Awards

Bonnie Raitt honours songwriter Shirley Eikhard for ‘Something to Talk About’

on October 6, 2020 No comments
The Morning Show

Shirley Eikhard joins singer Bonnie Raitt and reveals the true story behind her hit song ‘Something to Talk About’ on The Morning Show.

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Global News – The Morning Show with Jeff McArthur and Carolyn MacKenzie – October 6 2020

“I got home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie…I was numb.”

Shirley Eikhard

Shirley Eikhard wrote the blues-rock mega-hit “Something to Talk About” in Nashville in the 1980s, but she and the song waited until 1992 for recognition in the form of a major Grammy award.

Eikhard had been searching for a full seven years for the right artist to record Something to Talk About. She had offered the song to Anne Murray and other artists, all of whom expressed interest but ultimately did not record it. Eikhard had put the song on the back burner, but was still hopeful she could find someone to record it.

Then, Eikhard received a surprise phone message one night from the American blues singer and guitarist Bonnie Raitt, replaying the new recording of Something to Talk About that Raitt had just finished. Recalled Eikhard, “I got home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie…I was numb.”

Raitt had discovered the song on a demo tape that Eikhard had sent her. Raitt later told the Hamilton “Spectator” newspaper that “All four of the songs just knocked me out….I loved her voice and I thought it was so far and above anybody else’s tape.”

Raitt’s recording of Eikhard’s composition proved a spectacular success. The single, off Raitt’s “Luck of the Draw” album, peaked on Billboard’s Hot 100 and adult contemporary charts at No. 5 in October 1991, and at No. 8 on Cashbox. It placed even higher in Canada, at No. 3 on the RPM Top 100 chart and No. 4 adult contemporary, and made the top 20 on RPM’s 1991 year-end chart.

So happy to reunite with my friend and great singer/songwriter Shirley Eikhard, who joined me onstage in our London, Ontario show the other night on her song, “Something to Talk About.” The crowd loved honoring one of their own and so did we! Every audience across our Canadian tour has been incredible. We are so blessed! – June 3, 2017

Something to Talk About then netted Raitt the industry’s coveted Grammy award for best female pop vocal performance, and drove the “Luck of the Draw” album to win the best solo rock vocal performance Grammy, with multi-platinum sales in Canada and the U.S.

At home in Canada, Something to Talk About also earned Eikhard a Juno nomination as songwriter of the year, and later SOCAN Classics and BMI awards for its status as a radio favourite.

The song has been a favourite of “American Idol” contestants, and was chosen by industry peers for the Songs of the Century listing. It has been performed by Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, David Clayton-Thomas, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Eikhard sang it as the theme song for CBS’s “Women of the House.”

Eikhard told “RPM Weekly” magazine that to sell a song, a songwriter must “…believe in yourself, and believe that sooner or later you’ll find a home for any given song. Like Something to Talk About, for instance, that song sat around for seven years before it actually got cut…Finally Bonnie was the one who went ‘Yes, I love this, I’m going to do this.’ So there is proof positive that if you really believe in the tune, never give up.”

Shirley Eikhard, originally from Sackville, New Brunswick, earned Juno awards in 1973 and 1974 for best country female artist, and has had numerous country and pop hits, including You’re My Weakness and Smilin’ Wine. Her songs have been recorded by Cher, Anne Murray, Chet Atkins, Ginette Reno, Alannah Myles, and Rita Coolidge. Eikhard has racked up seven BMI awards.

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Source: © Copyright Global News – The Morning Show and Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and FYI Music News and CMRRA But wait, there's more!

Americana Awards 2019: Brandi Carlile, John Prine win big at the Ryman

on September 12, 2019 No comments
Matthew Leimkuehler

It’s Brandi Carlile’s world. We’re all just livin’ in it. 

The Highwomen-singing, Tanya Tucker-producing, ovation-earning songwriter brought home Artist of the Year at the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony Wednesday night.

Carlile led an all-women Artist of the Year field that featured prolific old-time player Rhiannon Giddens, country success Kacey Musgraves and soul legend Mavis Staples.  

A four-time nominee, it marks Carlile’s first Americana Award. 

“I just wanna take a minute and say that Rhiannon Giddens is one of the most important artists in our genre,” Carlile said. “I wanna say that Kacey Musgraves did something new and special and that’s really hard, to do something new anymore. I wanna say that Mavis Staples is not the artist of the year. She is the artist of a lifetime.” 

“Mavis took a DNA test, turns out she’s 100% that legend.”

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Beloved songwriter John Prine received Album of the Year for his prolific 2018 release, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”

Actor and Americana appreciator John C. Reilly presented Prine with Album of the Year, the night’s final award. 

“I guess you could say this is my album of the year for about a year-and-a-half now,” Prine quipped. “We had a great time making the record.” 

Prine earned two total awards Wednesday night, also accepting Song of the Year for his 2018 number “Summer’s End.” It’s the sixth Americana Honor received by the consummate songwriter since 2003.

The roughly four-hour show thrived on unforgettable moments for fans of the genre’s faithful songsmiths: A Joe Henry and Rodney Crowell tribute to five decades of Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album; pensive newcomer J.S. Ondara, performing “American Dream” with genre staple Andrew Bird; 2019 Emerging Act of the Year War and Treaty excited the Ryman with the duo’s timely “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow.” 

Emerging Act nominees Jade Bird, Yola and Erin Rae showcased the impeccable talent in Americana’s new generation. Show-goers could hear strains in the Mother Church’s pews as Mumford & Sons joined hosts Milk Carton Kids for an eerie, stripped-down take on the former’s “Forever.” 

… and that’s not quite half of the show.

Giddens earned the first Legacy of Americana Awards alongside posthumous recipient Frank Johnson. 

An esteemed African-American fiddler from the Antebellum era, Giddens spoke poignantly about how Johnson played his way out of slavery into becoming a celebrated musician with thousands at his funeral. 

“I accept this …  for the countless legions of unknown, unnamed black musicians, who are an inextricable part of American music, without whom none of us — and I mean none of us — would sound like what we do.” 

Highwomen bandmates Carlile and Amanda Shires traded introductions (Carlile describing Shires as her “butterfly from outer space,” a term picked up from the former’s husband, Jason Isbell) before exceptional performances of 2018 tracks “The Mother” and “Parking Lot Pirouette,” respectively. 

In a show-stopping moment, Prine teamed with Bonnie Raitt for a performance of the timeless “Angel From Montgomery,” which Prine penned and Raitt popularized.

Bonnie Raitt and John Prine perform at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
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Bonnie Raitt performs with John Prine at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Bonnie Raitt and John Prine perform at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

The association honored soul legend Mavis Staples with the inaugural Inspiration Award. Self-described as “not a good talker,” she’d speak candidly about the legacy the Staples Singers.  

“… the trials and tribulations that we went through back in the day, but we’re still here,” Staples said. “We’re still here and we’re still carryin’ on. We’re still singing our freedom songs. Yes, indeed. It’s more relevant today than ever.”

The tribute to legends continued with Elvis Costello, a British poet capturing the sounds and stories of American rock ‘n’ roll for four decades. He received the honorary Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

Performing a “Red Cotton” and “Blame it on Cain” duet with Americana staple Jim Lauderdale, Costello reflected on his journey from new wave fixture to performing George Jones songs on the Ryman stage with the Possum in attendance. 

“When I first came to America, all I knew was the dream America that came form songs and from movies,” he said. “Either our dream would be confirmed … or our dreams would be mashed. Every road sign, every girl I tried to kiss or that I shouldn’t have kissed, they all ended up in songs.” 

Staples returned to close the show with her 2019 song “Change” before welcoming a smiling ensemble to sing the audience out the door with “I’ll Fly Away.” 

2019 Americana Awards winners 

  • Album of the Year: “The Tree of Forgiveness,” John Prine, produced by Dave Cobb
  • Artist of the Year: Brandi Carlile
  • Duo/Group of the Year: I’m With Her
  • Emerging Act of the Year: The War and Treaty
  • Instrumentalist of the Year: Chris Eldridge
  • Song of the Year: “Summer’s End,” John Prine, written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Delbert McClinton
  • Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music: Rhiannon Giddens and Frank Johnson
  • Trailblazer Award: Maria Muldaur
  • President’s Award: Felice & Boudleaux Bryant
  • Inspiration Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center: Mavis Staples
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting: Elvis Costello

Source: © Copyright Nashville Tennessean
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Inside The 50th Annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame with John Prine and more

on June 14, 2019 No comments

John Prine is being inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame

By Robert Dye

At the 50th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night, two of its newest honorees, John Prine and Justin Timberlake, both of different generations, described the common bond that drives songwriters to write, and the emotional satisfaction that overcomes them when a song is finished.

Prine, the legendary folk singer whom presenter and long-time friend Bonnie Raitt called “our own Mark Twain, our Woody, our Will Rogers,” succinctly stated “I gotta say, there’s no better feeling than having a killer song in your pocket and you’re the only one in the world who’s heard it.”

Bonnie Raitt congratulates John Prine just before inducting him into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame

The multi-talented Timberlake discussed how important it is to create music with other co-writers who share the same hard-work ethic needed in finishing a song, no matter how difficult the task may be.  “You’re doing therapy with somebody you just met. If you did that on the subway they would say ‘that bitch is crazy!’ he joked. “There’s always that one line in the song where you’re like ‘if we could just get that one line that leads into the chorus.’ You bond over that shared level of tenacity. And then every time you hear that song later on, you get to remember the moment you had that breakthrough. When people hear it for the first time, they just hear it. But you get to go back and have all those memories.”

Inductee John Prine poses backstage during the Songwriters Hall Of Fame 50th Annual Induction And Awards Dinner at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 13, 2019 in New York City. © Larry Busacca /Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame
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