Picks and Pans Review: The Songwriters Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary: the Magic of Music

updated 06/26/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/26/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Thurs., June 22, 9 P.M. ET)


Ignore the drippy dialogue between co-hosts Dick Clark and Anita Baker. Taped May 11 at New York's Radio City Music Hall, this two-hour special is nonstop excitement, filled with more highlights than Nancy Reagan's hair. Take a deep breath because the dazzling gallery of performers includes Patti LaBelle, k.d. lang, Melissa Manchester, Freddie Jackson, Jeffrey Osborne, Marilyn McCoo, K.T. Oslin, Cissy Houston, Buster Poindexter, Anthony Newley, Dwight Yoakam, Tommy Tune, Ann Reinking, Michael Bolton, Lou Rawls, Lee Greenwood, Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris.

They present a colorful kaleidoscope of genres, from country and western to gospel to movie themes. Especially fun to hear are today's pop singers performing songs by yesterday's songwriters—after her draining interpretation of "Look to the Rainbow," Patti LaBelle could surely have used an energy transfusion.

The inductees into this year's Hall of Fame are the late Roy Orbison, the late Eddie ("Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?") DeLange and Broadway lyricist Lee ("Bye Bye Birdie") Adams. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Quincy Jones. By evening's end, one is so intoxicated by all this talent that Liza Minnelli's straining rendition of "New York, New York" is practically painless.

From Our Partners