Vern Gosdin, Jim McBride, Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols are the four newest inductees to go into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame this October. The four will be officially inducted during the 47th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Oct. 23 at the Music City Center.
“The quality of the songs that emanate from the legendary Nashville Songwriting community is most often the standard by which songwriters measure their success,” says Pat Alger. “Iconic songs from its eminent songwriters help make this town the musical sanctuary it has become and in turn, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates the illustrious careers of those songwriters each year by inducting four new members, the highest honor that any Nashville songwriter can hope for. This year we are extremely proud to welcome the class of 2017: Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols in the songwriter category; Jim McBride in the veteran songwriter category and the late Vern Gosdin as our songwriter/artist.”
Woodland, Alabama native Gosdin first signed a record deal with Elektra Records in Nashville, and in 1982 he scored a Top 10 hit with his self-penned “Today My World Slipped Away” (also a Top 5 hit for George Strait 15 years later), followed by “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)” in 1983. Moving to Columbia Records in the late ’80s, he charted a series of Top 10 singles with songs he co-wrote, including “Do You Believe Me Now,” “Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time” and “That Just About Does It.” Two more of his original songs, “Set ’Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy” reached No. 1. His co-written “Chiseled In Stone” was named the 1989 CMA Song of the Year.
Florence, Alabama native Aldridge spent 17 years as staff engineer at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and 15 years as an independent engineer in Nashville, working on over 200 records. In the late 1980s, he sang lead in the band The Shooters and charted seven singles for Epic Records. Among his best-known songs are “I Am A Simple Man” by Ricky Van Shelton, “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde” by Travis Tritt, “She Sure Got Away With My Heart” by John Anderson, “She’s Got A Single Thing In Mind” by Conway Twitty, and “Some Things Never Change” by Tim McGraw. “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” by Ronnie Milsap was the 1982 ASCAP Country Song of the Year. “Holding Her And Loving You” by Earl Thomas Conley was the 1983 NSAI Song of the Year. An alumnus of the University of North Alabama (UNA), he teaches in his alma mater’s Entertainment Industry Program and has also been awarded a bronze star on the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Walk of Fame.
Nichols was raised in Springfield, Missouri and moved to Nashville after college. By 1984 he was signed to Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company, and his first hit, 1990’s “I’m Over You” by Keith Whitley, reached #3 on the Country chart shortly after Whitley’s death in 1989. After a stint on BNA Records in the duo Turner-Nichols, Tim’s writing took off with hits such as “Brotherly Love” by Keith Whitley & Earl Thomas Conley, “Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina, “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” by Trace Adkins, “I’ll Think Of A Reason Later” by Lee Ann Womack and “That’d Be Alright” by Alan Jackson. In 2004, his “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw swept the awards with the 2004 Grammy for Best Country Song, the 2004 CMA Song and Single of the Year, the 2005 ACM Song and Single of the Year, the 2005 ASCAP Country Song of the Year and the 2005 BMI Country Song of the Year. Recent Nichols hits include “The Man I Want To Be” by Chris Young and “I Got The Boy” by Jana Kramer.
Huntsville, Alabama native Jim McBride got his first guitar at 21 and began taking lessons from his uncle. He started bringing his songs to Nashville in the early 1970s, and by 1972 had several cuts by The Hagers. In 1980 Jim made the move to Nashville and began landing hits like “Bet Your Heart On Me” by Johnny Lee, “Your Memory Ain’t What It Used To Be” by Mickey Gilley and “Rose In Paradise” by Waylon Jennings. In the early 1990s, Jim met an aspiring young singer named Alan Jackson and their collaboration yielded the #1 hits “Chasing That Neon Rainbow,” “(Who Says) You Can’t Have It All,” “Someday” and “Chattahoochee,” which was Song of the Year for the Country Music Association, ASCAP and American Songwriter Magazine, as well as Billboard Magazine’s most-performed song of the year.
In recent years artists such as Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffett, Ronnie Dunn, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood and more have performed at or participated in the event. Fellow songwriter organization the Nashville Songwriters Association International also participates in the evening by presenting its annual awards for the year’s Best Song, Songwriter and Songwriter/Artist, as well as the Top 10 “Songs I Wish I Had Written” as determined by their professional songwriters division.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame Gala are $250 each and benefit the nonprofit Nashville Songwriters Foundation. Select seating is available to the public and may be purchased as available by contacting Executive Director Mark Ford at [email protected] or 615-460-6556.
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