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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Prognostication, Anyone?

How's your crystal ball? Let's give it a spin, shall we?

  • 2007 – Paul Simon.
  • 2009 – Stevie Wonder.
  • 2010 – Paul McCartney.
  • 2012 – Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
  • 2013 – Carole King.
  • 2014 – Billy Joel.
  • 2015 – Willie Nelson.
  • 2016 – Smokey Robinson

Above are the recipients of the Gershwin Award for popular song, issued by the Library of Congress. This award is given to living songwriters who work primarily in the popular vein vs. theater, etc. Care to don some soothsayer garb and guess future recipients? 

Only after challenging my current class with a similar question - that class happens to be about the first recipient of the award - did it occur to me that many folks who read this blog have good musical instincts. Let's test those instincts, OK? Pretend just for now that Bob Dylan is not qualified. Guessing him, considering his recent coronation, makes the exercise too easy.

For the record, I'll start with Jimmy Webb. Like Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Webb's name is not as widely known as the others. But many of his compositions - "Up, Up, And Away", "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "McArthur Park", just to name a few - make up the soundtrack of our times like the songs of all the winners.

If my guess turns out to be right - in any future year -  I'll be insufferable. If I'm wrong, only those of you with a really good memory will be able to gloat, if you can track me down. Of course, I've got more guesses up my sleeve but I'm saving them until one of you goes out on the limb. Fair is fair.      

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