Will Jennings, a native of Kilgore, is the newest member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. I met Jennings earlier this year, learning of his storied career and roots planted firmly in East Texas.
In the late 1970s he wrote Barry Manilow’s hit, ‘Looks Like We Made It,’ and teamed with Steve Winwood on his 1981 album, ‘Arc of a Diver.’ He earned his first Academy Award for the song, ‘Up Where We Belong,’ from the film, An Officer and A Gentleman. Jennings worked with Jimmy Buffett and again with Winwood on the Grammy-nominated ‘Higher Love.’
In 1991, he teamed with Eric Clapton on, ‘Tears in Heaven,” from the motion picture Rush.
One of his most significant projects, the blockbuster film Titanic’s theme, ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ earned Jennings Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes in 1997, in addition to becoming the most-played radio hit in history.