Kent Robbins

Induction Year: 1998

Birth Name: Kent Marshall Robbins

Birth Date: 04-23-1947

Place of Birth: Mayfield, Kentucky

Death Date: 12-27-1997

Place of Death: Clanton, Alabama

Kent Robbins created classic-sounding country songs for the modern era, penning #1 country hits in the 1970s, '80s and '90s for artists including Ronnie Milsap, Charley Pride, the Judds, John Anderson and George Strait.

Raised in the western Kentucky town of Mayfield, Robbins came to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University and graduated in 1969. He began his life as a professional songwriter in 1974, when he signed with Charley Pride's Pi-Gem music. Two years later, he notched his first chart-topper with "(I'm a) Stand by My Woman Man," a record that earned Ronnie Milsap a Grammy nomination for best country male vocal. Pride was quick to record Robbins' songs as well, scoring major 1970s hits with the Robbins-penned "When I Stop Leavin' (I'll Be Gone)" and "You're My Jamaica," as well as the 1982 hit single "I Don't Think She's in Love Anymore."

Robbins formed his own publishing company with Buzz Cason in 1981, and the focus on business did nothing to slow down his songwriting. He received a Grammy nomination for best country song after the Judds took "Love Is Alive" up the country chart and provided another #1 for the Judds in 1989 with "Young Love (Strong Love)." In 1987, his "I'll Come Back as Another Woman" served as a hit vehicle and a restatement of musical purpose for Tanya Tucker, who mined the song's yearning lyrics and provided her strongest artistic statement in years. And Robbins' "Straight Tequila Night" provided a similar vehicle for John Anderson, giving Anderson his first #1 hit in eight years.

Robbins' "I Wanna Go Too Far" was a Top 10 country hit for strong-singing Trisha Yearwood in 1995, two years before his "Every Light in the House" kick-started Trace Adkins' career and became Adkins' first Top 10 hit. In 1998, Robbins' "It Would Be You" was a crucial Top 10 for Gary Allan, ending a string of disappointing singles for Allan and becoming Allan's first hit in more than two years.

Robbins' final #1 hit came in 1999, when George Strait's breezy version of "Write This Down" was the second most-played country song of the year, according to Billboard. Robbins never got to enjoy that sweet success: He died in an automobile accident two days after Christmas in 1997. Robbins was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998.

"(I'm a) Stand by My Woman Man"

(written with Tammy Wynette, Billy Sherrill)

Ronnie Milsap1976 #1 country

"Easy to Please"

(written with Rhonda Fleming)

Janie Fricke1986 #5 country

"Every Light in the House"

Trace Adkins1996 #3 country, #78 pop

"Heart Trouble"

(written with Dave Gibson)

Steve Wariner1985 #8 country

"Her Man"

Waylon Jennings1990 
Gary Allan1996 #7 country

"I Don't Think She's in Love Anymore"

Charley Pride1982 #2 country

"I Wanna Go Too Far"

(written with Layng Martine Jr.)

Trisha Yearwood1995 #9 country

"I Wish I Could Have Been There"

(written with John Anderson)

John Anderson1994 #4 country

"I'll Come Back as Another Woman"

(written with Richard Carpenter)

Tanya Tucker1987 #2 country

"It Would Be You"

(written with Dana Hunt)

Gary Allan1998 #7 country

"Love Is Alive"

The Judds1985 #1 country

"Maybe She's Human"

(written with Layng Martine Jr.)

Kathy Mattea1994 #34 country

"One Good Well"

(written with Mike Reid)

Don Williams1989 #4 country

"She Just Started Liking Cheatin' Songs"

John Anderson1980 #13 country
Alan Jackson1999 #72 country

"Straight Tequila Night"

(written with Debbie Hupp)

John Anderson1991 #1 country

"When I Stop Leavin' (I'll Be Gone)"

Charley Pride1978 #3 country

"Write This Down"

(written with Dana Hunt)

George Strait1999 #1 country, #27 pop

"You Haven't Left Me Yet"

(written with Dana Hunt)

George Strait1998 #59 country

"You're My Jamaica"

Charley Pride1979 #1 country

"Young Love (Strong Love)"

(written with Paul Kennerley)

The Judds1989 #1 country

Kent Robbins

Induction Year: 1998