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Songwriters Hall of Fame Welcomes Ray Davies — and Donovan?

This year's inductees include songwriters whose names you probably don't know, but whose tunes you definitely do.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

February 28, 2014 - 11:00 am
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Ray-Davies-007

Canadians are supposedly really good at making apologies, so here’s one from me:

You know all those shouty “we’re all strong beautiful women” songs your daughter makes you listen to in the SUV?

Those anthemic musical training bras for budding bimbos, “sung” by Katy Perry, K$sha, Miley Cyrus and other balls-out, in-your-face ladies who don’t need no man for nothin’?

Yeah, well, those songs were probably co-written by this Canadian guy.

So, sorry.

You see, Ottawa’s Henry Walter works for another fellow you’ve probably never heard of, one “Dr. Luke”:

[M]ost of the iconic hits of the last 10 years were written by the same person.

If you have attended a photogenic pool party in the last five years, or even watched a video of a pool party while sitting alone in your house, chances are you were dancing (or crying) mostly to music written by a guy called Dr. Luke. “TiK ToK”? “Dynamite”? “Till the World Ends”? “Wrecking Ball”? Pretty much any song by Katy Perry? They’re all the work of this single relatively unfamous songwriter, who has written or co-written 40 hit singles since 2004.

Add in Dr. Luke’s frequent co-writer Max Martin, and these two guys have pretty much written everything you have ever heard if you were born in 1999.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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> I was delighted to see Ray Davies’ name on the list (and puzzled to the same degree to see Donovan’s).

This is such a retarded statement, I could die laughing! REALLY? You think Ray Davies, with "Lola" and other quirky gay kink-crap even came close to what Donovan was? The fact that you trash the Beatles in the same article shows how out of touch you are musically. The Kinks had some occasional odd hits, but they were never anywhere in the same league as Donovan and the Beatles. And virtually no one at the time viewed the Kinks that way.

I am guessing you are just another clueless Gen-Xer who never grew up or developed any real mature musical taste.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I tell my wife that "Suspicious Minds" is really a Buddhist hymn to non-materialism, maya is the suspicion that keeps us from enlightenment. When he gets to the line "you know I'd never lie to you" I ask my wife if she believes Elvis would never lie to Priscilla, and she just laughs. I love it in this clip, he ad libs "not much." And of course Elvis' "Unchained Melody" in Vegas is the greatest recorded song ever, :) with with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret, who are of course ultra famous (NOT)
like others mentioned in this post.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
There seems to be a non functioning segment of Chatti Kathi's string, somewhere between Elvis and 1975 or so. Sometimes garbled messages emote from the plastic mug, indicating that there are bits of semi functional string relating to the Dissed Period, giving Chatti K Rap an almost, almost, Delphic quality.

One wonders if the reason why Chatti K World rock/pop music became so "important " after say, 1980, is due as well to the finite length of Chatti K's string. Tough choices must be made within given limitations.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Famous unknown songwriters? Try these. Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Yeah, they wrote the famous Coca-Cola song--"I'd like to teach to world to sing / In perfect harmony / I'd like to buy the world a Coke / And keep it company / It's the real thing."

Are you kidding me? That song was played all over the world for decades. Forget Top 40 and one hit wonder bands--these guys wrote the song that everyone knows. Commercial ditties, that's where the real money is, and nobody but the song writers know it. Even if you don't know who they are.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you're missing my point. We know the songs but the songWRITERS aren't household names.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ray Davies is the best. I am surprised to learn that there is a song writers hall of fame, and that Ray Davies wasn't already on it.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Puzzled to see Donovan's name on the list? Kathy, surely thou art a philistine! Not only did Donovan generate hit after hit, but he wrote some of the coolest songs of the entire 60s and 70s. How can anyone *not* like "Catch the Wind", "Sunshine Superman", "Season of the Witch", "Fat Angel", "Guinevere", "Epistle to Dippy", "Barabajagal", "Atlantis", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Cosmic Wheels", and his lovely 1996 track, "Please Don't Bend"?

No, I'm *not" Donovan's agent or label A&R guy. I just think these are *great* songs!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
How could you forget "Mellow Yellow"?? The ode to smoking banana peels (!) and 14 year old girls?
I LOVED Donovan when I was a 14 year old girl. Great music, CUTE Scotsman, what's not to love?
Kathy Shaidle is clearly too young to understand. . .
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. As I am now well over the hill but having an iPod, Donovan is a favorite. Looking back as I listen, not only do I enjoy Donovan, I see him as a performer and writer who was a harbinger of music to come. He was a stylistic change. To Kathy's point below, he may have been the first "hippie dippy" but, like Johnny, I enjoy his music.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too hippie dippy for my taste, sorry.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but Donovan made "hippie dippy" very funny and cool, and didn't seem to take himself too seriously. How *else* can one explain his hilarious lyrics in the fade-out to "Atlantis"? After extolling the great Atlantian wisdom compared to the "elders of our time [who] choose to remain blind," he writes:

My antediluvian baby, oh yeah,
I want to see you some day, oh,
My antediluvian baby.
My antediluvian baby, I want to see you;
My antediluvian baby—gotta tell me where she gone—
I want to see you some day,
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, oh yeah;
Oh glub glub, down down, yeah . . .

This is the kind of "hippie dippy" I can love ...
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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