Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame 2017

Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame 2017

Inductees include Sam The Sham, Trini Lopez, Freddy King, Cindy Walker, Gus Levene and Al Johnson

DSA will hold it’s Annual Hall of Fame Dinner on July 22nd at the Sons of Hermann Hall. There will be a BBQ Dinner with all the trimmings, plus, and evening of great entertainment with songs of the inductees performed by the No Contact Band and features special guests.
At our 2nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner we will honor songwriters Sam the Sham, Wooly Bully, Freddie King, Hideaway, and Cindy Walker, You Don’t Know Me. Also, cultural icon, Trini Lopez, If I had A Hammer. Plus arranger Gus Levene and Al Johnson with a service award.

BBQ dinner with all the trimmings Plus an evening of great entertainment!  Doors open at 6:00pm
Dinner and net working at 6:30pm
Program at 7:30pm                               CASH BAR
Admission: $25.00 per person online https://dallassongwriters.org/shop/dallas-songwriters-hall-of-fame-at-sons-of-hermann-hall-july-22nd/     $30.00 at the door

Can’t attend but you would like to contribute? Donate here: https://dallassongwriters.org/shop/donation/

2017 Honorees


Cindy Walker (July 20, 1918 – March 23, 2006) was an American songwriter, as well as a country music singer and dancer who was born in Mart, TX.  As a songwriter Walker was responsible for a large number of popular and enduring songs recorded by many different artists.She adopted a craftsman-like approach to her songwriting, often tailoring particular songs to specific recording artists. She produced a large body of songs that have been described as “direct, honest and unpretentious”.[1] She had Top 10 hits spread over five decades. Walker was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in March 2011.

Domingo “Sam” Samudio (born 28 February 1937, Dallas, Texas), better known by his stage name Sam the Sham, is an American rock and roll singer. best known for his camp robe and turban and hauling his equipment in a 1952 Packard hearse with maroon velvet curtains. As the front man for the Pharaohs, he sang on several Top 40 hits in the mid-1960s, notably the Billboard Hot 100 runners up “Wooly Bully” and “Li’l Red Riding Hood”.
Samudio, who is of Mexican American descent, made his singing debut in second grade, representing his school in a radio broadcast. Later, he took up guitar and formed a group with friends, one of whom was Trini Lopez. After graduating from high school, Samudio joined the Navy, where he was known as “Big Sam.” He lived in Panama for six years, until his discharge.
Back in the States, Samudio enrolled in college, studying voice at Arlington State College, now the University of Texas at Arlington. “I was studying classical in the daytime and playing rock and roll at night”, he recalled. “That lasted about two years, before I dropped out and became a carny.”
In Dallas in 1961, Sam formed “The Pharaohs,” the name inspired from the costumes in Yul Brynner’s portrayal as pharaoh in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments. The other members of “The Pharaohs” were Carl Miedke, Russell Fowler, Omar “Big Man” Lopez and Vincent Lopez (no relation to Omar). In 1962 the group made a record that did not sell. The Pharaohs disbanded in 1962.

Freddie King (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976) was an American blues guitarist and singer born in Gilmer, TX. He has been described as one of the “Three Kings” of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King. He was an influential guitarist with hits for Federal Records in the early 1960s. His soulful and powerful voice and distinctive guitar style inspired countless musicians, particularly guitarists (Eric Clapton being a notable example). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
King based his guitar style on Texas and Chicago influences. His best-known recordings include the singles “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” (1960) and his Top 40 hit “Hide Away” (1961) and albums such as the early, instrumental-packed Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King (1961) and the Burglar (1974), which displayed his mature versatility as both a guitarist and a singer in a range of blues and funk styles. He was one of the first bluesmen to have a multi-racial backing band at live performances.

 Trinidad “Trini” López III (born May 15, 1937) is an American singer, guitarist, and actor who was born in Dallas, Texas, son of Trinidad Lopez II (who was a singer, dancer, actor, and musician in Mexico) and Petra Gonzalez, who moved to Dallas from Mexico. Lopez has four sisters (two are deceased) and a brother, Jesse, who is also a singer. He grew up on Ashland Street in the Little Mexico neighborhood of Dallas and attended grammar school and N. R. Crozier Tech High School. He had to drop out of high school in his senior year because he needed to earn money to help support the family. His first album included a version of “If I Had a Hammer”, which earned him a Golden Disc. Other hits included “Lemon Tree”, “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy” and “Sally Was a Good Old Girl”. He designed two guitars for the Gibson Guitar Corporation, which are now collectors’ items.

Gus Levene, born Gershun Levene (July 11, 1911 – February 9, 1979), was an American arranger, composer, orchestrator and guitarist born in Dallas, TX.  He attended Southern Methodist University, majoring in music, then began his career as the chief arranger for the pit orchestra at the Palace Theater in Dallas, and composed music for string quartets in the city. He also performed with the WFAA radio orchestra. On September 4, 1932, his composition “Ballet Suite Exodus”, which he had written at the age of 18, was performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.In the mid-1940s, he was one of the top network radio arrangers. Levene is best remembered for his work as an arranger for Dean Martin and orchestration for numerous Hollywood film productions, including the 1956 hit films The King and I and Rio Bravo.

Alton Johnson (1941 – 2016) was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Richardson and was instrumental in the development of the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival. What began as a springtime community event to celebrate the wildflowers planted throughout the city quickly “blossomed” and has grown to become one of the area’s most recognized and anticipated musical events.

Al founded the Singer Songwriter Stage 21 years ago as part of the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival, showcasing the best Singer Songwriters from across the country.   Through his efforts this program has become a nationally acclaimed Singer Songwriter event.
Two years later in 1998, Al created the Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest to encourage and support the growth of the art of independent performing singer songwriters.  These self-contained musical artists whose lyrics and performances succeed on the strength of their imaginations are honored to be chosen as one of ten finalists to perform during the Festival.
In 2003, Al added the People’s Choice Award to the Performing Songwriter Contest.   This allowed audience members to select their favorite performer each year during the Contest finals.
Over the years, Al recruited well-known professional songwriters to share their expertise and craft with aspiring songwriters, creating the Songwriters Workshop in 2008.
Al developed strong relationships within the Singer Songwriter Community that lead to the success of these programs.
In recognition and appreciation Al’s leadership, vision, passion and dedication to the art of songwriting,  the Performing Songwriter Contest was named the “Al Johnson Performing Songwriting Contest” on the 25th Anniversary of the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival.
In 2017, the Al Johnson songwriting scholarship fund was created.