Jerry Foster

Induction Year: 1994

Birth Name: Jerry Galen Foster

Birth Date: 11-19-1935

Place of Birth: Tallapoosa, Missouri

The son of a Missouri sharecropper, Jerry Foster began to play the guitar at age five. As a boy, he was fascinated with words and poetry. He joined the U.S. Marines, and while he was in the service, he began writing songs and performing in a band.

He toured and worked his way up to hosting a television show in Savannah, Georgia. He also became a regular on the Peachstate Jamboree in Swainsboro, Georgia. In 1957, Foster landed a recording contract with the Houston label Backbeat Records. He moved back to Missouri and hosted another musical TV program in Cape Girardeau.

While performing on the Missouri nightclub circuit, Jerry Foster met fellow singer-songwriter Bill Rice. They played one another their songs. Foster reportedly told Rice that his lyrics were weak, and Rice responded that Foster's melodies weren't very good. A songwriting team was born.

They made recordings of their collaborations, which attracted the attention of Jack Clement and Bill Hall, who had a publishing company in Beaumont, Texas called Jack and Bill Music. The publishers urged the fledgling songwriters to move to Nashville and signed them to their firm.

Foster and Rice arrived in Music City in 1967, taking odd jobs and working as radio disc jockeys during their early years in town. In addition, Foster earned recording contracts between 1972 and 1979 with the Nashville labels Cinnamon, Hitsville and Monument.

They had their first major success when Charley Pride recorded their co-written "The Day the World Stood Still" in 1968. Subsequent major songwriting hits included Pride's "The Easy Part's Over," Jerry Lee Lewis' "Would You Take Another Chance on Me" and "Thirty Nine and Holding," Hank Williams Jr.'s "I'll Think of Something" (later revived by Mark Chesnutt) and the Mickey Gilley successes "She's Pulling Me Back Again" and "Here Comes the Hurt Again."

The team overwhelmingly dominated the ASCAP Country Music Awards during the 1970s. At the 1972 ceremony, the organization gave them a golden wheelbarrow to haul their 10 trophies away. They took home 11 the following year.

After 19 years and 2,000 compositions together, they parted ways. Foster went on to write songs with different partners for Randy Travis, Mark Chesnutt and others. He also took up acting, appearing in music videos by Trace Adkins, Diamond Rio, Carrie Underwood, Emerson Drive and Gretchen Wilson as well as in Hannah Montana: The Movie.

"Ain't She Something Else"

(written with Bill Rice)

Eddy Raven1975 #46 country
Conway Twitty1985 #1 country

"An Old Pair of Shoes"

(written with Arthur Masters, John Morris)

Randy Travis1993 #21 country

"Darling You Can Always Come Back Home"

(written with Bill Rice)

Jody Miller1973 #5 country

"Giving Up Easy"

(written with Bill Rice)

Leon Everette1981 #5 country

"Gotta Quit Looking at You Baby"

(written with Bill Rice)

Dave & Sugar1978 #4 country

"Heaven Everyday"

(written with Bill Rice)

Mel Tillis1970 #5 country
Eddy Arnold1971 
Mickey Gilley1982 

"Here Comes the Hurt Again"

(written with Bill Rice)

Mickey Gilley1978 #9 country

"I'll Think of Something"

(written with Bill Rice)

Hank Williams Jr.1974 #7 country
Loretta Lynn1985 
Mark Chesnutt1992 #1 country

"It Wouldn't Hurt to Have Wings"

(written with Roger LaVoie, John Morris)

Mark Chesnutt1995 #7 country

"Just Long Enough to Say Goodbye"

(written with Bill Rice)

Mickey Gilley1979 #10 country

"Let's Put It Back Together Again"

(written with Bill Rice)

Jerry Lee Lewis1976 #6 country

"Once in a Lifetime Thing"

(written with BIll Rice)

John Wesley Ryles1977 #5 country

"She's Pulling Me Back Again"

(written with BIll Rice)

Mickey Gilley1977 #1 country

"Someone to Give My Love To"

(written with Bill Rice)

Johnny Paycheck1972 #4 country
Hank Williams Jr.1972 
Glen Campbell1972 
Joe Simon1973 
Connie Smith1974 
Bobby Blue Bland1975 
Robert Goulet1976 
Tracy Byrd1993 #42 country

"The Day the World Stood Still"

(written with Bill Rice)

Charley Pride1968 #4 country
Jan Howard1968 

"The Easy Part's Over"

(written with Bill Rice)

Charley Pride1968 #2 country
Kitty Wells1968 
Ray Pillow1969 
Louis Armstrong1970 
Steve Wariner1980 #41 country

"Think About It Darlin'"

(written with Bill Rice)

Jerry Lee Lewis1972 #1 country

"Thirty Nine and Holding"

(written with Bill Rice)

Jerry Lee Lewis1981 #4 country
Ed Bruce1981 
The Limeliters1992 

"Why Did You Have to Be So Good"

(written with Bill Rice)

Dave & Sugar1979 #4 country

"Would You Take Another Chance on Me"

(written with Bill Rice)

Jerry Lee Lewis1972 #1 country
Carl Smith1972 
Kenny Price1972 

Jerry Foster

Induction Year: 1994