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Nominees, Date Announced For 2019 Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala

Twelve exemplary tunesmiths are 2019 nominees for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NaSHOF) – eight in the Songwriters category and four in the Songwriter/Artists category.

This year’s nominees in the Songwriter category are:
Shawn Camp
Ed Hill
Marcus Hummon
Archie Jordan
Ronnie Rogers
Rivers Rutherford
Jerry Salley

The nominees in the Songwriter/Artist category are:
Toby Keith
Brad Paisley
Eddy Raven
Dwight Yoakam

All nominees experienced their first significant (Top 20) songs at least 20 years ago. Two songwriters and one songwriter/artist, elected by their professional songwriter peers, will be inducted at the 49th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, October 14, at the Music City Center.

The three will be joined by a veteran songwriter and a veteran songwriter/artist elected by a separate body of veteran voters. Those nominees experienced their first significant (Top 20) songs at least 30 years ago. Nominees are not announced in those categories.
Two songwriters and one songwriter/artist, selected by their professional songwriter peers, will be inducted at the 49th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, October 14, at the Music City Center.

The Gala is the primary annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, whose mission is to honor Nashville's rich legacy of songwriting excellence through preservation, celebration and education. For information on seating and sponsorships, contact


Category 1 - SONGWRITERS

Shawn Camp grew up on a farm outside of Perryville, AR, where his ironworker father and beautician mother both sang and played guitar, infusing their child with a love of music. Shawn picked up a guitar at age five and by age 20 had moved to Nashville, where he found work in the late ’80s as a fiddle player in backing bands for The Osborne Brothers, Jerry Reed, Alan Jackson and Trisha Yearwood. After charting a pair of self-penned singles in 1993 as a recording artist on Warner Bros. Records (“Fallin’ Never Felt So Good” and “Confessin’ My Love”), Shawn turned his attention to writing songs, earning his first #1 song in 1998 with “Two Piña Coladas” by Garth Brooks. That same year, Shawn had another #1 hit with “How Long Gone” by Brooks & Dunn. In 2006, the year Shawn was nominated for Songwriter of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music, he had Top 5 singles with “Nobody But Me” by Blake Shelton and “Would You Go With Me” by Josh Turner. Shawn also co-wrote Turner’s “Firecracker,” as well as “River Of Love” by George Strait and “Love Done Gone” by Billy Currington.

Ed Hill was born and raised on a cotton farm in Hanford, California. He played bass guitar and keyboard in bands from junior high through college. Following graduation from Fresno State, Ed moved to Bakersfield in 1971 to pursue country music. After eight years there as a piano player and singer, he became the house piano player at North Hollywood’s legendary Palomino club. While living in Los Angeles, he helped score several movies before going on the road with Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee as part of the Urban Cowboy Band. Ed moved to Nashville in 1984 to pursue songwriting full time — often writing at night, while painting houses and apartments during the daytime. His big break came in 1989 when Reba McEntire hit with “’Til Love Comes Again.” From there, more hits followed: “Be My Baby Tonight” by John Michael Montgomery, “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” by Reba McEntire, “It Matters To Me” by Faith Hill, “Georgia Rain” by Trisha Yearwood, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence, “How ’Bout Them Cowgirls” by George Strait, “Just Fishin’” by Trace Adkins and “Drinking Class” by Lee Brice. “Most People Are Good” by Luke Bryan was named 2018 Music Row Magazine Song Of The Year. Ed was BMI’s 2006 Country Songwriter of the Year.

Washington, D.C.-born Marcus Hummon has enjoyed a successful career as a songwriter, recording artist, producer, studio musician, playwright and author. A diplomat’s son, Marcus spent his youth in Africa and Italy. After several years playing in various bands, he found his way to Nashville. As a songwriter, Marcus has co-written hits such as “Cowboy Take Me Away” and “Ready To Run” by The Dixie Chicks, “Born To Fly” by Sara Evans, “One Of These Days” by Tim McGraw, “Only Love” by Wynonna, “The Cheap Seats” by Alabama and “Love Is The Right Place” by Bryan White. “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts earned Marcus a 2005 Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as NSAI Song of the Year. A 2007 version by Selah w/ Melodie Crittenden, was a Top 5 Christian song and earned NSAI’s 2007 Song of the Year. Marcus has written an opera (Surrender Road, staged by The Nashville Opera Company in 2005) and six musicals, three of which were featured as part of the New York New Musical Festival in 2005, 2006 and 2011 respectively. Marcus has scored two films: Lost Boy Home and The Last Songwriter, a documentary that he co-produced.

Born in Augusta, GA, Archie Jordan moved with his family to Sumter, SC, at the end of 5th grade. By age 12, he had formed his own band, and at age 18 he spent the summer touring with Atlanta-based vocal group The Tams. When college resumed that fall, Archie switched his major to music so that he could study composition and arranging. After college, Archie began work as a producer and songwriter for Bang Records in Atlanta. In 1975 he moved to Nashville to write for Chess Music. Within two years he had co-written his first hit record – “It Was Almost Like A Song” by Ronnie Milsap – which was nominated for a Grammy and would be featured in the 1995 film The Bridges Of Madison County. During his career, Archie wrote more Milsap hits: “What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life,” “Let’s Take The Long Way Around The World,” “It’s All I Can Do,” “Santa Barbara” and “Turn That Radio On.” Other songs from Archie’s pen include “A Man Just Don’t Know What A Woman Goes Through” by Charlie Rich, “Drifter” by Sylvia, “It’s All I Can Do” by Anne Murray and “Happy Birthday Dear Heartache” by Barbara Mandrell.

Kostas Lazarides was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. When he was seven years old, his family immigrated to Billings, Montana. Fascinated by music, the only child was drawn early to the songs of Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. As a youth, Kostas began slipping into local honky-tonks to play with live bands. By the early ’70s, he was performing his original songs on the Northwest club circuit and had built a solid following. After nearly two decades of modest success one of his songs crossed the desk of producer Tony Brown, who was searching for material for Patty Loveless. In 1989, Loveless recorded Kostas’ “Timber, I’m Falling In Love,” making it his first cut, first single and first chart-topping song. Loveless would later take more Kostas songs to the Top 10: “The Lonely Side Of Love,” “On Down The Line” and “Blame It On Your Heart,” which was named the 1994 BMI Country Song of the Year. Other Kostas hits include “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” and “Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose” by Dwight Yoakam, “Going Out Of My Mind” and “Love On The Loose Heart On The Run” by McBride & The Ride, “Lord Have Mercy On The Working Man” by Travis Tritt and “I Can Love You Better” by the Dixie Chicks. He was named 1989 NSAI Songwriter of the Year.

Born and raised in Nashville, Randall “Ronnie” Rogers’s parents were active in Gospel music and passed their talents on to their son. After military service in Vietnam, Ronnie began to pursue a career in music. Following a single as an artist on Rice Records in 1972, he began to find success as a songwriter with cuts by Johnny Russell, Dave Dudley and Loretta Lynn. In 1977, Ronnie scored his first Top 10 with “It’s A Cowboy Lovin’ Night” by Tanya Tucker. In 1983, he had the hit singles “My First Taste Of Texas” by Ed Bruce and “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama, which began a long and successful partnership with the band. To date, Ronnie has had more than 40 cuts by Alabama, including “Jukebox In My Mind,” “Pass It On Down,” “Take A Little Trip” and “Give Me One More Shot.” Ronnie is also the co-writer of the Mark Chesnutt singles “Blame It On Texas” and “Goin’ Through The Big D” and “Only In America” by Brooks & Dunn. Ronnie’s songs have also been recorded by Toby Keith, George Strait, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan, Lee Ann Womack, Ray Charles, Old Crow Medicine Show, Levon Helm and many others.

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Rivers Rutherford began his musical education at the age of seven, when he took up the piano and guitar. At age 15, he was hired to play piano on the Memphis Queen riverboat. From there he played clubs on Beale Street before attending the University of Mississippi on a piano scholarship. A songwriting workshop with producer/writer Chips Moman led to a publishing contract and later to a first cut with The Highwaymen. In 1993, Rivers moved to Nashville. A staff songwriting deal followed three years later and by 1998 a string of hits began: “Shut Up And Drive” by Chely Wright, “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” by Montgomery Gentry, “Ladies Love Country Boys” by Trace Adkins, “Living In Fast Forward” by Kenny Chesney, “Real Good Man” by Tim McGraw, “Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks, “These Are My People” by Rodney Atkins, “Unconditional” by Clay Davidson and “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley w/ Dolly Parton. His co-written “Ain’t Nothing ’Bout You” by Brooks & Dunn was named the 2002 ASCAP Country Song of the Year. Rivers was named 2006 ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year.

Jerry Salley is an award-winning songwriter in three genres — country, bluegrass and Gospel. The Chillicothe, Ohio, native moved to Nashville in 1982, and by 1987, his “Hiding Place” had become a hit for newcomer Steven Curtis Chapman. In 1988, bluegrass group The Seldom Scene recorded “Breaking New Ground.” A year later, Jerry hit with Chapman’s “His Strength Is Perfect,” the GMA’s 1990 Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year. Jerry wrote Sir Elton John’s only Billboard country chart single – his duet with Catherine Britt on “Where We Both Say Goodbye.” “All Dressed Up” by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers was the IBMA’s 2016 Bluegrass Gospel Recorded Song of the Year. Other songs from Jerry’s catalog include the country hits “I Fell In The Water” by John Anderson, “How Do You Sleep At Night” by Wade Hayes and “I’m Gonna Take That Mountain” by Reba McEntire, as well as the Gospel hits “No Limit” by Jeff & Sheri Easter and “John In The Jordan” by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. To date, Jerry has had more than 500 different songs recorded. He was the 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year and the 2018 IBMA Songwriter of the Year.


Oklahoma native Toby Keith received his first guitar at age eight. After high-school graduation, he worked in the oil fields by day and played with his band at night. In the early ’90s, one of his demo tapes found its way to producer Harold Shedd, who signed him to a deal with Mercury Records. In 1993 Toby’s solo-written debut single, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” reached #1 on the Country chart and would go on to become the most played Country song of the 1990s. As an artist, he has placed 45 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 16 #1s and 17 more in the Top 10. Among those compositions are “You Ain’t Much Fun,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This,” “Beer For My Horses,” “I Love This Bar,” “American Soldier,” “A Little Too Late” and “God Love Her.” “As Good As I Once Was” was BMI’s 2006 Country Song of the Year. Among his many awards, he was named BMI’s 2001 Songwriter of the Year, 2004 Writer/Artist of the Year and 2006 Songwriter of the Year. He was NSAI’s 2003, 2004, 2006 Songwriter/Artist of the Year, as well as that organization’s Songwriter/Artist of the Decade (2000-2009). In 2015, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York.

Brad Paisley was born and raised in Glen Dale, West Virginia. He received his first guitar from his grandfather, who taught him to play at eight years old. At age 13, Brad wrote his first song, which he performed publicly and which eventually led him to an eight-year stint performing on Wheeling’s Jamboree USA. After high-school graduation and two years at West Liberty State College, Brad was awarded a fully paid ASCAP scholarship to Belmont University in Nashville where he majored in music business. A week after graduating from Belmont, Brad signed as a writer with EMI Music Publishing. Following cuts by David Kersh, David Ball and Tracy Byrd, Brad signed with Arista Nashville and soon began to record his own songs. As an artist, he has placed 33 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 15 #1s and 14 more in the Top 10. Among those compositions are “He Didn’t Have To Be,” “Alcohol,” “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song),” “Celebrity,” “Ticks,” “Letter To Me,” “Then,” “This Is Country Music,” “Water,” and his duet with Carrie Underwood “Remind Me.” Brad was ASCAP’s 2004 Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. He was NSAI’s Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2002 and 2005.

Eddy Raven was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and raised in bayou country as one of 11 children. He received a guitar from his truck driver/blues guitarist father and by age 13 was playing in a band. In 1969 Eddy recorded an album, That Crazy Cajun Sound, which impressed fellow Louisianan and Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C. Newman, who then helped Eddy secure a songwriting contract with Acuff-Rose Music Publishing in Nashville. During that time, Eddy also worked as lead singer for Jimmie Davis’ band and toured with him during his election campaign for governor of Louisiana. In 1971, Eddy began having hits with other artists, including Top 10 singles by Don Gibson (“Country Green”) and Randy Cornor (“Sometimes I Talk In My Sleep”). By 1974, Eddy had moved to Nashville and was recording his own songs with Elektra Records (and later RCA Records): “I Should’ve Called,” “Who Do You Know In California,” “I Got Mexico,” “Sometimes A Lady,” “You Should Have Been Gone By Now,” “Bayou Boys,” and “Island.” In 1983 The Oak Ridge Boys recorded “Thank God For Kids,” one of the most-recorded songs in Eddy’s catalogue.

Dwight Yoakam was born in the coal mining community of Pikeville, Kentucky, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. During high school, he took part in the music and drama programs; also singing and playing guitar in a variety of local bands. After graduation, he briefly attended Ohio State University before dropping out to move to Nashville in the late 1970s. When Dwight’s brand of modern honky tonk failed to mesh with the pop-oriented “Urban Cowboy” climate of the time in Music City, he moved to Los Angeles. There he met a kindred spirit in guitarist Pete Anderson. Their edgy band found success in the city’s rock and punk clubs. By the mid-1980s, Dwight had signed with Reprise Records. When his debut album, produced by Anderson, was released in 1986, it launched him to stardom. Throughout his career Dwight has written most of the songs on most of his albums. His credits as a songwriter/artist include “Guitars, Cadillacs,” “Little Ways,” “Please, Please Baby,” “I Sang Dixie,” “I Got You,” “It Only Hurts Me When I Cry,” “Try Not To Look So Pretty,” “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere,” “Fast As You” and “You’re The One,” also recorded by Flatt Lonesome and named the 2016 IBMA Song of the Year.