The 2019 class of tunesmiths set for induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame have been revealed: Larry Gatlin, Dwight Yoakam, Marcus Hummon, Kostas, Rivers Rutherford, and Sharon Vaughn will be honored during an October ceremony.
Representing literally hundreds of familiar hits covering the past five decades, the inductees will officially join the 213 existing members of the organization at the 49th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala, set for October 14th at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.
Inducted in the songwriter/artist category, Dwight Yoakam was among the neo-traditionalists who broke through in the mid-Eighties. While he has remained headquartered on the West Coast, where he has also appeared in numerous films, including Sling Blade, Yoakam’s string of hits has included self-penned tunes such as his first solo chart-topper, “I Sang Dixie,” and later tunes such as “Fast as You” and “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere.”
Larry Gatlin, who joins the Hall of Fame in the veteran songwriter/artist category, has the distinction of having written — on his own — every chart single scored in both his solo career and as a member of the Gatlin Brothers. Among his best-known tunes are the 1979 Number One Gatlins single “All the Gold in California,” the Grammy-winning “Broken Lady,” and “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You).” Elvis Presley and Dottie West have both cut Gatlin’s songs.
The 2019 veteran songwriter inductee, Sharon Vaughn, is responsible for such classics as “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” recorded by both Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Y’all Come Back Saloon,” and the early Reba McEntire hit “I’m Not That Lonely Yet.” She has also penned songs for Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan, George Jones, and Randy Travis.
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Inductees into the songwriter category are “Cowboy Take Me Away,” “Born to Fly” and “Bless the Broken Road” writer Marcus Hummon; Kostas (born Kostas Lazarides in Greece), whose songs have been recorded by Patty Loveless and Dwight Yoakam; and Rivers Rutherford, famed for Tim McGraw’s “Real Good Man” and Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton’s “When I Get Where I’m Going.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1970. This year’s gala will feature tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs by guest artists. Ticket sales, which include select seating for the public, will benefit the nonprofit Nashville Songwriters Foundation.