Allen Reynolds

Induction Year: 2000

Birth Name: Lee Allen Reynolds

Birth Date: 08-18-1938

Place of Birth: North Little Rock, Arkansas

As a highly respected record producer for Garth Brooks, Don Williams, Crystal Gayle, Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris and others, Allen Reynolds has chiefly been responsible for bringing other writers' songs to life. But Reynolds himself has written memorable hit country music songs, and the artists who chose to cover Reynolds' material include some of the most celebrated voices in roots music. Harris, Gayle, Johnny Cash, Don Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Waylon Jennings are among those who have sung Reynolds' words and melodies.

Reynolds began writing songs while studying English at Rhodes College (then named Southwestern College) in Memphis. He and classmate Dickey Lee began writing songs together, and the two met Sun Records engineer Jack Clement, who by then had written songs for Cash, Lewis and others.

Reynolds and Lee moved with Clement to Beaumont, Texas, to build and run a recording studio. Lee's recording of "I Saw Linda Yesterday," co-written with Reynolds, became a Top 20 pop hit in 1963. A year later Reynolds and Lee started a production and publishing company in Memphis, hiring staff writers Bob McDill and Paul Craft. In 1966, the pop group the Vogues hit #4 on the pop chart with Reynolds' "Five O'Clock World," a song that would be revived in the 1990s by Hal Ketchum.

It was not until the 1970s, after he had moved to Nashville, that Reynolds scored another hit single. He arrived in Music City in 1970 to work as a producer and manager for Clement's JMI Records. In 1972 Johnny Russell took "Catfish John" — an evocative ballad about the friendship between a former slave and a white Southern child — into the country Top 20.

Reynolds began working as a producer with Don Williams in the early 1970s, refining the spare sound that would land Williams a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. After Clement shuttered JMI in 1975, Reynolds purchased Jack's Tracks Recording Studio and began working with Crystal Gayle, providing her first Top 10 hit with "Wrong Road Again" and ultimately producing 10 of Gayle's albums. Since then, he has produced enormously successful albums and singles for Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris and others — mostly notably Garth Brooks, for whom Reynolds produced every album except one. Along the way, Reynolds wrote the classic "Dreaming My Dreams," recorded by Waylon Jennings, Crystal Gayle, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless and many more.

"A Kingdom I Call Home"

(written with Dickey Lee)

Stoney Edwards1973 

"Catfish John"

(written with Bob McDill)

Johnny Russell1972 #12 country
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band2002 

"Dreaming My Dreams With You"

Waylon Jennings1975 #10 country
Crystal Gayle1975 
Marianne Faithfull1976 
Cowboy Junkies1988 
Collin Raye1994 
Alison Krauss1999 
Cowboy Jack Clement2004 
Patty Loveless2005 
Jools Holland & Brian Eno2006 
Jamey Johnson2008 

"Everybody's Reaching Out for Someone"

(written with Dickey Lee)

Dickey Lee1971 
Brenda Lee1971 
Pat Daisy1972 #20 country
Kitty Wells1972 
Lynn Anderson1972 
The Cox Family1993 

"Five O'Clock World"

The Vogues1965 #4 pop
Hal Ketchum1992 #16 country
The Proclaimers2003 

"I Recall a Gypsy Woman"

(written with Bob McDill)

Tommy Cash1973 #16 country
Waylon Jennings1975 
B. J. Thomas1981 #22 country

"I Saw Linda Yesterday"

(written with Dickey Lee)

Dickey Lee1963 #14 pop

"I've Lived a Lot in My Time"

Bobby Bare1964 

"If She Just Helps Me Get Over You"

(written with Don Williams)

Sonny James1973 #15 country

"My Ship Will Sail"

Johnny Cash1987 
Emmylou Harris1987 

"Ready for the Times to Get Better"

Crystal Gayle1978 #1 country, #52 pop, #3 adult contemporary
Joe Sun1981 #43 country
Chet Atkins1981 

"Somebody Loves You"

Crystal Gayle1976 #8 country
Marianne Faithfull1976 

"Take Me Home"

(written with Jack Clement)

Johnny Cash1966 

"The Memphis Beat"

(written with Dickey Lee, Milt Addington)

Jerry Lee Lewis1966 
Keb' Mo'2009 TV theme song: Memphis Beat

"Trail of Tears"

(written with Roger Cook)

Nick Lowe1994 

"We Should Be Together"

Don Williams1974 #5 country

"Wrong Road Again"

Crystal Gayle1975 #6 country
Allen Reynolds1978 #95 country
John Hartford1987 

Allen Reynolds

Induction Year: 2000