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December 19, 2014
Paul Williams, Mark Isham, Randy Newman Honored by Peers
Ginny Mancini receives lifetime achievement award at Society of Composers & Lyricists annual holiday event by Jon Burlingame
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.—Composer Mark Isham, songwriter Paul Williams and philanthropist Ginny Mancini were among the honorees at the Society of Composers & Lyricists' annual holiday dinner Monday night at the Riviera Country Club.
Approximately 250 composers, lyricists, songwriters and others involved in the film and television music community attended the event, which began with a standing ovation for retiring executive director Laura Dunn. She was honored for her "14 years of service and dedication" to the organization.
Isham, who is currently scoring ABC's Once Upon a Time and recently scored a hit with the baseball film 42, was pleased to receive an honor from an organization "that represents those of us who actually do this... been through it and survived it."
Willliams, currently represented by two songs in The Book of Life and who is also president of ASCAP, told the crowd, "I am intensely passionate about what you do" and briefly talked about the business challenges faced by music creators at this time. He sang two of his Oscar-nominated songs, "You're So Nice to Be Around" from Cinderella Liberty and "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie.
Noticing Randy Newman sitting at the table in front of him, Williams recited his 1974 song "Do You Love Me, Babe" that has a lyric referring to Newman by name. Then he brought the house down, bemoaning, "And what did I get from him in return? 'Short People.'"
Mrs. Mancini, former big-band singer and widow of legendary composer Henry Mancini, continues her philanthropic efforts to support music education and advocacy, ranging from the Society of Singers to the Henry Mancini Institute and ASCAP Foundation. She received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award and said she was "over the moon" about it. Pianist Mike Lang played Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," while singer Clint Holmes serenaded Mrs. Mancini with her husband's "Moon River" and "Two for the Road."
SCL president Ashley Irwin also introduced Newman, who was honored last year but could not attend. Newman had the crowd in hysterics with his self-deprecating quips, including his mystery about being honored (with two Oscars) for "those third-rate vaudeville songs I wrote for those pictures."
Video-game composer Gerard Marino (the God of War series) accepted SCL's Emerging Composer award.
©2014 Jon Burlingame
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