Rodney Crowell

Induction Year: 2003

Birth Name: Rodney Crowell

Birth Date: 08-07-1950

Place of Birth: Houston, Texas

Although many of his songs became hits for others, Rodney Crowell has also had a solid string of self-composed successes as an artist, notably a series of #1 hits in 1988 and 1989. His highly influential records for Warner Brothers, Columbia, MCA and Sugar Hill have spawned dozens of classic country songs.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Crowell is the son of a country music performer. At age 11, Rodney began sitting in with his father's band, playing drums. He played his first professional job without his father when he was 16.

In 1972, Crowell traveled to Nashville. While performing at a local club, he was discovered by Jerry Reed, who signed him to write for his music-publishing company. Reed's recording of Crowell's "You Can't Keep Me Here in Tennessee" became the songwriter's first cut.

He relocated to California and joined Emmylou Harris as the guitarist, harmony singer and arranger in her Hot Band from 1975 to 1977. She introduced many of his songs on her albums, which subsequently became highly successful for others, including Waylon Jennings, Crystal Gayle, the Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Ann Womack.

In 1978, Crowell got his own recording contract. Three albums for Warner Brothers Records yielded some middling chart success but mainly served as song sources for others. For instance, Bob Seger had a major pop hit with Crowell's "Shame on the Moon" in 1983. A switch to Columbia Records in 1986 finally made Rodney Crowell a country recording and radio star. His 1988 album Diamonds and Dirt yielded five #1 country singles, the first country album ever to do so.

Crowell helped modernize the sound of country music with his Cherry Bombs band (which at various times included Vince Gill, Richard Bennett, Emory Gordy Jr. and Tony Brown) and via the records he produced for himself and for Rosanne Cash, his wife between 1979 and 1992. Crowell's song "After All This Time" won the 1989 Grammy Award as Country Song of the Year. He published a critically acclaimed memoir in 2011 titled Chinaberry Sidewalks. In 2012, he issued the album Kin, a collection of songs co-written with poet/author Mary Karr recorded by an all-star cast.

"After All This Time"

Grammy for Country Song of the Year

Rodney Crowell1989 #1 country
Andy Williams1991 

"Ain't No Money""

Rodney Crowell1980 
Rosanne Cash1982 #4 country

"Ashes by Now"

Rodney Crowell1980 #37 pop, #46 adult contemporary, #78 country
Emmylou Harris1981 
Lee Ann Womack2000 #4 country, #48 pop
Etta James2008 

"Bluebird Wine"

Emmylou Harris1975 
Southern Pacific1985 
Rodney Crowell2001 
Albert Lee2003 

"Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"

Mary Kay Place1977 
Emmylou Harris1979 
Lynn Anderson1980 #26 country
Johnny Cash & Waylon Jennings1980 #35 country
Chris LeDoux1982 
Rodney Crowell1993 

"I Ain't Living Long Like This"

Gary Stewart1977 
Emmylou Harris1978 
Rodney Crowell1978 
Jerry Jeff Walker1979 
Waylon Jennings1979 #1 country
The Dream Syndicate1988 
Webb Wilder1995 
The Flying Burrito Brothers1997 
Brooks & Dunn2003 

"I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried"

Rodney Crowell1988 #1 country

"I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me"

(written with Rosanne Cash)

Rosanne Cash1985 #1 country, #16 adult contemporary

"If Looks Could Kill"

Rodney Crowell1990 #6 country

"It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long"

(written with Vince Gill)

The Notorious Cherry Bombs2004 #47 country

"It's Such a Small World"

Rodney Crowell & Rosanne Cash1988 #1 country

"Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight"

(written with Donivan Cowart)

Emmylou Harris1978 
Rodney Crowell1978 
The Oak Ridge Boys1980 #1 country
Michelle Shocked1988 

"Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)"

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band1984 #1 country

"Lovin' All Night"

Rodney Crowell1992 #10 country
Patty Loveless2003 #18 country

"Many a Long and Lonesome Highway"

(written with Will Jennings)

Rodney Crowell1989 #3 country

"My Past Is Present"

(written with Stewart Smith)

Rodney Crowell1990 #22 country

"Now That We're Alone"

Rodney Crowell1990 #17 country

"Oklahoma Borderline"

(written with Guy Clark, Vince Gill)

Vince Gill1986 #9 country

"Please Remember Me"

(written with Will Jennings)

Rodney Crowell1995 #69 country
Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville1997 
Tim McGraw1999 #1 country, #10 pop
Scotty McCreery2012 

"Shame on the Moon"

Rodney Crowell1981 
Mac Davis1982 
Tanya Tucker1983 
Bob Seger1983 #1 adult contemporary, #2 pop

"She's Crazy for Leaving"

(written with Guy Clark)

Guy Clark1980 
John McEuen1985 
Steve Wariner1985 
Rodney Crowell1988 #1 country

"Somewhere Tonight"

(written with Harlan Howard)

Highway 1011987 #1 country

"Song for the Life"

The Seldom Scene1976 
Jonathan Edwards1976 
Jerry Jeff Walker1977 
Rodney Crowell1978 
Johnny Cash1978 
John Denver1979 
Waylon Jennings1982 
Tony Rice1984 
Kathy Mattea1986 
Alison Krauss1987 
The Waterboys1990 
Alan Jackson1994 #6 country

"Stars on the Water"

Rodney Crowell1981 #30 country
Jimmy Buffett1983 
George Strait2001 

"Stuff That Works"

(written with Guy Clark)

Rodney Crowell1994 
Guy Clark1995 
Jack Ingram2011 

"The Last Waltz"

(written with Will Jennings)

Rodney Crowell1988 

"Til I Gain Control Again"

Emmylou Harris1975 
Waylon Jennings1977 
Jerry Jeff Walker1978 
Willie Nelson1978 
Bobby Bare1979 #42 country
Rodney Crowell1981 
Crystal Gayle1982 #1 country
Albert Lee2003 
Van Morrison2006 
Raul Malo2010 

"Victim or a Fool"

Rodney Crowell1982 #34 country
Crystal Gayle1983 

"Voila an American Dream"

Rodney Crowell1978 
Guy Clark1978 
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band1979 #13 pop, #58 country
The Oak Ridge Boys1989 

"What Kind of Love"

(written with Roy Orbison, Will Jennings)

Rodney Crowell1992 #9 adult contemporary, #11 country
Mike Walker2001 

Rodney Crowell

Induction Year: 2003