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top ten songwriters of the last fifty years.
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#1141865 - 06/14/18 09:59 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Zappa....damn.....and mackie with eric....revised list growing.

#1141884 - 06/15/18 10:59 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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Mentioning the ladies, we have to consider Laura Nyro. Another very underrated songwriter is Waylon's widow, Jessi Colter. She wrote some fantastic songs including her smash it "I'm Not Lisa". On my list I also have Mary Chapin Carpenter, who has returned to her folksy roots after a decade or so as a country crossover hitmaker.

Last edited by beechnut79; 06/15/18 11:03 AM.
#1141885 - 06/15/18 11:02 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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To round out my personal top ten list that I began earlier, I guess I'd pick Hank Williams and Mickey Newbury. Hank was the exception in his day as at that time he was one of the few singer-songwriters around. That trend didn't really take off until Dylan came along although some of the early rock 'n rollers including Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison also wrote much of their own material. I shall now share a song by one whom I believe is very underrated. You should check out more of this guy's material.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF9MLWSWa44

#1141886 - 06/15/18 11:12 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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R & B: Smokey Robinson: Holland, Dozier and Holland. Metal: Haven't followed that genre too closely but Kurt Cobain would probably qualify. Classical for the most part was music but very seldom any lyrics which is probably why the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart wouldn't fit in here. I mentioned many folk oriented songwriters including what I consider the Big Three: Dylan, Lightfoot, Kristofferson. Oh yes I guess we need to mention John Denver also.
Where 1950s and 60s country is concerned, no one yet has mentioned Buck Owens and Roger Miller.

I recall one personal asking about the earlier days of pop music. There were very few so-called celebrity songwriters during that time, Irving Berlin probably being the exception. The singers and songwriters were seldom one and the same at that time.

#1141898 - 06/15/18 02:03 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Beechnut, there are alot of great metal writers, most of us here just dont care or listen to it

I remember kids in high school who were into Slayer and MegaDeath, Ozzie, Metallica, they could recite every word. They have their own style but they are very good at what they do.

How bout Jim Croce or Cat Stevens.

Bob Seeger, Bryan Adams, Sting, Lou Reed, David Bowie... i mean i could probably make a top 100 list easily. and then a top 1000

#1141914 - 06/15/18 10:41 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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This really is a "personal" list of those who came to mind for me......and as shown, we all have differing lists.

Art really is subjective


Seeing the names suggested is no surprise, I would have listed a lot I did not think of and you all did.....but in the moment....there it was.

The list changes from day to day

#1141915 - 06/15/18 11:15 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Revised as of this thread:

1: macca
2: diamond
3:partridge
4: finn
5: colvin
6: lightfoot
7: lennon
8: harrison
9: hall
10: carothers


Revised soon.

#1141916 - 06/15/18 11:23 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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I finally saw someone post Willie Nelson. Then there was Don Williams. How about Hoagy Carmichael?
Yeah, the Eagles did some great songs and don't forget the man who almost single handedly created Bossa Nova, with "The girl from Ipanima"... Antonio Carlos Jobim. Can't remember who wrote "One Note Samba" but it was a pretty catchy tune. Great list, so far.

#1141917 - 06/15/18 11:40 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Day by day.....it changes

#1141918 - 06/15/18 11:42 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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My grandfather knew hoagy, and others.(side note)

#1141928 - 06/16/18 08:49 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Point taken, LOL!

#1141977 - 06/16/18 10:58 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: beechnut79]  
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Originally Posted by beechnut79
Mentioning the ladies, we have to consider Laura Nyro. . . .

And I did!

And how can anyone include Nyro without including Nina Simone?

Last edited by Delmont; 06/16/18 11:07 PM.
#1141979 - 06/16/18 11:00 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: beechnut79]  
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Originally Posted by beechnut79
. . . .Where 1950s and 60s country is concerned, no one yet has mentioned Buck Owens and Roger Miller. . . .

No, indeed! The fifties weren't within the last fifty years.

#1141983 - 06/16/18 11:04 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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[i][/i]
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
. . . Can you compare Ray Davies with . . . .

No. You can't compare him with anyone. He's incomparable. If there had ever been any doubt, Muswell Hillbillies placed him in squarely the pantheon of greats.

Thanks for the reminder. I'm adding him to my inventory of reasons why the question can't be answered!

Last edited by Delmont; 06/16/18 11:08 PM.
#1142006 - 06/17/18 11:20 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Van Morrison deserves mention..


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#1142008 - 06/17/18 11:22 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Van the man for sure, shoulda been mentioned a long time ago

#1142055 - 06/18/18 07:08 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Kolstad]  
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Yup! So you did!

#1142219 - 06/24/18 03:27 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Delmont]  
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Johnny Mercer, and Roger Miller!!!

#1142479 - 07/03/18 11:40 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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And in an otherwise unfair world, I just read that the Kinks are back together at last.

Welcome back, Muswell hillbillies! It's been way to long.

Last edited by Delmont; 07/03/18 11:43 AM.
#1142978 - 07/19/18 11:46 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Two female songwriters, one pop, one country who shared in common the fact that while each had a vast amount of success placing their songs with other artists neither woman had great commercial success as an artist in her own right despite both releasing many great albums. Can you guess their names?

#1142984 - 07/19/18 12:00 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Aw, Humm Beech,
Don't have two but one may have been Cindy Walker.


Ray E. Strode
#1142990 - 07/19/18 01:21 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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I do remember the namen Cindy Walker who was a great country songwriter but don't recall her having also been a performer. So here are the two ladies who came to mind: Pop, Laura Nyro;
Country, Matraca Berg.

Another very underrated female songwriter is Waylon's widow, Jessi Colter.

#1143246 - 07/27/18 06:39 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Choice between Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. I know that there are those that may consider that blasphemous.

Maybe I should settle on John Lennon.

I also consider Christine McVie the true architecht of.Fleetwood Mac's sound.

#1143259 - 07/28/18 12:10 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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As with all lists, it changes, and reading where this has gone.......new list:

1: macca
2: lennon
3: harrison

I will not apologize.

4: costello
5: bacharach
6: webb
7: diamond
8: simon
9: sumner
10: dylan

#1143585 - 08/06/18 11:27 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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cochise, az, usa
Dylan

Lennon/McCartney

Jagger/Richards

Paul Simon

Pete Townsend

Bruce Springsteen

Neil Young

Tom Waits

#1143597 - 08/07/18 04:32 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Cant see Slim Whitman being an influence to The Beatles he was never a writer

Buddy Holly-- Bob Dylan --Orbison -Dell -Shannon- Chuck Berry- Everly Brothers Definitely


But none of them were out and out Country Acts, more Country Rock


Possibly the attitude and writing of Hank Williams but he never toured the U K

They were also influenced by Tamla Mo Town as were many of us

Home Grown Acts to the U K like Lonnie Donegan were certainly an influence

to John and Paul


As far as Best Song Writers Jim Web Kris Kristofferson - Roger Miller- Bob Dylan

Roy Orbison - Leonard Cohen - Bacharach and David - Lennon and McCartney

George Harrison - Tom Petty ----- Ladies would be Mary Chapin Carpenter- Dianne Warren

Plus Joni Mitchel




Last edited by Cheyenne; 08/07/18 04:47 AM.

One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1143601 - 08/07/18 08:47 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Humm,
A lot of Country Artists toured the United Kingdom and country music was a big influence over there. Slim Whitman was a big influence, not because he was a writer, but a performer. For many years Slim Whitman had the song that was the number song that remained at the top of the Charts the longest in England, ROSE MARIE. Jim Reeves was also a big favorite.


Ray E. Strode
#1143603 - 08/07/18 10:43 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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George Michael

I always thought that he was a guy with a great voice who hung around bathrooms too much. After he died, I saw a documentary on his life. The doc talked about all of the songs that he wrote. Other than "Careless Whisper" (a co-write) most of the songs were focused on the beat and a pleasing melody, but the list was long and the songwriting was phenomenal. Notwithstanding his bad habits, I think that he is as good a songwriter as most anyone who ever lived.

my 2 cents

#1143604 - 08/07/18 11:02 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Maybe for his niche market. Catchy Pop, infectious rhythms. I read that he slept with tons of women too, and he said he liked them, but emotionally he was gay.

To each his own, very talented though

#1143605 - 08/07/18 01:39 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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No David Bowie?

#1143658 - 08/08/18 10:39 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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David Bowie was one of my first, along with Lou Reed with my formative genre. But it seems hard to narrow down outside of a couple of icons. The list is too vast.

#1143659 - 08/08/18 10:54 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Bowie, I have a lot of love and respect for his work.........but said work never got very deep under my skin.

But he was a force, to be sure.

#1143661 - 08/08/18 10:56 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Oh.....and I see waites listed.....yes!

#1143761 - 08/11/18 11:16 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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honorable mention

Joe Jackson (look sharp and I'm the man are two of my favorite all time albums

#1143763 - 08/11/18 11:40 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Gavin Sinclair Online content
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Gavin Sinclair  Online Content
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Ah yes, Joe Jackson. I saw him in a tiny night club in Edinburgh doing his Jumpin' Jive. A fantastic night., although I remember it was hot as Hades with all the people packed into the small venue.

#1143773 - 08/12/18 12:13 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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Lot of good names listed. One conspicious in its absence is Townes van Zandt when I consider this audience.

Outside the box? Just had a week with Dar Williams hosting a songwriter retreat in Garrison NY, on the Hudson across from West Point.

She's definitely a top ten with me....


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#1143819 - 08/13/18 02:54 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Merle, Johnny Cash, Melencamp, were not mentioned

We need to start a new list for modern songwriters

#1143825 - 08/13/18 05:52 PM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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We need a Laws of Lists

Here's the first Law of Lists

No list is perfect or ever complete


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#1143878 - 08/15/18 10:33 AM Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: Cheyenne]  
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beechnut79 Offline
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beechnut79  Offline
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Among the ladies, have to include Lucinda Williams as well.

#1144078 - 13 minutes ago Re: top ten songwriters of the last fifty years. [Re: maccharles]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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I liked some you guys didn't mention (or mention enough):

-Hornsby/Hornsby who wrote songs with social consciousness in an era that lacked many competitors and piano playing/arranging that gets aped by countless players ever since

-Tyler and his various bandmates who inspired generations of US Rock bands that came after and still do

-Reznor who helped create and perfect and then singlehandedly mainstreamed an entire genre that perists today among kids 30+ years later

-and though I don't expect anyone to click the link as we have nary a rap fan in this crowd currently, this page sums up their greatest and most influential writers and anyone who thinks Rap writers and music will not have a permanent effect on all popular music going forward, they are living with blinders on. It's never going away and it's influence has crossed over into all genres. The link: https://www.vibe.com/2017/03/10-rappers-jay-z-songwriters-hall-of-fame-list/ . Though I am not a fan of his, Jay Z is already in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

-Carol King who along with Laura Nyro may be the two most influential female writers in history.

PS: I do love me some Mary Chapin Carpenter (my fave of hers is the brilliant "Last word..." for it's simple, biting and humorous take on "THOSE" relationships we've all had one time or another. She was the queen of a wink and a nod to real life love, loss and living.


Brian Austin Whitney
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