For nearly 50 years, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has recognized the achievements of the people who put words and music together. “CBS This Morning: Saturday” revealed the six artists of the 2019 class. One of them is Missy Elliott, the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted.
The other five songwriters are Yusuf Islam, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, Dallas Austin and Jack Tempchin.
In addition to becoming the first female hip-hop artist, Missy Elliott’s induction also makes her just the third rapper to be included in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Grammy-winning emcee has written for Beyoncé, Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige, in addition to having her own influential solo career.
The British-born Yusuf Islam, who came to fame as Cat Stevens, was one of the most successful singer-songwriters of the 1970s when he released nine straight gold or platinum albums. Some of his most famous tunes include “Wild World,” “Peace Train” and “Father & Son.”
John Prine joins the hall with a catalog of songs that have been recorded by Bette Midler, Johnny Cash and Bonnie Raitt. Writing, Prine has said, “is about a blank piece of paper and leaving out what’s not supposed to be there.”
Kentucky’s Tom T. Hall, known as ‘the storyteller,’ wrote a dozen No. 1 country hits like “Old Dogs, Children & Watermelon Wine,” which Rolling Stone ranked as one of the 100 greatest country songs. But he may be best known for the No. 1 smash Jeannie C. Riley had with his song, “Harper Valley P.T.A.” in 1968.
Dallas Austin wrote TLC’s first No. 1 hit, “Creep” in 1994. Austin has also written hits for Boyz II Men, with Madonna on “Secret” and with Gwen Stefani on “Cool.”
Jack Tempchin wrote his best-known song on the floor of a club in El Centro, California, scribbling the words on the back of a poster. Then, in 1972, the Eagles recorded “Peaceful Easy Feeling” on their debut album. Tempchin would co-write more hits for the band including “Somebody” and “You Belong To the City” with its leader Glenn Frey. Now Tempchin belongs in the hall.