ASCAP Foundation Announces Bergman Award for Songwriters & Lyricists

The ASCAP Foundation Alan and Marilyn Bergman Lyric Award is a new program established by the award-winning songwriting team, Alan Bergman and his late wife, Marilyn. The legendary duo wrote lyrics for film, stage and television for more than five decades, which earned them multiple Emmys, Grammys and three Oscars for “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “The Way We Were” and the score for Yentl. The $5000 award is presented to a songwriter or lyricist who is at the early stages of their career, and whose quality of lyrics, music and overall style reflect the craftsmanship of Great American Songbook composers and lyricists. The Songbook includes popular standards of the early 20th century as well as contemporary songs that are driven by strong melodies, catchy lyrics, clever rhymes and enduring sentiments. “We are excited to launch this new award program that will support emerging songwriters and lyricists who are creating new contributions to the Great American Songbook, and who are as passionate about their craft as Alan and Marilyn,” said The ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams. “The opportunity to nurture rising talent who practice the craft that Marilyn and I loved means so much,” said Alan Bergman. “I’m looking forward to working with The ASCAP Foundation and hearing from the young songwriters and lyricists that are creating the great songs of the future.” Writing primarily for films, the Bergmans received 16 Oscar nominations in total. In 1983 alone, the prolific team netted three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Song: “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (from Best Friends), “If We Were in Love” (from Yes, Giorgio), and “It Might Be You” (from Tootsie). In television, the pair wrote the theme songs for classic hit series Maude, Good Times and Alice. The Bergmans were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980 and received its Johnny Mercer Award in 1997. They received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Songwriters in 1995. Marilyn Bergman was the first woman elected to ASCAP's Board of Directors and served as ASCAP's President and Chairman from 1994 to 2009. As a passionate voice for the rights of music creators, she maintained a strong presence on Capitol Hill. She helped lead ASCAP to several major legislative victories, including the Supreme Court's decision in 2003 to uphold the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which extended copyright protection an extra 20 years – to the life of the author plus 70 years. Read more about her extraordinary life here. The ASCAP Foundation Alan and Marilyn Bergman Lyric Award program is currently accepting nominations. Applicants are judged on the quality of lyrics, strong melody, and music and poetic rhythm. The rules and application process can be found at http://www.ascap.com/bergmanaward. For further information, please email [email protected]