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Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017

August 09 2017

(clockwise, l-r) Walt Aldridge, Tim Nichols, Jim McBride, Vern Gosdin

Vern Gosdin, Jim McBride, Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols will be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October, according to an announcement made Aug. 9 by Hall of Fame member Pat Alger, chair of the organization’s board of directors.

The four new inductees will join the 203 existing members of the elite organization when they are officially inducted during the 47th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, October 23, at the Music City Center.

“The quality of the songs that emanate from the legendary Nashville Songwriting community is most often the standard by which most songwriters measure their success,” says Alger. “Iconic songs from its eminent songwriters help make this town the musical sanctuary it has become and in turn, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates the illustrious careers of those songwriters each year by inducting four new members, the highest honor that any Nashville songwriter can hope for. This year we are extremely proud to welcome the class of 2017: Walt Aldridge and Tim Nichols in the songwriter category; Jim McBride in the veteran songwriter category and the late Vern Gosdin as our songwriter/artist.”

Walt Aldridge’s songwriter credits include “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” (Ronnie Milsap), “Holding Her And Loving You” (Earl Thomas Conley) and “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde” (Travis Tritt). Tim Nichols’ resume is known for “I’m Over You” (Keith Whitley), “Heads Carolina, Tails California” (Jo Dee Messina) and “Live Like You Were Dying” (Tim McGraw). Jim McBride is the tunesmith behind “Rose In Paradise” (Waylon Jennings), “Chasing That Neon Rainbow” (Alan Jackson) and “Chattahoochee” (Alan Jackson). Vern Gosdin popularized many of his own compositions, including “Set ’Em Up Joe,” “I’m Still Crazy” and “Chiseled In Stone.”

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala is one of the music industry’s premier events of the year. The evening features tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs by special guest artists. In recent years artists such as Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffett, Ronnie Dunn, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Marty Stuart, Taylor Swift, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood have performed at or participated in the event. Fellow songwriter 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.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Gala are $250 each and benefit the nonprofit Nashville Songwriters Foundation. Select seating is available to the public and may be purchased as available by contacting Executive Director Mark Ford at or 615-460-6556.

Inductee Biographical Information

VERN GOSDIN was born in Woodland, Alabama. He grew up singing in church with his brother, Rex. In 1961, the brothers moved to Los Angeles, where they performed in a bluegrass group before forming their own duo, The Gosdin Brothers. In the early ’70s, Vern moved to Atlanta, where he ran a retail store. Then in 1977, old friend Emmylou Harris helped him sign a record deal with Elektra Records in Nashville. In 1982 he scored a Top 10 hit with his self-penned “Today My World Slipped Away” (also a Top 5 hit for George Strait 15 years later), followed by “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)” in 1983. Vern moved to Columbia Records in the late ’80s, this time charting a series of Top 10 singles with songs he co-wrote, including “Do You Believe Me Now,” “Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time” and “That Just About Does It.” Two more of his original songs — “Set ’Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy” reached #1. His co-written “Chiseled In Stone” was named the 1989 CMA Song of the Year. His last Top 10 singles were released in 1990 — “Right In The Wrong Direction” and “Is It Raining At Your House.” Vern died in Nashville on April 28, 2009 at age 74.

JIM MCBRIDE was born in Huntsville, Alabama. He grew up in a house filled with music from his mother’s radio. At 21, he got his first guitar and began taking lessons from his uncle. Jim started bringing his songs to Nashville in the early 1970s, and by 1972 had several cuts by The Hagers. Though the songs didn’t become radio singles, they did get played on the weekly TV show Hee Haw. In 1980, Conway Twitty hit with “A Bridge That Just Won’t Burn,” prompting Jim to make the move from Huntsville to Nashville. More hits followed throughout the decade: “Bet Your Heart On Me” by Johnny Lee, “Your Memory Ain’t What It Used To Be” by Mickey Gilley and “Rose In Paradise” by Waylon Jennings. In the early 1990s, Jim met an aspiring young singer named Alan Jackson and their collaboration yielded the #1 hits “Chasing That Neon Rainbow,” “(Who Says) You Can’t Have It All,” “Someday” and the smash “Chattahoochee,” which was Song of the Year for the Country Music Association, ASCAP and American Songwriter Magazine, as well as Billboard Magazine’s most performed song of the year. Additionally, Jim co-wrote the Top 10 singles “What I Meant To Say” by Wade Hayes and “Angels In Waiting” by Tammy Cochran.

WALT ALDRIDGE was born in Florence, Alabama. He spent 17 years as staff engineer at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and 15 years as an independent engineer in Nashville, working on some 200 records in that length of time. In the late 1980s, he sang lead vocals in the band The Shooters, a country band which charted seven singles for Epic Records. Among his best-known songs are “I Am A Simple Man” by Ricky Van Shelton, “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde” by Travis Tritt, “She Sure Got Away With My Heart” by John Anderson, “She’s Got A Single Thing In Mind” by Conway Twitty, “Some Things Never Change” by Tim McGraw, “The Fear Of Being Alone” by Reba McEntire and “‘Till You’re Gone” by Barbara Mandrell. “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” by Ronnie Milsap was the 1982 ASCAP Country Song of the Year. “Holding Her And Loving You” by Earl Thomas Conley was the 1983 NSAI Song of the Year. An alumnus of the University of North Alabama (UNA), he teaches in his alma mater’s Entertainment Industry Program. He has also been awarded a bronze star on the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Walk of Fame.

TIM NICHOLS was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Springfield, Missouri. After college, Tim and his band moved to Nashville. By 1984 he was signed to Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company. Tim’s first hit was 1990’s “I’m Over You” by Keith Whitley, which reached #3 on the Country chart shortly after his death in 1989. After a stint on BNA Records in the duo Turner-Nichols, Tim’s songwriting took off with hits such as “Brotherly Love” by Keith Whitley & Earl Thomas Conley, “Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina, “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” by Trace Adkins, “I’ll Think Of A Reason Later” by Lee Ann Womack and “That’d Be Alright” by Alan Jackson. In 2004, his “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw swept the awards with the 2004 Grammy for Best Country Song, the 2004 CMA Song and Single of the Year, the 2005 ACM Song and Single of the Year, the 2005 ASCAP Country Song of the Year and the 2005 BMI Country Song of the Year. Recent hits from Tim include “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill, “The Man I Want To Be” by Chris Young and “I Got The Boy” by Jana Kramer.