Alan and Marilyn Bergman


Remarks from Dan Foliart’s introduction of Alan and Marilyn Bergman in the 2010 Ambassador Induction Ceremony.

Knowing where to start in chronicling the career of Alan and Marilyn Bergman is no easy task. Their songs are literally the songs of our lives and continue to be the fabric that the art of songwriting is built upon.

The scope of Alan and Marilyn’s impact on the art of cinema has been immense. The first time that I can recall having a sense of the magnitude of that gift was hearing “The Way We Were” and how that song undeniably took the film to a loftier plateau. In another case, the juxtaposition of “What are you Doing the Rest of Your Life” between the first time it occurs and the reprise at the end of the movie speaks volumes to the argument for an originally written song, as does “ The Last Time I Felt Like this I was Falling in Love” from “Same Time Next Year.”

I recently completed a calypso album with my long time friend Count Bernadino and of course, the featured song was their first hit “Yellow Bird.” After the success of that song, their career took off and has culminated in such distinctions as 16 Academy Award Nominations, induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, honorary Doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music and the University of Massachusetts, recipients of the National Academy of Songwriters, National Music Publishers and NARAS’ Lifetime Achievement Award, numerous Golden Globe and Grammy nominations and many more industry, national and international recognitions.

Their songs are truly among the most significant contributions to the American Songbook over the past half-century.
“The Windmills of Your Mind”,”The Way We Were” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” “It Might Be You”;” Pieces of Dreams “If We Were In Love” “The Way He Makes Me Feel” “Papa, Can You Hear Me”, “Nice ‘n’ Easy”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “That Face”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “So Many Stars”, “The Summer Knows”, “Where Do You Start?” to name but a few.

Alan & Marilyn’s long list of television credits includes the theme songs for “Maude,” “Good Times,” “Alice”, “Brooklyn Bridge “ and “In the Heat of the Night.” They have received four Emmy Awards:

The Bergman’s sit on the SCL Advisory Board, Alan serves as a member of the Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board, the Johnny Mercer Foundation Board and the Artists’ Rights Foundation Board. Marilyn served as President of ASCAP for 15 years and her individual impact on Congressional leaders has been nothing less than inspirational for me. I witnessed the interchange between a number of legislative members and Marilyn, namely Orrin Hatch, and the positive impact she has had on the relationship between the Hill and our community is exceptional, and we certainly owe her a debt of gratitude.

Alan and Marilyn are currently working on several projects with Michel Legrand and Marvin Hamlisch. Their musical “Ballroom” with music by Billy Goldenberg, new music by Marvin Hamlisch starring Tyne Daly is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2011. Lyrically, a CD of their songs sung by Alan is in current release on Verve Records and it is terrific.

I couldn’t be more proud than to welcome Alan and Marilyn Bergman as our newest SCL Ambassadors.