NASHVILLE, Tenn., September 16, 2013 - Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Roger Cook will be honored at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, October 5, as the latest subject of the quarterly programming series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m. in-depth interview and performance, held in the museum's Ford Theater, is included with museum admission and free to museum members. The program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org.
The 90-minute program, hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray, will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum's Frist Library and Archive. Seating for the program is limited, and program passes are required for admittance. Immediately following, Cook will sign limited edition, commemorative Hatch Show Print® posters. (Visit the museum's website for complete admission and signing details.)
Roger Cook has worn many music industry hats-singer, producer, song publisher, musician-over the last five decades, but has enjoyed his greatest success as a songwriter. His catalog includes numerous pop and country hits from the Fortunes, the Hollies, Don Williams, Crystal Gayle, George Strait and others. He also wrote a host of recognizable commercial jingles-the most famous being "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)."
Roger Cook, born August 19, 1940, in Bristol, England, grew up in a musical family. He served as a choirboy at St. Mary's Church. He spent his youth performing in various vocal groups and duos with his friends. At 18, he wrote his first song, "Judy My Darling," about a teenage crush.
In 1965, Cook joined a band with his future songwriter partner, Roger Greenaway. It was backstage at one of their shows that the two wrote their first hit. "You've Got Your Troubles" hit #2 in the U.K. and the Top Ten in the U.S. for the Fortunes. The song, eventually cut more than 150 times, was a game changer for Cook.
The two Rogers formed the duo David and Jonathan, signed a record deal with Columbia Records and made recordings with Beatles producer George Martin. The duo toured for the next three years and continued to write songs together. Among the other pop hits they composed are 1971's "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" (The Fortunes, #15) and 1972's "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" (The Hollies, #2).
Songwriting led to Cook and Greenaway writing commercial jingles, most notably for Coca-Cola. In 1970, they composed "Buy the World a Coke." The song was a success and was quickly adapted as the single "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)," a Top Ten pop hit for the New Seekers. The popularity of the Coke jingles opened the door to more commercial writing, including jingles for Maxwell House Coffee and Levi's.
After winning major songwriting awards in the U.K., Cook decided to make the move to America in the mid-1970s. After short stints in New York and Los Angeles, he landed in Nashville. He formed a publishing company, Picalic, with Ralph Murphy. His first country hit came a few years later with Crystal Gayle's "Talking in Your Sleep." It topped the country chart, reached the Top 20 on the pop chart and won BMI's Country Song of the Year in 1979.
In the late 1970s, Cook hit his stride in the country music world. He met John Prine and the pair began writing together. Don Williams recorded their songs "Only Love" (also recorded by Johnny Cash) and "Love Is on a Roll," a #1 hit in 1983. Williams also topped the charts with Cook's composition, "I Believe in You," in 1980.
In 1997, George Strait had a #1 hit with Cook's "One Night at a Time," and he topped the charts again the next year with "I Just Want to Dance with You," another Cook and Prine co-write and a CMA Single of the Year nominee.
In 1993, Cook was named "King Sod" by the Society of Distinguished Songwriters, and in 1997, he became the first, and, to-date, only English inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He lives in Nashville and continues to write and perform.
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music history. Previous subjects include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Wayne Carson, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Sonny Curtis, Dean Dillon, Tom Douglas, Kye Fleming, Jerry Foster, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Roger Murrah, Dan Penn, Curly Putman, Allen Reynolds, Mark D. Sanders, Don Schlitz, Whitey Shafer, Red Simpson, Jeffrey Steele, Sonny Throckmorton, Norro Wilson and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
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