Songbook Hall of Fame launches June 16



The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative will unveil its Hall of Fame on June 16. The Hall of Fame is conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook’s artistic contributors. These artists represent the lyricists, composers and performers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.

“We are planning a festive, star-studded gala,” said Michael Feinstein, the Initiative’s founder and noted American Songbook ambassador. “The Hall of Fame will introduce an exciting new era for honoring our country’s most notable songwriters and artists. I look forward to sharing their music and celebrating their contributions.”

The June 16 gala will feature Feinstein as he honors the musical contributions of Barry Manilow, Cole Porter and the songwriting duo of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. During the ceremony, Manilow will sing one of his iconic songs. Plus, Manilow and the Bergmans will accept their Hall of Fame awards in person on the Palladium stage, with members of the Porter family accepting on behalf of Cole Porter.

“The Hall of Fame will elevate the Great American Songbook, much like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame have done for their respective musical genres,” said Karen Witt Kelsey, interim director of the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative.“The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame will induct new members annually. The Palladium concert hall in Carmel, Indiana serves as the official home of the Initiative and the Hall of Fame. We are looking forward to sharing the Songbook with guests from around the country.”

The inaugural Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by the Initiative’s board of directors. Hall of Fame awards will be displayed in the south lobby on the gallery level of the Palladium concert hall. Plans exist for the construction of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum and Archive on the campus of the Carmel, Indiana-based Center for the Performing Arts.


The 2012 awards include:

Legend: Awarded posthumously to an artist who made a significant contribution to the Golden Age of American popular music, typically defined as the period from the early years of the 20th century through the 1960s. Inductee: Cole Porter, 2012.

Songbook: Awarded to living songwriters, both lyricists and composers, who have made a significant impact on American pop culture by creating the most beloved songs from the American popular songbook. Inductees: Alan and Marilyn Bergman, 2012.

New Standard:Awarded to the artist, songwriter and/or performer, who continues to create the soundtrack of our lives by writing and/or performing music that will stand the test of time and become the  pop standards of tomorrow. Inductee: Barry Manilow, 2012.


The gala and Hall of Fame ceremony takes place on June 16 and is presented by Krieg DeVault, First Merchants Bank, Katz, Sapper & Miller and Tom Wood Jaguar. Limited seating is available via advanced reservations. For details on table reservations or individual tickets, call Laura Varnau at 317-819-3521. Table for 10 is $5,000. Corporate tables are $7,500. Single tickets are $500 and go on sale April 11. Information is available online at

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