The 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame Towering Song Award will be presented to “A Change Is Gonna Come” at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13th in New York City. The song, written and originally performed by the legendary Sam Cooke, is published by ABKCO Music.
The Towering Song Award is presented to the creator(s) of an individual song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years. Previous Towering Songs have included “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” “Moon River,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “It Was A Very Good Year” and “Stand By Me.”
“A Change Is Gonna Come” was written by Sam Cooke in 1963 and recorded in January of 1964 in Hollywood, CA. The track was released as a single in December of 1964. This evocative composition was adopted as an anthem by the Civil Rights Movement virtually upon its release and is widely considered to be Cooke's most significant and enduring composition.
“A Change Is Gonna Come” has garnered over 500 recorded versions, including covers by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Bobby Womack, the Fugees, Jon Bon Jovi, Seal, R. Kelly, Gavin DeGraw, Terrence Trent D’Arby, the Righteous Brothers, Al Green and many others. Over the years, “A Change Is Gonna Come” has garnered great accolades and in 2005, was voted #12 by representatives of the music industry and media in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and voted #3 in Pitchfork Media's The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s. The song is also among those deemed as “the most important ever recorded” by National Public Radio (NPR) and was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Recording Registry.