International Songwriters Association (ISA) Songs And Songwriting • Index

International Songwriters Association
Founded 1967

Writing A Song • The Interviews • The Obituaries

International Songwriters Association

Today's Best New Albums

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Every hour of every day, ten new albums are released to an unsuspecting public. Only a few recoup their initial investment and even most that do, fail to show a profit. We pick the best current albums on the market today

Today's Top Musicals

No matter where you are in the world, a musical is being staged tonight in your town. Each day, we pick three hit musicals running right now on New York's Broadway, in London's West End, or in Sydney's Theatre District. Enjoy!

Top 200 Songwriters
Of All Time

Members of the International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame were first inducted in June 1981. Uniquely, members are elected only by their fellow songwriters worldwide. This is the Top 200, chosen by songwriters from the Hall Of Fame

Top 200 Albums
Of All Time

Although RCA Victor could claim to have invented the "record album" in 1933, Columbia issued the first LP in 1949. Members were asked to choose their Top 200 based on songwriting content which means the occasional compilation!

Top 100 Musicals
Of All Time

The world's first stage musical is widely considered to be "The Black Crook" which premiered in New York City on September, 1866. Even we don't remember that! Instead, we asked ISA members to nominate their own Top 100

Top 100 Soundtracks
Of All Time

Quentin Tarantio once said "I always thought my soundtracks do pretty good because they're basically professional equivalents of a mix tape I'd make for you at home". With that in mind, our members picked their own Top 100

Top 100 Music Movies
Of All Time

While 1927's "The Jazz Singer" is not entirely a "music movie" in the contemporary sense as it primarily focuses on a narrative story, still it showed the future not just of cinema but also popular music. This is our own personal Top 100

Top 100 Songwriting
Books Of All Time

Surprisingly few songwriters writers have penned autobiographies, while books about the art of songwriting are rare enough. However exceptional tomes exist, if you know where to look. ISA members list their Top 100 books of all time

ISA • International Songwriters Association (1967)

The News

Today's Songwriting News
Songwriting and Music Publishing news is widely covered nowadays. Here we present the latest news, covering all musical genres, and assembled hourly from 27 different sources

Today's Songwriter Obituaries
The International Songwriters Association remembers the songwriters, music publishers performers, musicians, producers, and music industry personnel who have recently died

Todays Record Sales Charts
The top selling songs of today, comprising physical sales, streaming and airplay, compiled daily from a wide variety of reputable sources and from several musical genres worldwide

Jim Liddane's Blog
Jim Liddane's daily blog recounts the stories behind the great songs, along with advice and anectdotes from top songwriters interviewed by the International Songwriters Association

The Interviews

International Songwriters Association

Andrew Lloyd Webber Interview
The New York Times have named Andrew "the most commercially successful composer in history" while ISA members have consistently voted "Evita" as the best musical of all time

Graham Lyle Interview
Graham penned not only Gallagher & Lyle's "I Wanna Stay with You", "Heart On My Sleeve" and "Breakaway", but also Tina Turner's "What’s Love Got To Do With It". And many more!

P J Proby Interview
He went to Hollywood to become an actor, released records, did demos for Elvis, wrote songs for Ricky Nelson and Johnny Burnette before finally emerging as a full-blown rock star himself

Larry Henley Interview
He scored a #1 as a singer with "Bread & Butter" before writing for everybody from Tina Turner to Wille Nelson, But he's still best known for the classic "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Simon May Interview
Cliff Richard, "EastEnders", The Pointer Sisters, "Howard's Way", Richard Clayderman, "Eldorado", and Ruby Turner all share just one thing in common. Which is? Simon May!

Beth Nielsen Chapman Interview
She's written songs for Tanya Tucker, Bette Midler, Faith Hill, Neil Diamond, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, but has in addition also released several outstanding solo albums

Gary Osborne Interview
His first song was published at age 15. He has had covers ranging from Cliff Richard to Jennifer Warnes - yet is still best known for his co-writing with Elton John and Jeff Wayne!

Jona Lewie Interview
As a teenager, he backed Gene Vincent. Then scored his first hit "Seaside Shuffle" in 1972, going on to produce "Stop The Cavalry" and "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties"

Mitch Murray Interview
The Beatles record your first song, but you're not too impressed. Instead, you go on to pen dozens of hits for other acts, and a country issues a set of postage stamps in your honour!

Wayland Holyfield Interview
To date, he has scored more than forty US Top Ten Country hits, including fourteen Number Ones, and he even got to pen his own state's song - "Arkansas (You Run Deep In Me)"!

Dan Hill Interview
An international singer-songwriting star at 23 whose first hit "Sometimes When We Touch" was covered by more than 130 other singers, Dan Hill is undoubtedly the stuff of legends

Les Reed Interview
When he can pen songs recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, Bing Crosby, Marvin Gaye and Luciano Pavarotti, then Les Reed is clearly no ordinary songwriter!

Chas Hodges Interview
He worked with Joe Meek, backed Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent, played with hit-makers Deep Purple, to finally emerge as one-half of one of Britain's most loved acts - Chas & Dave

Steve Harley Interview
Most often praised for an innovative approach to music, his band, Cockney Rebel and the song "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)", bear testament to a unique musical talent

Guy Clark Interview
A luminary in the realm of American folk and country music, Guy Clark leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who have been fortunate enough to listen to his compositions

Mel Tillis Interview
He has released a hundred singles, scored six Number One hits, and penned million-sellers not just for himself, but also for such luminaries as Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones and Patsy Cline

Bill Anderson Interview
He wrote his very first hit in 1958, his latest was nominated for a Grammy in 2023, and Steve Huey of AllMusic called him "one of the most successful songwriters in country music history"

Eric Woolfson Interview
Starting out as a session pianist during the heyday of Merseybeat, Eric Woolfson emerged as a songwriter of note, before founding what would become the legendary Alan Parsons Project

Mike Read Interview
When you are an iconic BBC DJ, and have edited the "Guinness Book of Hit Singles", what is left to do? Well how about penning a raft of hit songs? Mike Read has done all this. And more

Marty Wilde Interview
Marty Wilde is an iconic singer, songwriter and record producer - one of the tiny number of music personalities to have scored a British hit in every decade from the 1950s to the 2020s

Nik Kershaw Interview
Nik has released 27 singles, and 20 albums. Has worked with everybody from Elton John to Genesis' Tony Banks. And he also performed at Live Aid, alongside Sting, Queen and Bowie!

Jerry Reid Interview
As a singer-guitarist, he is the tops. As a songwriter, well how about his songs for Elvis and Johnny Cash? And as for his acting - well there's always "Smokey & The Bandit". 1, 2 and 3!

Ron Miller Interview
Ron Miller pens hits for Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and Ray Charles - yet manages to maintain the lowest profile of any hit songwriter we know.  But he spoke to us!

Stephen Schwartz Interview
Stephen Schwartz conquered Broadway at the age of 23 with 'Godspell' and his work includes 'Wicked', 'The Hunchback Of Notre Dame' and 'Enchanted', winning 3 Grammys and 3 Oscars!

Keith McCormack Interview
Given just how many new songs are released each and every day, what are the chances of a new songwriter penning the best-selling song for any given year? Well Keith McCormack did!

Hank Cochran Interview
He arrived in Nashville on a bus, but within a year, his songs were at the top of the Billboard charts. Since then, every country star of importance, has recorded at least one of his tunes

Mick Hanly Interview
Limerick-born Mick Hanly is the only Irish songwriter to be awarded both the prestigious BMI Most Played Country Song Of The Year Award and the equally prestigious BMI MillonAir Award

Bruce Welch Interview
Bruce Welch co-founded The Shadows who backed Cliff Richard. But then, he went on to pen million-selling songs for Olivia Newton John and to set up his own music publishing company

Guy Chambers Interview
His production and songwriting credits include Queen, Diana Ross, Tom Jones, James Blunt and Kylie Minogue, while his co-writing with Robbie Williams has so far sold fifty million units

Dallas Frazier Interview
He cut his first record at fourteen, and three years later, had his first US Number One as a songwriter. Elvis Presley, Number 1s, Gold Discs and Grammies, Dallas Frazier has done it all

Bill Martin Interview
Bill Martin, the Eurovision-winning writer whose songs have been recorded by everybody from Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Van Morrison & The Bay City Rollers, to country's Waylon Jennings!

Tony Hatch Interview
Tony Hatch has written hits for Petula Clark, Chubby Checker, Jackie Trent, Bobby Rydell and Connie Francis. And of course, he also penned the legendary theme for TV's "Neighbours"!

Janis Ian Interview
Janis wrote and recorded her first Top 20 hit at 14, and since then has had songs covered by Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Joan Baez, Cher, Shirley Bassey, Sheena Easton & Dusty Springfield

Gordon Lightfoot Interview
Gordon remains Canada's greatest singer-songwriter whose songs have been covered by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, and Olivia Newton John

Gene Pitney Interview
A legendary star in his own right, Gene Pitney was also a talented songwriter who penned several hits for other stars, including Phil Spector, Bobby Vee, Roy Orbison & Ricky Nelson

Roger Cook Interview
Starting out as a pop star, Roger wrote 50+ hits for people like Cliff Richard, before moving to country music, becoming the only British songwriter in the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Mike Batt Interview
Mike Batt introduced The Wombles to TV. Then he discovered, and wrote hits for Katie Melua, penning 'Bright Eyes' for Art Garfunkel, and even setting up his own hit-making record label

Don Black Interview
Don's very first songwriting attempt actually won him an Oscar! He has also written themes for several James Bond movies, and collaborated with Michal Jackson & Andrew Lloyd Webber

Barry Mason Interview
Barry Mason left London for Hollywood hoping to become a movie star. Instead he became a songwriter, selling more than 50 million records for Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones and more!

Lionel Bart Interview
Lionel's first Gold Disc song was written in ten minutes, and he went on to pen the musical 'Oliver' which won a shower of Oscar nominations gaining him the title "King Of Tin Pan Alley"

Johnny Marks Interview
Johnny Marks wrote one of the two most valuable songs of all time, which so far has sold 168 million copies. It is the song which everybody, everywhere, has sung - no matter how badly!

John Spalding Interview
After twenty years working for other publishers, John quit to set up his own Bocu Music. His very first signing? Abba! And he still runs the entire business without using a single computer!

Herbert Kretzmer Interview
At the age of 59, the TV critic for the Daily Mail got a call from Cameron Mackintosh asking if he could possibly pen lyrics for a musical. Herbert agreed. And so was born 'Les Misιrables'!

Terry Noon Interview
Terry Noon backed Gene Vincent, and was part of Them with Van Morrison. But when offered a job in publishing, he took it, to become the era's most successsful independent publisher

Norman Petty Interview
A superb musician with several Gold Discs to his credit. A producer with his own studios who recorded countless hits, writing many of the songs. And he managed one of rock's immortals

Rodger Hodgson Interview
Rodger Hodgson founded the legendary Supertramp, both singing and writing most of their big hits, including 'Dreamer', 'Give A Little Bit', 'The Logical Song' and 'Breakfast In America'

Hal Shaper Interview
Lawyer Hal Shaper left South Africa for London to become a songwriter. His first hit was for Elvis Presley, allowing him to launch the mega-successful Sparta Florida Music Company

Marijohn Wilkin Interview
Marijohn's classic inspirational song 'One Day At A Time' is so big that people forget that she also penned songs for Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and Patsy Cline

Sonny Curtis Interview
Sonny Curtis carved out a career as a country singer. But he also penned hits for Buddy Holly, Hank Williams Jr, The Clash, Leo Sayer, Bobby Vee, Andy Williams and The Everly Brothers

Allan Rich Interview
Allan is not just a Grammy and Oscar nominee. His songs have also sold more than 80 million copies for stars like NSYNC, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart and Whitney Houston

Patricia Rose Knapton Interview
One of ISA's longest-serving interviewers, Patricia Rose has penned musicals ('Pied Piper' and 'Bella'), while also winning the Las Vegas 'International Songwriter Of The Year' title 3 times!

The Articles

International Songwriters Association

The Knowledge
"The Knowledge" is an 20-part, two hour free course covering copyright, song titles, lyrics, and melodies. It also looks at promotion, selling songs, the internet, movies, and money! Click here, and begin with Lesson 1 - "The Basics"

Songwriting Basics
I have my song written. Now what? What should I look out for in a publishing contract. What is a shark music publisher? Do I need a music publisher? Is there a free songwriting course?

Frequently Asked Questions
How difficult is it to make money writing songs? How can I stop my songs being stolen? Can songwriting be taught? How good does my demo have to be? How do I build up the contacts?

Song Copyright
Should I copyright my song? Can I copyright just words without any music? How much does copyright cost? Can I copyright online? Suppose I don't copyright? What if my song is stolen?

Song Plagiarism
Have you ever accidentally stolen somebody else's song? Who decides that a song has been plagiarised? Can you use an out-of-copyright melody? What is a good defence in court?

Writing Song Titles
How impprtant is the title? Sometimes thinking up song titles can seem more difficult than it needs to be. Here are a few tips to put you in the right direction next time you need a title

Writing Song Lyrics
Although there is no "proper" way to write song lyrics, there are some basic elements that most songs do have in common. (1) Hook (2) Slant (3) Chorus (4) Verses and (5) Bridge

Writing Song Melodies
Songwriting is about doing two main things - writing a good story for your audience and then crafting the chords, groove, and melody so as to deliver and effectively enhance that story

Selling Your Song
How can I sell my song? Can I sell it to a singer? Can I sell it to a music publisher? Can I sell just words without music? Can I sell my songs online? How much money can I hope to make?

Music Publishers
Well all know that a music publisher is a company or individual that acts as an intermediary between songwriters or composers, and the music industry. But what exactly do they do?

Promoting Your Song
Despite what you may hear, there are no "magic bullets" - no "secret methods". Sadly, most promotion remains hit or miss, and what may work on one outlet may not work on the next

Your Songs On The Web
There are three important factors to consider if you want to put your songs up on the web - Credibility, Money and Time. Here we examine the several varied options available to you

Your Songs In Movies
To sit in a darkened cinema, and hear your song played over the opening credits, is magic! It is also something which most songwriters just dream about. But is is not all that impossible!

Money Matters
You started songwriting hoping to make some money. But instead, people are trying to get money from you! When this happens. it is time to ask a few pertinent questions of your own

How Much Money Do Songwriters Make?
100 years ago, a songwriter had just one source of income, namely sales of his song in sheet music format. Nowadays there are so many sources, that some songwriters can miss out!

Songwriting & Artificial Intelligence
It's been here for a while. but recently AI or Artificial Intelligence has made great strides in the music biz. Can it help you write that elusive hit? There is only one way to find out

Crowdfunding For Songwriters
You need money to release your own record? Well, banks will not help. But you could always consider the crowdfunding model. Just make sure you have covered all possible consequences

The Songwriter & Social Media
"If you build it - they will come". But how will they come, if they don't know anything at all about it? Social Media may provide some of the answers to this question - or it may not!

Starting Your Own Band
If you're a songwriter, then the quickest way to get your songs out there is to find an existing band willing to perform them for you. Or failing that - why not start your own?

Getting Your Songs On Radio
Having your record played on the radio can be a crucial step in gaining exposure and growing your fan base. Jim Liddane explains how to use radio to further your career as a songwriter

Your Own Publishing Company
At some stage, most songwriters will think of setting up their own music publishing firm. The former Head Of Copyright at EMI Music, Dennis Sinnott tells you exactly how to go about it

The Information

Jim Liddane

Songwriter Hall Of Fame

The International Songwriters Association's Hall Of Fame - whose earliest members were inducted in June 1981, and are still uniquely elected only by fellow songwriters worldwide

Songwriting Contacts
Legal advice? Ogrganisations which can collect your song royalties? Copyright services? Demo recording specialists? Tip Sheets? The songwriting internet? All of the relevant links are here

Song Contests
Writing songs may bring money, but rarely fame - unless you are also a performer. However, Song Contests can bring you both! We look at song contests worldwide from the US to the UK

Musicals • West End To Broadway
Over eighty musicals are running on London's West End and New York's Broadway. Even if you have no interest in writing for the theatre, no songwriter should miss seeing a live show

Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of those TV shows that you either love, or hate. But it has been, and still remains a wonderful gateway to success for many songwriters just starting out

Eurovision Song Contest Winners
The definitive listing of every Eurovision Song Contest winning song since its 1956 foundation

San Remo Song Festival
Founded in 1951, this festival was the inspiration behind the Eurovision Song Contest


International Songwriters Association
All About The ISA
The ISA started life in Limerick City, Ireland, back in October 1967, with members in just one country, Ireland. Forty years later in 2007, the ISA had members in more than sixty countries

All About Limerick
Limerick City, Ireland, boasts Terry Wogan, Richard Harris, The Cranberries and Bill Whelan & Riverdance. Oh - and let's not forget - the International Songwriters Association is here also!

All About Jim Liddane
In 1967, he founded the ISA. 20 years later, he opened Limerick's first licensed radio station. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Jim Liddane - but were afraid to ask!

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ISA • International Songwriters Association (1967)

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Legal Notice

This International Songwriters Association 1967 site is a non-profit non-commercial re-creation of portions of the full site originally published by the International Songwriters Association Limited, and will introduce you to the world of songwriting. It will explain music business terms and help you understand the business concepts that you should be familiar with, thus enabling you to ask more pertinent questions when you meet with your accountant/CPA or solicitor/lawyer.

However, although this website includes general information about legal issues and legal developments as well as accounting issues and accounting developments, it is not meant to be a replacement for professional advice. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal/accounting developments.

Every effort has been made to make this site as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information provided is on an "as is" basis and the author(s) and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained on this site. No steps should be taken without first seeking competent legal and/or accounting advice

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In any event, all images are and remain the property of the individual owners unless indicated to the contrary.

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