Nashville Writers Nominated For NY Songwriters Hall of Fame

Several writers with Nashville ties are nominated for election to the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City. The organization announced its slate of nominees, which includes Tom T. Hall and Alan Jackson in the Performing Songwriters category, and Bill Anderson, Steve Dorff, Kye Fleming/Dennis Morgan, and Randy Goodrum in the Non-Performing Songwriters category.

The Annual Induction & Awards Gala will take place June 14, 2018 in New York.

To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.

Eligible voting members will have until Dec. 17, 2017 to turn in ballots with their choices of three nominees from a non-performing and three from a performing category. For information on joining or renewing as a voting member before Nov. 17 in order to participate in this election, please go to songhall.org/join.

Bios and photos of the 2018 nominees from songhall.org:
(Note the five songs listed after each nominee are merely a representative sample of their extensive catalogs)

Performing Songwriters

Tom T. Hall—Known as “The Storyteller,” Country Music and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall typically told stories in songs such as the Grammy-winning “Harper Valley PTA,” which allowed Jeannie C. Riley to top both the pop and country singles charts in 1968, and Hall’s own No. 1 country hit “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine,” which Rolling Stone has ranked in its list of 100 greatest country songs. Hall’s other hits include country classics “I Love,” “Country Is,” “The Year Clayton Delaney Died,” “I Like Beer” and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet).” Other artists who have recorded Hall compositions include Johnny Cash, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings and Alan Jackson, who took his “Little Bitty” to No. 1 on the country charts in 1996.
Key songs in the Hall catalog include: * Harper Valley PTA * I Love * Old Dogs Children And Watermelon Wine * I’m Not Ready Yet * Little Bitty

Alan Jackson—Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson, who is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has had 35 No. 1 country hits since his 1989 debut, having written or co-written 26 of them. They include such landmark singles as “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” (1991) and “Chattahoochee” (1993)—both earning Billboard song-of-the-year citations—and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” Jackson’s 2001 response to 9-11 that won multiple awards at the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Awards, including Song of the Year, and also earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Besides writing hits for other country artists including Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Clay Walker and Chely Wright, Jackson has covered songs honoring his favorite singers including Charley Pride, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard and George Jones, while winning over 50 ASCAP awards for his own writing.
Key songs in the Jackson catalog include: * Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) * Remember When * Chattahoochee * Here In The Real World * Drive (for Daddy Gene)

Mariah Carey: * Vision Of Love * One Sweet Day * Hero * Always Be My Baby * We Belong Together

Tracy Chapman: * Baby, Can I Hold You * Fast Car * Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution * Give Me One Reason * Across The Lines

Jimmy Cliff: * The Harder They Come * Many Rivers To Cross * Sitting In Limbo * Wonderful World, Beautiful People * You Can Get It If You Really Want

Alice Cooper: * No More Mr. Nice Guy * I’m Eighteen * School’s Out * Only Women Bleed * You And Me

Chrissie Hynde: * Brass In Pocket * Talk Of The Town * Back On The Chain Gang * I’ll Stand By You * My City Was Gone

Ernie, Marvin, O’Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley & Chris Jasper p/k/a “The Isley Brothers”: * Fight The Power * It’s Your Thing * Nobody But Me * Shout * That Lady

Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor (Kool & The Gang): * Celebration * Fresh * Get Down On It * Joanna * Ladies Night

John Mellencamp: * Jack And Diane * Hurts So Good * Pink Houses * Small Town * R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.

Eazy-E (d), Dr Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren & DJ Yella p/k/a “NWA”: * Straight Outta Compton * F**k Tha Police * Express Yourself * Gangsta Gangsta * Boyz-N-Tha-Hood

Tom Waits: * Ol’ 55 * Jersey Girl * (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night * Innocent When You Dream * Downtown Train

Non-Performing Songwriters

Bill Anderson—The only songwriter in history to have written charted songs in each of seven consecutive decades, legendary Grand Ole Opry headliner Bill Anderson is among the few country songwriters to cross over to the pop charts in the 1960s with such hits as “Still,” “8 X 10,” “The Tip of My Fingers” and “Mama Sang a Song.” His first #1 (of 14) was “City Lights” for Ray Price in 1958 – when Anderson was just 19, and he soon had hits with the likes of Connie Smith, Hank Locklin, Porter Wagoner, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Roger Miller and Kitty Wells. Topping the country charts in the ‘60s and ‘70s with classic songs like “I Get the Fever,” “My Life” and “Sometimes,” the hits he had from the ‘90s on with artists including Steve Wariner, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, George Strait and Brad Paisley (whose Anderson-penned “Whiskey Lullaby” won the 2005 Country Music Association Song of the Year award) led to his becoming the first country songwriter to receive the BMI Icon Award, in 2002.
Key songs in the Anderson catalog include: * Mama Sang A Song * Po’ Folks * Still * Tips Of My Fingers * Whiskey Lullaby

Steve Dorff—Grammy and Emmy nominated Steve Dorff has written songs sung by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Anne Murray, George Strait and Vanessa Williams, while also establishing himself as a gifted film and television composer. He’s tallied over 40 BMI awards with hits like Rogers’ “Through the Years,” Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again” (Billboard’s top country hit of 1979), Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” Lee Greenwood’s “Don’t Underestimate My Love for You,” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way But Loose”—the title track from Clint Eastwood’s 1978 film. The father of actor Stephen Dorff and late songwriter Andrew Dorff, he also composed TV music for Spenser: For Hire, Murphy Brown, The Singing Bee, Just the 10 of Us, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Columbo and Reba; his other film contributions include songs and scores for Bronco Billy, Rocky IV, Pure Country, Tin Cup and Honky Tonk Man.
Key songs in the Dorff catalog include: * Through The Years * I Just Fall In Love Again * Heartland * Every Which Way But Loose * Hypnotize The Moon

Kye Fleming/Dennis Morgan—Both signed to Charley Pride’s Pi-Gem Music publishing company headed by Nashville producer/publisher Tom Collins, Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan began writing together in 1978 and quickly churned out “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” which became Barbara Mandrell’s first country chart-topper that year. That the team had the magic touch was soon borne out by such country hits as Mandrell’s “Years” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Ronnie Milsap’s “Smoky Mountain Rain” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World,” and Sylvia’s “Nobody” and “Tumbleweed.” Morgan was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, and Fleming joined him there in 2009.
Key songs in the Fleming/Morgan catalog include: * Sleeping Single In A Double Bed * I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool * Crackers * I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World * Smokey Mountain Rain

Randy Goodrum—Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Randy Goodrum was the 1981 ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year. But he had already made a big name for himself with hits like Anne Murray’s much-covered 1978 pop chart-topping signature song “You Needed Me.” Numerous other pop and country hits were forthcoming, most notably Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie” and DeBarge’s “Who’s Holding Donna Now” on the pop side, and Dottie West’s “Lesson In Leavin’” and the Kenny Rogers-Dottie West duet “What Are We Doin’ In Love” on the country side.
Key songs in the Goodrum catalog include: * You Needed Me * Bluer Than Blue * I’ll Be Over You * Foolish Heart * Oh Sherrie

L. Russell Brown/Irwin Levine (d): * Tie A Yellow Ribbon * Knock Three Times * I’m Gonna Boogie Tonight * Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose * I Woke Up In Love This Morning

Mike Chapman: * Kiss You All Over * Heart And Soul * Better Be Good To Me * Love Is A Battlefield * The Best

Jermaine Dupri: * Always Be My Baby * We Belong Together * Confessions Part II * U Got It Bad * Jump

Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell: * A Lover’s Concerto * Let’s Hang On To What We’ve Got * Native New Yorker * Opus 17 (Don’t Worry ‘bout Me) * Workin’ My Way Back To You

Tony Macaulay: * Baby Now That I’ve Found You * Build Me Up Buttercup * Don’t Give Up On Us * Last Night I Couldn’t Get To Sleep At All * Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

Maurice Starr: * Candy Girl * I’ll Be Loving You Forever * Is This The End * Jealous Girl * Step By Step

William “Mickey” Stevenson: * Beechwood 4-5789 * Dancing In The Street * Devil With The Blue Dress * It Takes Two * Pride And Joy

Allee Willis: * Boogie Wonderland * I’ll Be There For You * Neutron Dance * September * What Have I Done To Deserve This

 

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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