Bob McDill

Induction Year: 1985

Birth Name: Robert Lee McDill

Birth Date: 04-05-1944

Place of Birth: Walden, Texas

When Bob McDill moved to Nashville in 1970, he believed that the city was poised to become a rock and pop mecca. McDill had two cuts under his belt, one by Perry Como, the other by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, and was writing for Jack Clement's publishing company. Influenced by Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, he also had aspirations to make his own arty singer-songwriter records.

But after two years of living hand-to-mouth, McDill realized that what was really going on in Nashville was what had been going on for decades: country music.

McDill's childhood experiences of singing hymns with his family and listening to shows on the radio gave him a well to draw from. After hearing George Jones' "A Good Year for the Roses" on a car radio, he had an epiphany.

"I began studying country music like a seminary student studies the gospel," he said.

McDill was an A student. He dug deep. He wrote. He rewrote. And rewrote again. Slowly, he began to develop a distinct observational, poetic style that would make him one of Music Row's most revered songwriters.

In one of McDill's greatest and most resonant hits, "Good Ole Boys Like Me," he alludes to all of the influences that inspired him as a writer, from "those Williams boys — Hank and Tennessee" — to Thomas Wolfe to all-night disc jockeys "John R. and the Wolfman."

His rich, literate songs took time and deliberation. "Blood, sweat and tears" is how he described his process. In a town where some writers peel off a song a day, McDill was never the fastest gun in town. But in the '70s, '80s and '90s, no one had better aim. More than 300 of his songs were cut (many by multiple artists), and 30 became #1 hits.

While Don Williams was one of the first artists to rely on McDill's gift, over the decades his songs were recorded by Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Milsap and Alan Jackson.

McDill won 37 BMI Awards and 17 ASCAP Awards in the process. But as sensitive song interpreters started disappearing from the airwaves, he decided in 2000 to retire. Since then, he's shunned interviews and publicity, pursuing gardening, book collecting and other hobbies he never had time for when he was "a classic workaholic."

"(Turn out the Light and) Love Me Tonight"

Don Williams1975 #1 country

"All the Good Ones Are Gone"

(written with Dean Dillon)

Pam Tillis1997 #4 country


Don Williams1973 #33 country
Mel Tillis1974 
Conway Twitty1975 
Waylon Jennings1979 #1 country, #54 pop

"Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On"

Mel McDaniel1984 #1 country

"Big Wheels in the Moonlight"

(written with Dan Seals)

Dan Seals1988 #1 country

"Don't Close Your Eyes"

Keith Whitley1988 #1 country

"Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)"

(written with Dan Seals)

Dan Seals1986 #1 country

"Gone Country"

Alan Jackson1994 #1 country

"Good Ole Boys Like Me"

Don Williams1980 #2 country

"I May Be Used (But Baby I Ain't Used Up)"

Waylon Jennings1984 #4 country

"I'll Do It All Over Again"

(written with Wayland Holyfield)

Crystal Gayle1977 #2 country

"I've Been Around Enough to Know"

(written with Dickey Lee)

Jo-El Sonnier1975 #78 country
John Schneider1984 #1 country

"I've Been Loved by the Best"

(written with Paul Harrison)

Don Williams1989 #4 country

"If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey, I Still Do)"

Don Williams1982 #1 country

"In a Different Light"

(written with Dickey Lee, Bucky Jones)

Doug Stone1991 #1 country

"It Must Be Love"

Don Williams1979 #1 country
George Hamilton IV1984 
Alan Jackson1999 #1 country, #37 pop

"Nobody Likes Sad Songs"

(written with Wayland Holyfield)

Ronnie Milsap1979 #1 country

"Rake and Ramblin' Man"

Don Williams1978 #3 country

"Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer"

(written with Wayland Holyfield, Chuck Neese)

Johnny Russell1973 #4 country

"Right in the Palm of Your Hand"

Crystal Gayle1976 
Mel McDaniel1981 #10 country
Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty1981 
Alan Jackson1999  

"Say It Again"

Don Williams1976 #1 country

"She Don't Know She's Beautiful"

(written with Paul Harrison)

Sammy Kershaw1993 #1 country

"She Never Knew Me"

(written with Wayland Holyfield)

Don Williams1976 #2 country

"Song of the South"

Bobby Bare1980 
Johnny Russell1981 #57 country
Tom T. Hall & Earl Scruggs1982 #72 country
Alabama1988 #1 country

"The Door Is Always Open"

(written with Dickey Lee)

Ernest Tubb1975 
Waylon Jennings1975 
Dave & Sugar1976 #1 country

"We Believe in Happy Endings"

Johnny Rodriguez1978 #7 country
Earl Thomas Conley & Emmylou Harris1988 #1 country

"What She Is (Is a Woman in Love)"

(written with Paul Harrison)

Earl Thomas Conley1988 #1 country

"Why Didn't I Think of That"

(written with Paul Harrison)

Doug Stone1993 #1 country

"Why Don't You Spend the Night"

Ronnie Milsap1980 #1 country

"You Never Miss a Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye)"

Crystal Gayle1976 #1 country

Bob McDill

Induction Year: 1985