2010 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony

L-R Pat Alger, Steve Cropper, Frances Williams Preston, AT&T Tennessee President Gregg Morton and Roger Murrah, Hall of Fame Chairman
October 17th found the Nashville Convention Center filled with hit songwriters, artists, musicians and Music Row VIP’s during an evening that celebrated songs covering many genres, a multitude of styles and spanning centuries as hit songwriters Pat Alger and Steve Cropper, the late pop/country star Paul Davis, and America's first professional songwriter, Stephen Foster joined the honored list of names inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Professional Songwriter’s Division kicked off the evening by presenting plaques to award winners for achievements over the past year.

In a special tribute, Foundation Board Member Layng Martine, Jr. presented the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Mentor Award to longtime BMI CEO Frances Preston, which, in her honor, was named the Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award. "When it comes to music industry executives, Frances is an icon," said Murrah. "She's loved and respected around the world and has certainly done more than her share of mentoring others, so it is only fitting that this award be named for her."

Mayor Karl Dean and Steve Bogard, President NSAI
A President’s Choice Award went to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, in recognition of his support for the songwriting community and dedication to songwriters.

Ten songs, informally dubbed "The Songs I Wish I'd Written" is always a favorite part of the evening, but because of a tie this year, 11 songs were honored. Presented by Bart Herbison Executive Director and Steve Bogard, President of NSAI the Recipients included A Little More Country Than That (Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress, Wynn Varble / recorded by Easton Corbin); Big Green Tractor (Jim Collins, David Lee Murphy / recorded by Jason Aldean); I Run To You (Tom Douglas, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott / recorded by Lady Antebellum); Need You Now (Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott / recorded by Lady Antebellum); Red Light (Dennis Matkosky, Melissa Peirce, Jonathan Singleton / recorded by David Nail); Southern Voice (Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas / recorded by Tim McGraw); The Climb (Jessi Alexander, Jon Mabe / recorded by Miley Cyrus); The House That Built Me (Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin / recorded by Miranda Lambert); Use Somebody (Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill, Nathan Followill / recorded by Kings Of Leon); White Liar (Natalie Hemby, Lambert / recorded by Miranda Lambert); You Belong With Me (Liz Rose, Swift / recorded by Swift).

Steve Bogard & Taylor Swift
 The Songwriter/Artist of the Year was presented for the third time in four years to Taylor Swift, who scored self-penned hits of her own. “Since I can remember, my favorite thing in the world was a good story,” she said. “Then I discovered this town called Nashville, where they tell the coolest stories, and in my opinion they tell them in the most magical ways. I’m having a blast telling stories.”

Chris DuBois who is responsible for the mega-hits by Brad Paisley (“Then” and “Welcome To The Future,” )Craig Morgan (“This Ain’t Nothin’”) and many other songs was the recipient of the songwriter of the year award.

Roger Murrah, Chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation (NaSHOF), presided over the special evening which celebrated the 40th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony. A few of the artists who helped pay special tribute to the legendary writers included Tanya Tucker, T. Graham Brown, Jim Lauderdale, Garth Brooks, Paul Overstreet and Jimmy Wayne. "How fitting it is for us to recognize these incredibly gifted songwriters in this manner. If there was a way to calculate the emotional effect their songs have had on our lives, it would boggle our minds," said Roger Murrah,

Stephen Foster, with songs from as far back as the 1800s include the well known tune “Camptown Races.” Mockingbird Sun created and performed a medley of some of Foster's most recognizable songs, including “Oh Susanna”, “Farewell My Lilly Dear”, “Beautiful Dreamer “and “My Old Kentucky Home”. Grammy-winning Americana singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale sang with “Hard Times Come Again No More”. Stephen Foster has been called the father of American music and was inducted by Tamara Saviano, Grammy winning producer of "Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster." Accepting for Foster was Blair School of Music Professor of Musicology Dale Cockrell.

Paul Davis wrote hits including “Ride 'Em Cowboy”,” '65 Love Affair”, “Cool Night,” “Bop,” “I Go Crazy” and “Love Me Like You Used To.” His songs often featured sophisticated, pop-leaning lyrics and storytelling country lyrics. Paul Overstreet a Hall of Fame songwriter himself, inducted Davis, who passed away in 2008. Longtime friends J. Fred Knobloch, Kyle Lehning, Ed Seay, Ronn Price, Anthony Martin and Jennifer Kimball performed a medley of hits including: “Cool Night”, “I Go Crazy”, “Bop” and “Sweet Life”. Tanya Tucker closed the performance with “Love Me Like You Used To”. Davis' son Jonathan, accepted for his father.

Pat Alger, Jimmy Wayne, Garth Brooks and Allen Reynolds

Garth Brooks, whose version of “Unanswered Prayers” became a signature hit and who called Alger “a great, great writer,” not only sang “The Thunder Rolls” and “That Summer” for Alger on Sunday but praised him with accolades, as did contemporary country hit-maker Jimmy Wayne who was handpicked by Pat Alger to sing a three-song medley of 'Goin' Gone,' 'True Love' and 'Small Town Saturday Night,' all of which were written by Alger.

Allen Reynolds, another Hall of Fame songwriter, inducted his longtime friend

During his moment on stage, Pat Alger proclaimed, “I remember doing ‘Unanswered Prayers’ for the first time, at the Bluebird (Cafe), and there was an ovation after the first chorus. That was a special one.”

Steve Cropper

Musician and producer Tony Brown provided Cropper’s formal induction into the Hall. Young Nashville singer/guitarist Tyler Bryant performed a medley of Cropper’s hits, and T. Graham Brown delivered “(Sittin’ On) the Dock Of the Bay.”, which also included an audience “whistle along.”

Often applauded for his remarkable electric guitar work , Cropper remarked “The feel was the thing,” of the hits he co-wrote. “We weren’t trying for poetry.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing that photo of Paul Davis's induction!