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The Underground Garage: Home / Little Steven / Essays and Speeches / Bert Berns
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Bert Berns

Stevie's Induction Speech For Bert Berns
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

4/8/2016



Every year in addition to inducting great artists into the Hall of Fame we make a special effort to include individuals that have made significant contributions behind the scenes, without whom our magical mystical motivational art form would not have as much quality, depth, or longevity.
This year we have chosen to honor the amazing Bertrand Russell Berns,  better known as Bert Berns.
The music industry only had him for seven years before a damaged heart took him at the age of 38, but I will need the talking speed of Chris Matthews to mention all of the accomplishments of this incredible Songwriter, Producer, and Label Boss in my allotted 3 minutes-so here goes.
He wrote or co-wrote:
"A Little Bit of Soap" for The Jarmels;
"Twist and Shout" for the Top Notes, The Isley Brothers, and The Beatles;
"Cry to Me", and "Everybody Needs Somebody" for Solomon Burke and the Rolling Stones;
"Down in the Valley" for Solomon Burke and Otis Redding;
"Tell Him" for The Exciters;
"I'll Take Good Care Of You" and "Cry Baby" for Garnet Mimms  and Janis Joplin;
"Baby Let Me Take You Home" The Animals' first single;
"Here Comes the Night" for Them and a week later for Lulu;
"I Want Candy" with and for The Strangeloves and Bow Wow Wow
"Hang on Sloopy" with the Strangeloves for The McCoys;
(sings) "Are You Lonely For Me Baby" for Freddie Scott;
25 Miles for Edwin Starr; and,
"Piece of My Heart" for Erma Franklin and Big Brother and the Holding Company!
That's just a partial list of the songwriting.
As a Producer:
He took over as House Producer at Atlantic from the extraordinary genius duo of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, a tough act to follow, but he helped the label though a tough time first with his success with Solomon Burke, then giving the Drifters a 3rd life with "Under The Boardwalk", and lots of other great things.
Then for Luther Dixon over at Wand he Produced one of the greatest records of all time with  "Twist and Shout" for The Isley Brothers. The first truly Afro-Cuban Rock and Roll Mambo masterpiece!
He had been to Cuba but we don't have time for that.
One of the few Americans to work in England, Shel Talmy the only other one I can think of and maybe we'll talk about him next year, Bert Berns produced "Here Comes the Night" for both Them and Lulu and some other cool things over there.  
And then back home to produce
"Piece of My Heart" for Erma Franklin; and,
"Brown Eyed Girl"  for Van Morrison.  
As a record label boss he gave us the McCoys, Freddy Scott, Erma Franklin, he introduced us to a kid named Neil Diamond brought in by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and found Van Morrison living with his mother after Them broke up and brought him over for  Brown-Eyed Girl and his first solo album Blowin' Your Mind, which he certainly did.
Two minutes and 45 seconds!
Not bad, eh?
Any questions?  
It is my honor to present the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award to Bert Berns and welcome him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Accepting for him are his daughter and son, Cassie and Brett Berns.