The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2017, which was announced in August, will have an additional inductee alongside Vern Gosdin, Jim McBride, Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols.
“Friends In Low Places” songwriter Dewayne Blackwell will join the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame next week, according to Hall of Fame member Pat Alger, chair of the organization’s board of directors.
The five new inductees will join the 203 existing members of the elite organization when they are officially inducted during the 47th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, October 23, at the Music City Center.
“There was a tie this year in our veteran category and our board unanimously agreed that both writers should be inducted,” Alger said. “Dewayne is presently living outside the country and consequently it took us a while to locate him and give him the good news. He is a master songwriter with a long career of influential hits beginning at the birth of rock and roll with ‘Mr. Blue’ and including one of the most played songs of modern times – ‘Friends In Low Places.’ He is a most welcome addition to our Hall of Fame.”
Blackwell’s parents were Dust Bowl “Okies” who migrated to California from Texas when he was a boy. One of eight children, he grew up as an itinerant crop picker. In his early years as a songwriter, Blackwell’s first success was The Fleetwoods’ No. 1 Pop hit with “Mr. Blue” in 1959. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, his works were recorded mainly by Pop acts such as Bobby Vee, Roy Orbison, Bobby Vinton, The Four Preps and The Everly Brothers. Then in the 1980s, he began his “second” songwriting career after moving to Nashville with hits such as “Honkytonk Man” by Marty Robbins, “I’m Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home” by David Frizzell, “Make My Day” by T.G. Sheppard & Clint Eastwood and “Saturday Night Special” by Conway Twitty. In 1991 Blackwell’s co-written “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks was named ASCAP Country Song of the Year, as well as the Single of the Year by both the CMA and the ACM.
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@example.com or 615-460-6556.
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