Norro Wilson

Induction Year: 1996

Birth Name: Norris D. Wilson

Birth Date: 04-04-1938

Place of Birth: Scottsville, Kentucky

Death Date: 06-08-2017

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Norro Wilson started in music as a performer but became a songwriter and producer of indelible importance. He began performing in 1957 as a member of gospel group the Southlanders Quartet and came to Nashville in the late 1950s, when he sang harmony vocals with Faron Young and Ferlin Husky.

In 1962, Wilson became an Acuff-Rose Publications songwriter, and in 1967 he joined Al Gallico Music. In the late 1960s, he began working with legendary songwriter and producer Billy Sherrill, and he had a Top 20 solo country hit in 1970 for Mercury Records, with a version of Tom T. Hall's "Do It to Someone You Love."

Wilson's first major recording came via the Sherrill-produced David Houston, on the 1969 chart-topper "Baby, Baby (I Know You're a Lady)." A string of successes quickly followed, and by the mid-1970s Wilson was one of country music's most recognized writers, having penned smashes including the all-genre hit "The Most Beautiful Girl" and country chart-toppers "The Grand Tour," "A Very Special Love Song," "I Love My Friend," "Soul Song," "My Man (Understands)," "Another Lonely Song" and "He Loves Me All the Way." Charlie Rich's recording of "The Most Beautiful Girl" became a country and pop standard, as did Rich's "A Very Special Love Song," solidifying Wilson's position among Nashville's top writers. "The Grand Tour" is considered one of George Jones' finest moments, its nearly surreal portrait of loss building what music journalist Andrew Mueller once called "a resounding monument to heartbreak, desolation and grief." And yet Wilson was also able to pen the kinds of positive love songs that Rich brought to popular favor.

Wilson won a best country song Grammy for "A Very Special Love Song," and in three consecutive years he won BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year award. In 1975 he began working with Warner Brothers Records, becoming head of A&R for the Nashville division. Wilson also worked as a producer, overseeing successful albums by Charley Pride, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, John Anderson, Sara Evans, Sammy Kershaw and many more.

Wilson, who was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996, has won 39 awards from BMI, including five One Million Performance awards. He is a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and of Western Kentucky University's Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

"A Picture of Me (Without You)"

(written with George Richey)

George Jones1972 #5 country
Lorrie Morgan1991 #9 country

"A Very Special Love Song"

(written with Billy Sherrill)

Grammy Award

Charlie Rich1974 #1 country, #1 adult contemporary, #11 pop

"Another Lonely Song"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Tammy Wynette)

Tammy Wynette1973 #1 country
Andy Williams1974 
Lorrie Morgan2005 

"Baby, Baby (I Know You're a Lady)"

(written with Alex Harvey)

David Houston1969 #1 country

"Beautiful Woman"

(written with Steve Davis, Billy Sherrill)

Charlie Rich1978 #10 country

"Bring It on Home (To Your Woman)"

(written with Carmol Taylor, Joe Stampley)

Joe Stampley1973 #7 country

"He Loves Me All the Way"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Carmol Taylor)

Tammy Wynette1970 #1 country, #97 pop

"Holdin' On (To the Love I Got)"

(written with Tammy Wynette, Carmol Taylor)

Barbara Mandrell1972 #27 country

"I Love My Friend"

(written with Billy Sherrill)

Charlie Rich1974 #1 country, #1 adult contemporary, #24 pop

"I'll See Him Through"

(written with Billy Sherrill)

Tammy Wynette1969 #2 country

"It Don't Get Any Better Than This"

(written with Buddy Cannon, Max D. Barnes)

George Jones, with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare, and Johnny Paycheck1998 

"My Man (Understands)"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Carmol Taylor)

Tammy Wynette1972 #1 country

"Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)"

(written with Wayland Holyfield)

Charley Pride1981 #1 country

"Night Games"

(written with Blake Mevis)

Charley Pride1983 #1 country

"Rockin' in the Arms of Your Memory"

(written with Dean Dillon)

George Strait1996 

"Soul Song"

(written with Billy Sherrill, George Richey)

Joe Stampley1972 #1 country, #37 pop

"Still a Woman"

(written with Mack David, Margo Smith)

Margo Smith1979 #7 country

"Surround Me with Love"

(written with Wayland Holyfield)

Charly McClain1981 #5 country

"The Grand Tour"

(written with George Richey, Carmol Taylor)

George Jones1974 #1 country
Aaron Neville1993 #38 country

"The Most Beautiful Girl"

(written with Rory Bourke, Billy Sherrill)

Charlie Rich1973 #1 country, #1 pop, #1 adult contemporary
Joe Stampley1973 
Perry Como1974 
Andy Williams1974 
Johnny Mathis1977 
Isley Brothers1985 
Julio Iglesias2006 

"You've Got Something on Your Mind"

(written with Roger Murrah, Dave Gibson)

Mickey Gilley1985 #10 country

Norro Wilson

Induction Year: 1996