Society Column: Legendary singers inducted into Songbook Hall of Fame
On June 21, the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame inducted Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole posthumously. Daughter Natalie Cole accepted the award for her father.
Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend due to health reasons, was awarded the 2014 New Standard Award. This award is given to performers who have written or performed songs that stand the test of time and become pop standards.
Ronstadt, considered to be one of the most versatile vocalists of her era, has created 31 gold and platinum records and earned 10 Grammy Awards. She also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Johnny Mathis was also awarded the 2014 New Standard Award. Mathis is the world’s best-selling living recording artist, with a career spanning a 60 years. He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame twice for his songs “Chances Are” and “Misty.”
The 2014 Legend Award was given to a performer who made a significant contribution to the world of music through the 1960s. It was presented posthumously to Nat King Cole who had one of the most identifiable voices in American music.
Cole recorded more than 150 chart-topping singles on Billboard’s Pop, R&B and Country charts. In 1956, he made history by becoming the first African-American to host a national network television series. In the early 1990s, Natalie Cole added her vocals to her dad’s song “Unforgettable,” a creative effort that garnered seven Grammy Awards.
Jones, the film, television and Broadway star, also was inducted into the 2014 Great American Songbook Hall of Fame. Jones received an Academy Award for her role, Lulu Bains, in “Elmer Gantry.”
Jones is also known for her role on “The Partridge Family” and several hits with David Cassidy, including the song, “I think I Love You.”
Before the performance at the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Awards, the newly installed Hall of Fame Awards Wall was unveiled. Funds for the installation and creation of the wall were provided Charles and Alice Simons of Kokomo.
The after parties were stationed around the Palladium as five distinct night clubs: Great American Songbook Lounge with the sounds of the Cool City Band; Caliente Club with DJ Aztecprinz; The Club Katz with the Souled Out Band; Sidecar Lounge with Janese Truver and Steve Quinn; and The Humidor Lounge for bourbon and cigar aficionados.
The Awards show itself was dazzling with its array of talent, with Jessica Sanchez of American Idol fame, Canadian performer Denzal Sinclaire, Broadway star Laura Osnes, singer-songwriter Peter Cincotti and Julia Goodwin, winner of the 2013 Great American Songbook High School Competition. Michael Feinstein emceed the event.
For the third year, the event was presented by Krieg Devault, with support by Katz, Sapper and Miller and First Merchants. All proceeds from the event benefit the Center for the Performing Arts.
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