The name of this site derives from a (now not so) private joke between myself and friend called Garry. We were both vaguely interested in self-improvement and all things psychological, and had read the works of an obscure hypnotherapist named R.N.Shrout. Personally I found the author's name to be of more interest than the content of his books, and adopted it as a kind of nickname. It stuck, and to Garry I became "Shrout". So when I decided I'd like to build a website about songwriters it somehow seemed right to use the name, even though the subject of the site has nothing whatsoever to do with hypnotherapy. It's more of a tongue-in-cheek homage to (and at the same time push-back against) obscurity, a fate suffered by the original Mr.Shrout and his books despite his life-long devotion to his craft and profession, by many an unheralded songwriter whose songs may have been heard or sung by millions over generations without ever having their names associated with them, and is almost certain to be the fate of this website as well. That's about it.
For a long time I have held the belief that songwriters too often lose much of the recognition they deserve to the artists who perform their songs, so the first intention of the site is to try to redress the balance in some small way. It is also a collection point for information about a group of songwriters - not necessarily my personal favourites - whose songs I believe have penetrated most deeply into the public consciousness, and more importantly, stayed there, while their songs, perhaps not surprisingly, have become associated with the singer rather than the writer. (I have actually thrown in one or two of my favourites as well for good measure). In choosing who to include I've gone for songwriters I consider to be the most 'successful' - i.e. those whose songs have been covered most often, used as backgrounds in commercials, movies or TV shows, been taken up as anthems in support of causes or in sporting venues etc. - rather than those I might consider to be the most innovative, or simply the best. In other words writers whose songs have lasted and become almost public property, and those which I think might achieve that given time, without necessarily becoming public property themselves. I hope I have come up with a selection which doesn't make too many people cringe, or worse.
The song index is a reference point for song attributions, and the historical section attempts to place songwriters in the context of the development of popular music, hopefully highlighting the role of some of its more obscure contributors.