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Taking sides: Who should win the next Gershwin Prize?

gershwin prizeThese are our picks for who should be the next Gershwin Prize recipient. (Clockwise from top left: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI; AP Photo/Patrick Semansky; Andrew Propp; Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)

Macca Week continues here on Click Track -- despite much reader protest over our repeated use of Paul McCartney's popular nickname. (We didn't come up with it, people!)

Macca, ahem, Sir Paul visits the White House next Tuesday to accept the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The honor is big, but the prize itself is relatively new. Previous winners include Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

For our weekly Taking sides post, Click Track's contributors each chose a songwriter they'd like to see win the next Gershwin Prize. Vote in our poll below, and read our thoughts after the jump.


Chris Richards: I'm going with the most versatile songwriter in the history of American popular music. He's a true poet, a enigmatic character and an unimpeachable genius. He has weird facial hair. He hails from Minnesota. His name is Prince.

David Malitz: How could it be anyone besides Bob Dylan? I mean, I know you have to mix it up a bit and not just give every songwriting award to Bob Dylan the first year the award is around. But year four seems about right.

Sarah Godfrey: I say the next honoree should be Chuck Berry. He's got “Maybellene,” “Johnny B. Goode" and "No Money Down," among many others. He's a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a Songwriter Hall of Famer -- give the man a Gershwin!

Allison Stewart: In a perfect world, Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen would tie for the award next year, and the ceremony would be beyond awesome, and Prince would show up, because what would He be doing that night that was more important than that?
And Springsteen already got a Kennedy Center honor, so if there's some kind of vetting process like there is for Supreme Court nominees, he's probably already passed. In my nightmares, they give it to Sting. A nice real world compromise: James Taylor gets it. He's underrated as a songwriter, and maybe Carly Simon would show up,although that might be awkward. Not sure what's going on there.

By Chris Richards  |  May 27, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags: Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, James Taylor, Paul McCartney, Prince  
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Comments

Bob Dylan should be next - then Carol King or Willie Nelson. Each have written lots of wonderful songs. Brian Wilson too.
Sorry to say, but Bruce S just writes the same few songs over and over again. He can wait at least a decade more.

Posted by: fab4me | May 27, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The same song over and over! Them's fighting words for someone from New Jersey like me. Carole King would be a great choice, though.

Posted by: Allison Stewart | May 27, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Smokey Robinson or Allen Toussiant fit the bill better than any of the four mentioned songwriters (except maybe Dylan)....

Posted by: josh18 | May 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

When I heard that only two other people had ever been awarded the prize and that one of them was Paul Simon, I just assumed the other was Bob Dylan. He's my vote, hands down. It's a no-brainer.

Posted by: MyPostID27 | May 28, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Is there a prize for Unpopular Song (But Still Very Good)? If so, I nominate Lou Reed, then Tom Waits.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | May 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, Dylan, especially given the fact that he was one of the invited performers at the George Gershwin Tribute at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1987 where he did a remarkable cover of the Gershwins' "Soon."

Posted by: gspanos44 | May 29, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with others that Bob Dylan is the clear choice. I also agree with many others that Carole King is the next logical choice. There are also other women that ought to be considered like Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln, Madonna, Norah Jones, Mary Blige, and Janis Ian.

Posted by: NorthCountryGirl | May 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Mt Rushmore of American Songwriting is Stpehen Foster, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (sorry George, you had Ira helping out).

Only one of them is alive, and interestingly he has had his songs covered by the first year inductee (Simon & garfunkel covered "The Times they are a-changin'" ) The second year inductee (Stevie's "blowin' in the wind" and "mr. tambourine man") and was a huge influence on this year's inductee...so, anyone BUT Bob Dylan would be a mockery of a travesty of a sham.

Posted by: thehal | June 3, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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