The 2015 slate of Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees for induction were announced today (Oct. 16) by SHOF President/CEO Linda Moran. The New York-based organization, which is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world, holds annual elections to determine those who will make up the roster of inductees for the following year.
Nashville songwriters in the running are Bobby Braddock and Bob McDill in the Non-Performing Songwriters category, and Vince Gill, Toby Keith and Steve Winwood in the Performing Songwriters category.
Other nominees include Non-performing: Mike Chapman/Nicky Chinn, Rudy Clark, Randy Edelman, Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia, Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell, Linda Perry, P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri, William “Mickey” Stevenson, Rod Temperton, and Allee Willis; and Performing Songwriters: Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey, Elvis Costello, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Gloria Estefan, Yusuf Islam “Cat Stevens,” Cyndi Lauper, Steve Miller, Tom Petty, and Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson (Heart).
Eligible voting members will have until Dec. 15, 2014 to turn in ballots with their choices of three nominees from the non-performing category and two from the performing category. For information on joining or renewing as a voting member in order to participate in this election, go to songhall.org/join before Nov. 17.
The 2015 Annual Awards Gala will take place at the New York Marriott Marquis on Thursday, June 18.
From the Song Hall:
Bobby Braddock—Bobby Braddock became a songwriter in Nashville in the mid-1960s, and many of his songs, such as “D.I.V.O.R.C.E,” “Golden Ring,” “Time Marches On,” and “I Wanna Talk About Me” are country music standards. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” has led most surveys as the best country song of all time. Braddock’s most recent No. 1 composition was in 2009: “People Are Crazy.” In 2011 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, received the annual BMI Icon Award, and in 2012 received the ACM Poet’s Award. He has received six CMA Song of the Year nominations, winning twice. Braddock is the only living person to have written No. 1 country songs in five consecutive decades.
Bob McDill—After scoring minor hits in the late 1960s for Perry Como and Sam the Sam and the Pharaohs, Bob McDill found his place in country music, especially with Don Williams. His big hits for Williams included “Say It Again,” “She Never Knew Me” and “Amanda,” which was also a major hit for Waylon Jennings. The prodigious writer, who wrote one song a week for 30 years, also placed major hits with the likes of Alabama (“Song Of The South”), Mel McDaniel (“Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”), Alan Jackson (“Gone Country”), Anne Murray, The Kendalls, and Bobby Bare, who recorded a full album of McDill songs entitled Me And McDill. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee’s catalog includes over 30 No. 1 hits, and his shelf displays numerous BMI Songwriter of the Year trophies.
Vince Gill—One of the most celebrated songwriters—and artists—in country music history, Vince Gill first came to fame as songwriter and performer in Pure Prairie League. After going solo as a country artist, he broke ground in winning three straight CMA Awards for Song of the Year from 1991 to 1993: “When I Call Your Name,” “Look At Us” and “I Still Believe In You” (he won it again in 1996 for “Go Rest High On That Mountain”). Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, Gill was also named the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Songwriter/Artist of the Decade for 1990-1999 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He has had songs covered by many others ranging from Alabama to Rosanne Cash. Other key songs in the Gill catalog include: “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away,” “If You Ever Have Forever In Mind,” “Never Knew Lonely,” and “One More Last Chance.”
Toby Keith—Country music superstar Toby Keith was named Billboard’s top country artist and songwriter of the 21st Century’s first decade, finishing behind only Eminem and Britney Spears on the decade’s all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Among his numerous self-penned hits are such country chart-toppers as “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “I Love This Bar,” “As Good As I Once Was” and “American Soldier.” Indeed, Keith has written at least one No. 1 country single over each of the past 20 years. Other key songs in the Keith catalog include: “He Ain’t Worth Missing,” “How Do You Like Me Now,” “Wish I Didn’t Know Now” and “Who’s Your Daddy.”
Steve Winwood—Only 15 when he joined England’s Spencer Davis Group, Steve Winwood co-wrote and sang on that 1960s band’s hits “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m A Man.” But he left shortly thereafter to form the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Traffic, then joined Eric Clapton in the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith—for which he wrote “Can’t Find My Way Home.” After reuniting with Traffic, he went solo and delivered such huge hits as the chart-topping compositions “Higher Love” and “Roll With It.” Other key songs in the Winwood catalog include “Back In The High Life Again,” “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” “Can’t Find My Way Home” and “Gimme Some Lovin.’”