Fred Rose

Induction Year: 1970

Birth Name: Knowles Fred Rose

Birth Date: 08-24-1897

Place of Birth: Evansville, Indiana

Death Date: 12-01-1954

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

If anyone is the father of the Nashville music business, it is surely Fred Rose. As a songwriter, music publisher, record producer and talent scout, he was a key figure in the rise to prominence of Music City.

Rose grew up in St. Louis, where he began his show-business career singing for tips in saloons as a child. He dropped out of school by the fourth grade. He moved to Chicago around 1917 to pursue his musical ambitions. There Rose performed in honky tonks, was a silent-movie pianist and made rolls for player pianos. He was entirely self-taught as a musician.

In the 1920s, Rose had his first songwriting successes with "Red Hot Mama," "'Deed I Do" and "Honest and Truly." His rising profile as a composer led to a Brunswick Records contract in 1927.

He moved to Nashville in 1933 and began broadcasting a daily afternoon pop show on WSM radio. In 1938, he began regularly traveling between Nashville and Hollywood. After being introduced to Gene Autry by cowboy singer Ray Whitley, Rose began collaborating on songs with the singing-cowboy superstar. At least 17 Autry movies contain Rose songs. "Be Honest with Me," which Autry sang in several films, was nominated for a Best Song Oscar in 1941. Returning to Nashville, Rose formed Acuff-Rose Publications in 1942 with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff and his wife. At this time, Rose sometimes wrote under the pseudonym "Floyd Jenkins."

His warmth, sincerity and scrupulous honesty soon attracted songwriters such as Jenny Lou Carson, Pee Wee King, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and Marty Robbins to Acuff-Rose. Rose mentored them and sometimes polished their songs without taking any composing credit. He famously guided the songwriting of the legendary Hank Williams at Acuff-Rose and produced his recordings for MGM Records.

Meanwhile, he created classics himself for Bob Wills ("Roly Poly," "Home in San Antone"), Roy Acuff ("Fireball Mail," "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"), Eddy Arnold ("It's a Sin," "Texarkana Baby") and others. Although his name is not on the song, Rose is known to be the author of Red Foley's 1950 smash "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy," the first Nashville country song to become a #1 pop music hit.

In 1953, he formed Hickory Records. He died of a heart attack at age 56. In 1961, Fred Rose posthumously became one of the first three members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"'Deed I Do"

(written with Walter Hirsch)

Gene Austin1927 
Ruth Etting1927 
Johnny Marvin1927 
Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers1936 
Peggy Lee1944 
Lena Horne1948 #26 pop
Meade Lux Lewis1957 
Perry Como1957 
Billie Holiday1959 
Jimmy Rushing1959 
Rosemary Clooney1959 
Ray Charles1959 
Mose Allison1960 
Les Paul & Mary Ford1962 
Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells1964 
Chet Atkins & Les Paul1976 
Diana Krall1995 
David "Fathead" Newman2005 
Lynda Carter2009 

"A Pair of Broken Hearts"

(written with Jenny Lou Carson)

Spade Cooley1945 #8 country
Hank Snow & Anita Carter1962 
Sue Thompson1969 

"At Mail Call Today"

(written with Gene Autry)

Gene Autry1945 #1 country
Red Foley with Lawrence Welk1945 #3 country
Hank Snow1953 
The Louvin Brothers1961 
Slim Whitman1963 
Dave Dudley1966 

"Be Honest with Me"

(written with Gene Autry)

Gene Autry1941 #23 pop, soundtrack <i&gt;Ridin' on a Rainbow&lt;/i&gt;
The Prairie Ramblers1941 
Roy Acuff1941 
Red Foley1941 
Jimmy Wakely1941 
The Light Crust Doughboys1941 
Bing Crosby1941 #19 pop
Gene Autry1941 #23 pop
Freddy Martin1941 #24 pop
Dean Martin1950 
Etta James1963 
Glen Campbell1963 
Esther Phillips1966 
Kathy Barnes1975 #92 country
Carl Perkins1982 
Riders in the Sky1996 

"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"

Roy Acuff1947 
Hank Snow1951 
Ferlin Husky1959 
Gene Vincent1960 
Bill Anderson1962 
Bob Moore & His Orchestra1967 
John D. Loudermilk1968 
Willie Nelson1975 #1 country, #21 pop
Olivia Newton-John1976 
Elvis Presley1976 
Ace Cannon1977 #73 country
J. D. Crowe & the New South1979 
Roy Drusky1982 
Eva Cassidy2008 

"Crazy Heart"

(written with Maurice Murray)

Hank Williams1951 #4 country
Hank Williams Jr.1965 
Don Gibson1971 
Stonewall Jackson1971 
Dick Curless1995 

"Deep Water"

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1947 
Ray Price1958 
Ferlin Husky1959 
Carl Smith1967 #10 country
Don Everly1976 
Buddy Emmons1976 
Charlie Walker1979 
Willie Nelson & Ray Price1980 
Asleep at the Wheel1985 
George Strait1986 
Marsha Thornton1989 #62 country
Mike Auldridge1989 
Garth Brooks & Asleep at the Wheel1993 
The Hackberry Ramblers1997 

"Fireball Mail"

Roy Acuff1942 soundtrack O My Darling Clementine
Spade Cooley1944 
Johnny Bond1945 
Flatt & Scruggs1960 
Little Jimmy Dickens1960 
Don Gibson1961 
Duane Eddy1963 
Ernest Tubb1966 
Wanda Jackson1967 
Carl Smith1969 
Bill Monroe1969 
Hank Snow1971 
The Osborne Brothers1972 
Earl Scruggs1972 
Hank Williams Jr.1973 
Charlie McCoy1974 
Jim & Jesse1975 
Mac Wiseman1975 
Chubby Wise1994 
Josh Graves2000 

"Foggy River"

Kate Smith1948 #10 country
Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely1951 
Moon Mullican1958 
Don Gibson1959 
The Champs1960 
Red Foley1961 
Conway Twitty1961 
Bill Monroe1962 
Jean Shepard1964 
Roy Acuff1967 
Carl Smith1968 #18 country
Charlie McCoy1977 
Rose Maddox1986  
Del McCoury1991  
Sleepy LaBeef2009 

"Hang Your Head in Shame"

(written with Ed G. Nelson, Steve Nelson)

Foy Willing & the Riders of the Purple Sage1944 
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1945 #3 country
Red Foley1945 #4 country
Hank Thompson1952 
Carl Smith1958 
Ray Price1962 
Ray Charles1962 
Doc Watson1975 

"Home in San Antone"

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1943 #21 pop
Ray Whitley1944 
Roy Acuff1949 soundtrack Home in San Antone
Willie Nelson1966 

"Honest and Truly"

Isham Jones Orchestra1925 
Henry Burr1925 
Ben Selvin1928 
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra1936 
The Ink Spots1940 
Sonny James1958 

"I Can't Go on This Way"

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1946 #4 country

"I Hang My Head and Cry"

(written with Gene Autry, Ray Whitley)

Gene Autry1944 #4 country
Marty Robbins1957 
Dave Burgess1958 
Arthur Alexander1962 
Les Paul & Mary Ford1962 
Glen Campbell1963 
Jimmie Vaughan2011 
Lou Ann Barton2011 

"I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive"

(written with Hank Williams)

Hank Williams1952 #1 country
Hank Williams Jr.1966 
Asleep at the Wheel1973 
Roy Clark & Joe Pass1995 
Jerry Lee Lewis1995 
Three Hanks1996 
Jimmie Dale Gilmore2005 
The Little Willies2006 

"I'll Never Stand in Your Way"

(written with Hy Heath)

Joni James1953 #23 pop
Elvis Presley1954 
Billy Walker1956 
Sons of the Pioneers1957 
Ray Charles1962 
Jimmy Dean1967 
Dottie West & Don Gibson1969 

"I've Taken All I'm Gonna Take From You"

(written with Jenny Lou Carson)

Spade Cooley1945 #4 country

"It's a Sin"

(written with William Grishaw)

Eddy Arnold1947 #1 country
Ivory Joe Hunter1950 #10 R&B
Hank Snow1953 
George Morgan1957 
Bill Haley & His Comets1957 
Red Foley1959 
Elvis Presley1961 
George Jones1962 
Don Gibson1962 
Hank Locklin1965 
Marty Robbins1969 #5 country
Dottie West1969 
Willie Nelson1995 
Pat Boone1997 


(written with Hank Williams)

Hank Williams1953 #1 country, #23 pop
Dolores Gray1953 #23 pop
Hawkshaw Hawkins1953 
The Davis Sisters1953 
Marty Robbins1958 
Floyd Cramer1962 
Del Shannon1964 
Roy Acuff1966 
Danny Davis & the Nashville Brass1969 
Charley Pride1969 #3 country
Loretta Lynn1969 
Mel Tillis1969 
Roy Orbison1970 
The Osborne Brothers1971 
Don Gibson1971 
Doc & Merle Watson1974 
Ray Price1976 
Ronnie Milsap1976 
Carl Perkins1978 
Hank Williams Jr.1980 #12 country
Johnny Russell1989 
Don McLean2001 

"Low and Lonely"

Roy Acuff1942 soundtrack O My Darling Clementine
Hank Williams1951 
The Louvin Brothers1962 
Ramblin' Jack Elliott1962 
Floyd Cramer1965 
Don Gibson1968 
Carl Smith1970 
The Bluegrass Cardinals1979 
Ricky Skaggs1981 
Bobby Osborne Rocky Top Xpress2012 

"Mansion on the Hill"

(written with Hank Williams)

Hank Williams1949 #12 country
Elvis Presley1954 
Kitty Wells 1957 
Ray Price1957 
Margaret Whiting1958 
June Webb1958 #29 country
Hank Snow1961 
George Jones1962 
The Browns1963 
Hank Williams Jr.1964 
Hank Locklin1964 
Roy Acuff1966 
Ernest Tubb1968 
Stonewall Jackson1969 
Roy Orbison1970 
Don Gibson1971  
Glen Campbell1973 
Michael Martin Murphey1976 #36 country
Ray Price1976 #14 country
Charley Pride1980 
Willie Nelson1981 
Waylon Jennings1996 
David Allan Coe1997 
Chris Isaak2001 
Jerry Byrd 2002 
Willie Nelson & Ray Price2003 
Ricky Skaggs2009 

"No One Will Ever Know"

(written with Mel Foree)

soundtrack: Night Train to Memphis

Roy Acuff1945 
Esco Hankins1947 
The Wilburn Brothers1958 
Jack Scott1958 
Ferlin Husky1959 
Don Gibson1961 
Stonewall Jackson1963 
Roy Orbison1963 
Tennessee Ernie Ford1964 
Frank Ifield1966 #42 country
Johnny Cash1966 
Jerry Lee Lewis1976 
Gene Watson1980 #13 country
David Allan Coe1997 

"Red Hot Mama"

(written with Bud Cooper, Gilbert Wells)

Sophie Tucker1924 
The Kansas City Nighthawks1924 
Ray Miller Orchestra1925 

"Roly Poly"

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1946 #3 country
Hank Williams1947 
Ray Price1962 
Willie Nelson1963 
Merle Haggard1971 
Carl Smith1977 #97 country
Doug Kershaw1977 
The Pine Valley Cosmonauts1998 
Dixie Chicks & Asleep at the Wheel1999 #65 country
The Little Willies2006 

"Settin' the Woods on Fire"

(written with Ed G. Nelson)

Hank Williams1952 #2 country
Porter Wagoner1952 
Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford1952 #21 pop
George Jones1960 
Don Gibson1962 
Little Richard1971 
The Flatlanders1972 
Katie Moffatt1990 
The Tractors1994 

"Take These Chains from My Heart"

(written with Hy Heath)

Hank Williams1953 #1 country
George Jones1962 
Ray Charles1963 #7 R&B, #8 pop
Bill Anderson1963 
Kitty Wells1964 
Dean Martin1965 
Don Gibson1965 
Roy Acuff1966 
George Hamilton IV1966 
Ray Price1966 
Rick Nelson1967 
Charlie Rich1967 
Lloyd Green1968 
Ernest Tubb1968 
Stonewall Jackson1969 
Webb Pierce1972 
Glen Campbell1973 
Sonny James1974 
Lee Roy Parnell with Brooks & Dunn1994 #17 country
David Allan Coe1997 
Merle Haggard2001 
Anne Murray2002 
The Kentucky Headhunters2005 
Raul Malo2007 
Rosanne Cash2009 

"Texarkana Baby"

(written with Cottonseed Clark)

Eddy Arnold1948 #1 country, #18 pop
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys1948 #15 country
Roy Drusky1964 
Leon McAuliffe1964 
Floyd Cramer1965 


(written with Gene Autry)

Gene Autry1944 #20 pop, soundtrack Home in Wyomin'
Spade Cooley1945 
Tex Ritter1946 
Jim Reeves1956 
Kathy Barnes1977 #88 country
Jimmy C. Newman1978 

"Wait for the Light to Shine"

soundtrack: Cowboy Canteen

Roy Acuff1945 
The Louvin Brothers1962 
Don Gibson1958 
Carl Smith1969 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Connie Smith1971 
Pat Boone1972 
Kitty Wells1972 
Mac Wiseman1976 
The Whitstein Brothers1996 
Barbara Mandrell2000 

"Waltz of the Wind"

Roy Acuff1948 #8 country
Hank Williams1949 
Gene Vincent1956 
Duane Eddy1962 
Stonewall Jackson1968 

Fred Rose

Induction Year: 1970