Tom Shapiro

Induction Year: 2008

Birth Name: Tom Curtis Shapiro

Birth Date: 05-18-1950

Place of Birth: Kansas City, Missouri

Tom Shapiro began his career as a pop songwriter, but he became a dominant country music writer in the 1980s, ultimately scoring more than 50 Top 10 country hits. Shapiro is a four-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year winner, and he was NSAI's Songwriter of the Decade for the 1990s. His is among the defining voices in modern country songwriting.

Shapiro began his musical training by age 10 with piano lessons and started writing songs while attending college in France. He taught briefly at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in the early 1970s and moved to Los Angeles in hopes of scoring pop hits. While there, he placed songs with R&B acts like Sister Sledge, Smokey Robinson and others. In fact, his first charting song was "Never Give Up on a Good Thing," a 1982 international hit for George Benson.

By then, though, he had grown enamored of country songwriting, and George Strait had recorded Shapiro's "Every Time You Throw Dirt on Her (You Lose a Little Ground)" for the singer's debut album, Strait Country, in 1981. Shapiro moved to Nashville in 1982, where he soon found success penning songs for Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Marie Osmond and many others. His first #1 hit came in 1984, with Janie Fricke's "Your Heart's Not in It." He also found success as a record producer, working with Billy Dean, Dusty Springfield and others.

Shapiro was BMI's top country songwriter for the years 1993, 1996 and 1997 on the strength of numerous hits. His 1990s run was stellar, as he penned airplay standards including Kathy Mattea's "Walking Away a Winner," Trisha Yearwood's "Thinkin' About You," Tim McGraw's "She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart," and Sara Evans' "No Place That Far." His run of success continued into the new century, as he scored smashes with Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," Darryl Worley's "I Miss My Friend," Montgomery Gentry's "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," Keith Urban's "You Look Good in My Shirt" and Rascal Flatts' "Why Wait." He won his fourth BMI country songwriter prize in 2002.

"I simply write what I like," Shapiro told Great American Country TV upon his 2008 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. "If what you like is what other people like, you're in great shape. If not, you're in trouble." Shapiro proved time and again his taste and the public's were perfectly in tune.

"Ain't Nothing 'Bout You"

(written with Rivers Rutherford)

Brooks & Dunn2001 #1 country, #25 pop

"Are You Ever Gonna Love Me"

(written with Holly Dunn, Chris Waters)

Holly Dunn1989 #1 country

"Highway Robbery"

(written with Michael Garvin, Bucky Jones)

Tanya Tucker1988 #1 country

"I Miss My Friend"

(written with Tony Martin, Mark Nesler)

Darryl Worley2002 #1 country

"If There Hadn't Been You"

(written with Ron Hellard)

Billy Dean1992 #3 country, #29 adult contemporary

"If You Ever Stop Loving Me"

(written with Bob DiPiero, Rivers Rutherford)

Montgomery Gentry2004 #1 country, #30 pop

"Living and Living Well"

(written with Tony Martin, Mark Nesler)

George Strait2002 #1 country, #27 pop

"My Give a Damn's Busted"

(written with Joe Diffie, Tony Martin)

Joe Diffie2001 
Jo Dee Messina2005 #1 country, #63 pop

"Never Give Up on a Good Thing"

(written with Michael Garvin)

George Benson1982 #16 R&B, #52 pop, #29 adult contemporary

"No Place That Far"

(written with Sara Evans, Tony Martin)

Sara Evans1999 #1 country, #37 pop

"She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart"

(written with Chris Waters)

Tim McGraw1996 #1 country

"Somebody Else's Moon"

(written with Paul Nelson)

Collin Raye1993 #5 country

"Thinkin' About You"

(written with Bob Regan)

Trisha Yearwood1995 #1 country

"Time Is Love"

(written with Tony Martin, Mark Nesler)

Josh Turner2012 #2 country, #44 pop

"Watch Me"

(written with Gary Burr)

Lorrie Morgan1992 #2 country

"Why Wait"

(written with Neil Thrasher, Jimmy Yeary)

Rascal Flatts2010 #1 country, #48 pop


(written with Bob DiPiero)

Neal McCoy1994 #1 country, #91 pop

"You Look Good in My Shirt"

(written with Tony Martin, Mark Nesler)

Keith Urban2008 #1 country

"You Really Had Me Going"

(written with Holy Dunn, Chris Waters)

Holly Dunn1990 #1 country

"You're Easy on the Eyes"

(written with Terri Clark, Chris Waters)

Terri Clark1998 #1 country, #40 pop

"Your Heart's Not in It"

(written with Michael Garvin, Bucky Jones)

Janie Fricke1984 #1 country

Tom Shapiro

Induction Year: 2008