Puff Daddy, Hanson, Isaac Hayes To Honor Songwriters

Sean “Puffy” Combs, Isaac Hayes, and Hanson will be among the artists paying tribute to the inductees at the 31st annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame dinner, which will take place Thursday night in New York.

The honored composers, which include head Beach Boy Brian Wilson, late soul singer Curtis Mayfield, soul godfather James Brown, folky crooner James Taylor, and the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey (see “James Brown, Curtis Mayfield For Songwriting Honors” ), will not perform their own music at the ceremony, but hear others interpret it.

Teenage pop trio Hanson will tackle the harmonies and orchestrations of Brian Wilson’s work when they perform a medley of his songs at the ceremony. Wilson’s honor coincides with renewed interest in the Beach Boys’ 1966 album “Pet Sounds,” and next month the rock legend will take the LP’s material, which includes such songs as “God Only Knows” and “Sloop John B,” on the road,
performing it in its entirety with local orchestras (see “Brian Wilson Lines Up New CD, Web Site, Tour” ).

Mayfield’s award will be presented by fellow ’70s R&B star Isaac Hayes to the late songwriter’s wife, daughter, and manager, and Brian McKnight will perform several of Mayfield’s hits, which include “People Get Ready,” “Freddie’s Dead,” and “It’s All Right.” Mayfield, already inducted twice into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, died last year at 57 (see “Soul Legend Curtis Mayfield Dead At 57″ ).

Rap mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs will induct James Brown, whose songs will be performed by soul singer Bobby Womack.

Ben E. King will perform his hit “Stand By Me” for the song’s writers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who will receive the Johnny Mercer Award, which recognizes “a history of outstanding creative works.” Leiber and Stoller composed numerous early rock hits,
including 20 songs made famous by Elvis Presley, such as “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

Singer Carole King, who wrote the hit “You’ve Got A Friend” for James Taylor, will honor his induction by performing his work, while J.D. Souther will perform songs by longtime collaborators Henley and Frey. Souther co-wrote several Eagles hits, including “Best Of My Love” and “New Kid In Town.”

Neil Diamond, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, will hear his work performed by pop singer Jill Sobule, and Aaron Neville will sing a medley of songs by Johnny Mathis, who will receive the Hitmaker Award.

Also receiving honors will be songwriters Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons, who wrote “All Of Me,” and Jimmie Davis, who wrote “You Are My Sunshine.” Publisher Julian Aberbach, whose catalog includes work from such artists as Presley and Del Shannon, will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award.