Four of country music’s most prolific, highly regarded tunesmiths have been named the newest members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rosanne Cash, Mark James, Even Stevens and Craig Wiseman will join the 196 current members enshrined in the Hall of Fame during the 45th anniversary gala set for Sunday, October 11th. The announcement was made at a special event Thursday morning, with songwriter Pat Alger, who also serves as chair of the organization’s board of directors, doing the honors.
James (Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind,” B.J. Thomas’ “Hooked on a Feeling“) and Wiseman (Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Kenny Chesney’s “The Good Stuff”) will be recognized in the songwriter category, while Stevens (Eddie Rabbitt’s “Drivin’ My Life Away,” Conway Twitty’s “Crazy in Love”) will be the newest member in the veteran songwriter category. Cash, whose self-penned Number One country hits include “Seven Year Ache” and “Hold On,” received the honor as this year’s songwriter/artist inductee. The singer-songwriter was also recently named the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Artist-in-Residence for 2015.
“Nashville remains the primary destination for anyone with an appreciation of songwriters and the art of songwriting,” says Alger. “Since 1970, the legacy of those great songwriters has been celebrated and preserved by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Each year, only a few are elected to this high honor.”
In years past, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame gala has featured tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs from such artists as Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw. Fellow songwriters’ organization the Nashville Songwriters Association International also participates in the evening by presenting its annual awards for the year’s Best Song, Songwriter and Songwriter/Artist, as well as the Top 10 “Songs I Wish I Had Written” as determined by their professional songwriters division.
Among the nearly 200 current Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members are Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Harlan Howard, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Cindy Walker and Hank Williams. Last year, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted John Anderson, Gretchen Peters, Paul Craft and Tom Douglas.