Lyricist Don Black, who has written the title themes for several James Bond films over the years, will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame tomorrow along with Jackson Browne, Irving Burgie, Michael Masser and the songwriting team of Bobby Weinstein and the late Teddy Randazzo–reports USA Today.
007 fans know Black best for his lyricist credits on Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Surrender, The World Is Not Enough and Only Myself To Blame.
Some of his famous non-Bond work includes the theme for Born Free (which earned him an Academy Award) and the title song of the 1972 horror film Ben, which centers on a lonely boy whose only friend is a rodent named Ben.
‘When it came to writing about a rat, I said, “You can’t write about a rat.” I mean, I’m not going to use words like “cheese,”‘ laughed Black. ‘I thought the best thing to do is write about friendship.’ The song, performed by Michael Jackson, proved to be an enduring pop classic.
Discussing Kanye West’s rap hit remake of Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever, Black said the reinvention of the song was ‘great fun.’
‘That’s the way you keep a song going. I thought he did a fantastic job. Obviously it isn’t my world but it made me very trendy with my son. I started wearing bling.’
Black, who is also a Tony Award-winner, told The Associated Press that receiving the Songwriters Hall honor ‘means more to me than you can imagine. When I was growing up in the east of London as a little boy, all my heroes were the people who are on this invitation,’ he said.
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