Nashville Songwriters HOF To Welcome K.T. Oslin, Ronnie Dunn, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Byron Hill, Joe Melson

Photo (L-R): Inductees Wayne Kirkpatrick, Byron Hill and Joe Melson; NaSHOF Executive Director Mark Ford; Inductees K. T. Oslin and Ronnie Dunn.

The latest inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were announced during an event this morning (Aug. 7) in Nashville.

K.T. Oslin, Ronnie Dunn, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Byron Hill, and Joe Melson will be inducted during the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame gala slated for October 28 at Nashville’s Music City Center, according to an announcement from Pat Alger, chair of the organization’s board of directors.

These five writers and artists will join the current 208 members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Oslin signed to Elektra in 1981, which yielded two modestly-successful singles. By 1987, she had moved to Nashville and signed with RCA Nashville. Her self-penned song, “’80s Ladies” would earn the CMA Song of the Year in 1988. The same album also launched the singles “Do Ya” and “I’ll Always Come Back.” Her second album produced the singles “Money,” “Hey Bobby” “This Woman,” “Didn’t Expect It To go Down This Way,” and “Hold Me,” which earned a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1988. She was named SESAC’s Songwriter of the Year in 1988, 1989, and 1991. In 2014, she was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Hill moved to Nashville in 1978 and was signed with ATV Music group, where he wrote the songs “Pickin’ Up Strangers” (Johnny Lee) and penned George Strait’s first No. 1 “Fool Hearted Memory.” He left ATV in 1984, but continued writing hit songs, including “Born Country” (Alabama), “Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous” (Tracy Byrd), “Nothing On But The Radio” (Gary Allan) and more. To date, his songs have generated more than 700 recordings, he’s earned 91 RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum Awards, 10 ASCAP Awards, and more.

Kirkpatrick spent his early songwriting career penning hits including Michael W. Smith’s “Place In This World,” and Amy Grant’s “Takes A Little Time,” and “Every Heartbeat.” In 1996, Wayne’s “Change The World,” co-written and recorded by Eric Clapton, earned a Grammy for Song of the Year. In 1999, he played, sang, and co-wrote 8 of the 10 tracks on Garth Brooks’ Chris Gaines project. In 2001, Kirkpatrick began collaborating with Little Big Town, resulting in songs such as “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” and “Little White Church.”

Melson’s early writing career was launched in the mid-1950s, when he met a then-unknown Roy Orbison. In 1960, their co-written “Only The Lonely” launched Orbison into stardom; the single would be entered into the Grammy hall of fame in 1999. In 1961, they co-wrote the smash hit “Crying,” with Orbison’s recording being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2002, Melson was also inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Dunn recorded with Kix Brooks as part of Brooks & Dunn from 1991-2011. Together, they earned the CMA Vocal Duo of the Year 14 times. Dunn is the sole writer on hits including “Neon Moon,” “Hard Workin’ Man,” “She Used To Be Mine,” “She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind,” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” which earned the ACM’s Song of the Year honor in 1992. Dunn was BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1996 and 1998. Dunn was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2003.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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