list of all Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, and full information on this year's nominees, inductees and gala, go to