Gibson Guitar at Songwriters Hall of Fame

by Tom Watson

If asked how I'd like to spend my 90th birthday, the answer would be simple.

Breathing.

But such a goal falls far short of how legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul, spent his.

Performing.

Then again, being on stage may be a form of life-giving breath for the 90-year-old music icon. It's what he's done since a teenager (that means since the late 1920s).

June 9, 2005, marked Les Paul's 90th birthday and the night on which he and several other music industry luminaries were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame during a gala celebration ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Quite a night for the Gibson Guitar company, a company that owes a fair portion of its success to the electric guitar model that bears the name Les Paul. Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, was also honored at the 36th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner, receiving the Patron of Arts Award for his extraordinary career in the music industry and his dedication to the arts.

The gala celebration started the moment the award recipients arrived at the Marquis and stepped foot on the red carpet where they were greeted by enthusiastic fans and press.

Other inductees included Steve Cropper ("Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay", "Knock on Wood"); Isaac Hayes ("Soul Man", "Hold on, I'm Comin'", "Theme from Shaft"); David Porter (who co-wrote "Hold on I'm Comin'" and "Soul Man" with Hayes); John Fogerty; Richard and Robert Sherman; Bill Withers; Alicia Keys (who received the Starlight Award for young songwriters); and, Smokey Robinson (a previous inductee who received the Johnny Mercer Award).

Website: http://www.gibson.com/

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