Vince Gill Inducts Don Schlitz
Is there an equivalent to Commissioner Gordon's bat signal that someone at the CMA shines into the Nashville night anytime Vince Gill is needed to bring a house down? He always seems to show up at the perfect time. Sunday night that came when the singer sauntered onstage sans introduction to join R&B badass Aloe Blacc on a clap-along-inducing rendition of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," easily the most iconic song of the night, penned by songwriter Don Schlitz, the night's least-recognizable inductee. After the performance, Gill spoke of Schlitz's accomplishments, both as a songsmith behind such hits as Alabama’s "40 Hour Week (For a Livin’)," Randy Travis’ "Deeper Than the Holler," the Judds' "Turn It Loose" and dozens more, as well as a humanitarian who every week, along with Charlie Worsham, sings for the homeless at Clancy’s Crossroads Cafe, a Nashville outreach center, and who recently flew to Las Vegas to sing for wounded survivors of the Route 91 Festival shooting. "It’s so impressive to get to see you enter the Hall of Fame as a songwriter," Gill told Schlitz, "because you don’t have your name plastered on records and on billboards and TV and videos."