Freddie Hart

Induction Year: 2004

Birth Name: Frederick Segrest

Birth Date: 12-21-1926

Place of Birth: Loachapoka, Alabama

Loachapoka, the small Alabama town where Freddie Hart was born, comes from an Indian name for a "place where turtles are killed." It's a fact that gives Hart's arduous, tortoise-like climb out of his hardscrabble beginnings to the top of the country charts an extra twist of poignancy.

One of 15 children born to sharecropper parents, Freddie grew up dirt poor. But the family found time to harmonize on old gospel songs and tune in the Grand Ole Opry on their battery-operated radio. When he was five, Freddie fashioned his first guitar out of a cigar box and wire from a Model T car.

At 15, he lied about his age to enlist in the Army and was shipped out to the South Pacific. Though he saw much combat, he also pursued music, performing shows for fellow soldiers. Back home, he drifted aimlessly, working many odd jobs, including one teaching self-defense lessons (Hart has a black belt in judo). During this time, he also hitchhiked to Nashville, and met his hero Hank Williams, who imparted a secret to successful songwriting: "Set people to music."

Hart took the advice seriously and started writing songs about everyday life and living. He soon got his first break, touring with Lefty Frizzell as a roadie and an opener. The two became friends, and Frizzell got Freddie a record deal with Capitol. Hart had success penning "Loose Talk," a huge hit for Carl Smith (and later Buck Owens and Rose Maddox), as well as songs for Porter Wagoner, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Jim Ed Brown and Billy Walker. But for the next 15 years, his own recording career remained in a perpetual state of bubbling under.

In 1971, the sweet, sexy #1 "Easy Loving" ended the chase for the elusive hit, and 44-year-old Hart became a star. The song earned the 1971 ACM and 1971 and 1972 CMA Song of the Year awards. One advantage to delayed success was that Hart had learned all aspects of the business and was more savvy. As his chart run continued through the decade (including five #1s), he reaped the benefits by becoming his own music publisher, while on the side running a trucking company and a school for children with disabilities.

Hart's most recent release was a gospel album in 1996, but he has continued to perform intermittently, with recent appearances on the Opry and in Branson, Missouri.
 

"Bless Your Heart"

(written with Jack Lebsock)

Freddie Hart1972 #1 country

"Easy Loving"

ACM & twice CMA Song of the Year

Freddie Hart1971 #1 country, #17 pop, #28 adult contemporary
Jim Ed Brown1971 
Eddy Arnold1971 
Lynn Anderson1971 
Jack Greene1971 
Susan Raye1971 
Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn1971 
Carl Butler1972 
Loretta Lynn1972 
Ferlin Husky1972 
Charlie Walker1972 
Ray Stevens1973 
John Hammond2003 
Lorrie Morgan & Raul Malo2009 
 

"Fingerprints"

(written with Ken Hunt)

Freddie Hart1970 #41 country
 

"Got the All Overs for You"

Freddie Hart1972 #1 country
 

"Hang in There Girl"

Freddie Hart1974 #2 country
 

"Hank Williams' Guitar"

(written with Eddie Dean)

Freddie Hart1965 #23 country
 

"If You Can't Feel It (It Ain't There)"

Freddie Hart1973 #3 country
 

"If the Shoe Fits"

(written with Harlan Howard)

Waylon Jennings1967 

"Loose Talk"

(written with Ann Lucas)

Carl Smith1955 #1 country
Hank Snow1957 
Buck Owens & Rose Maddox1961 #4 country
Cowboy Copas1961 
Jean Shepard1964 
Loretta Lynn1964 
Hank Locklin1965 
Ernest Tubb1967 
Carlene Carter1995 
John Prine & Connie Smith1999 
Jesse Winchester2009 

"Lovin' In Vain"

Patsy Cline1961 
Rosie Flores1987 

"My Hang-Up Is You"

Freddie Hart1972 #1 country
 

"My Tears Are Overdue"

George Jones1965 
Porter Wagoner1966 

"Skid Row Joe"

Porter Wagoner1966 #3 country
 

"The Want-To's"

Freddie Hart1974 #3 country
 

"Trip To Heaven"

Freddie Hart1973 #1 country
 

"Warm Side of You"

Freddie Hart1975 #6 country
 

"What a Laugh"

(written with Harlan Howard)

Freddie Hart1961 #23 country
 

"Whole World Holding Hands"

Freddie Hart1970 #27 country
 

"Why Lovers Turn to Strangers"

(written with Bobby Fender)

Freddie Hart1976 #8 country
 

"Willie the Weeper"

(written with Billy Walker)

Billy Walker1962 #5 country

Freddie Hart

Induction Year: 2004