Vic McAlpin

Induction Year: 1970

Birth Name: Vernice Johnson McAlpin

Birth Date: 02-04-1918

Place of Birth: Defeated Creek, Tennessee

Death Date: 01-18-1980

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Vic McAlpin is often mentioned in tandem with Hank Williams. The two were fishing buddies in the late 1940s and early '50s. According to a much-circulated story, they would write songs together when out on the lake in their boat. Instead of taking co-writing credits, the songs they wrote one day would go to Hank and the songs they wrote the next would go to Vic. Friends later teased McAlpin that he picked the wrong days.

But that was only a small piece of McAlpin's story. A self-described "country hick," he was born in Defeated Creek, an east Tennessee dot on the map, and then moved to Nashville with his family when he was 10. McAlpin loved hillbilly music, and by the time he finished high school, he was regularly hanging around the Grand Ole Opry. He soon fell in with Roy Acuff and Eddy Arnold and began writing songs. One of his first songs, "All Alone in the World Without You," hit the country Top 10 for Arnold in 1946.

McAlpin gathered all kinds of varied experience in the music business. He was a staff writer for Acuff-Rose Publications, then for Jim Reeves' publishing company, Acclaim Music. He was a promotion man for Columbia Records, then a general manager at Melody Trails Publishing company. But no matter what he was doing, he was always ready with a verse and a chorus. Over the years, his songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Ferlin Husky, Don Gibson, Red Foley, George Morgan, the Wilburn Brothers and Glen Campbell.

A sharp dresser, the good-humored McAlpin cut an atypical figure among Nashville songwriters. With his usual uniform of gray dress pants, blue blazer, crisp white dress shirt and yachting cap, he looked more like a playboy millionaire than a tunesmith.

McAlpin's prolific songwriting output was all the more remarkable when you consider his health problems. In 1959, and again in 1967, he had open-heart surgery, and he was often in and out of the hospital for cardiovascular-related issues.

But maybe the heart problems helped him focus on what makes songs resonate down the decades, as many of his best ones do. "Simplicity is a way of life, and that's what I have tried to keep in my songs," McAlpin once said. "You can't fool the public. They like simplicity."

Vic McAlpin died in 1980.

"All Alone in This World Without You"

(written with Betty Wade, Owen Bradley)

Eddy Arnold1946 #7 country


(written with Jack Toombs)

George Morgan1952 #2 country
Sonny James1957 
Don Gibson1959 
Faron Young1959 
Jim Reeves1960 
Hank Locklin1969 

"Another (Just Like Me)"

(written with Roy Drusky)

Roy Drusky1960 #2 country
Jean Shepard1961 
Teresa Brewer1965 
Skeeter Davis1965 


(written with Roy Drusky, Marie Wilson)

Roy Drusky1960 #3 country
Teresa Brewer1960 #31 pop
Skeeter Davis1962 
Porter Wagoner1962 

"Before This Day Ends"

(written with Roy Drusky, Marie Wilson)

George Hamilton IV1960 #4 country
Eddy Arnold1961 #23 country

"Box It Came In"

Wanda Jackson1966 #18 country

"Don't Let That Doorknob Hit You"

Norma Jean1967 #24 country
Bobby Bare1967 

"God Walks These Hills with Me"

(written with Marvin Hughes)

Red Foley1958 
Eddy Arnold1963 
Don Gibson1964 
Porter Wagoner1967 

"How's My Ex Treating You"

Jerry Lee Lewis1966 
Mickey Gilley1976 
Hank Williams, Jr.1978 

"I Got a Rocket in My Pocket"

(written with Jimmy Logsdon)

Jimmy Lloyd1958 
Lou Ann Barton1989 
Dan Baird1992 

"I Went out of My Way (To Make You Happy)"

(written with Roy Drusky, Bobbie Jean Thomas)

Roy Drusky1961 #9 country

"I'm in Love Again"

(written with George Morgan)

George Morgan1959 #3 country

"Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town"

Norma Jean1967 #38 country
Loretta Lynn1968 
Tammy Wynette1968 
Johnny Duncan & June Stearns1968 #21 country

"Plastic Saddle"

Nat Stuckey1968 #9 country
Jerry Reed1970 
Mickey Gilley1974 

"To My Sorrow"

Eddy Arnold1947 #2 country
Ferlin Husky1959 
Johnny Duncan1968 #47 country

"What Is Life Without Love"

(written with Eddy Arnold, Owen Bradley)

Eddy Arnold1947 #1 country

"What Locks the Door"

Jack Greene1967 #2 country
Freddie Hart1967 
Norma Jean1968 
Jean Shepard1968 
Kitty Wells1968 
Don Gibson1968 
Johnny Duncan1969 

"When My Conscience Hurts the Most"

(written with Lester Vanadore)

Charlie Walker1959 #22 country
Johnny Bush1979 #83 country

"You Better Keep It on Your Mind"

(written with Hank Williams)

Hank Williams1954 
Webb Wilder1986 

Vic McAlpin

Induction Year: 1970