Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today that Elton John and Bernie Taupin will be the 2013 recipients of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
John and Taupin have one of the most prolific and successful songwriting partnerships ever known. Their award-winning relationship spans four decades with collaboration on more than 30 albums to date. John was introduced to Taupin in 1967, and by the time of his self-titled breakthrough album and timeless hit “Your Song” had introduced him to an international stage in 1970, the two had honed their skill to such a degree that Taupin could present John with a lyric and he could compose to it within the hour. In the period between 1970-76, with producer Gus Dudgeon at the helm, John and Taupin made an astonishing 14 albums including Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, Honky Chateau, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou and Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. Among these,Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album to ever enter the Billboard chart at #1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, with its string of American #1 hit singles and unbroken two month run at the top of the Billboard Top 100, became an all-time classic.
Jimmy Webb said of the duo, “Some catalogs are more ‘deep’ and significant than others not only because of their pertinence to the times in which they were written, but because their sheer mass is overpowering. It’s just not that easy to write 40 Top 10 records. It’s kind of like swimming the English Channel with your hands tied behind your back. Elton’s readily identifiable melodic piano style has proven to be a perfect accompaniment to Bernie’s razor sharp lyrics about relationships and living on the edge of life both in good and bad times.”
The Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is exclusively reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer.