Joe Allison

Induction Year: 1978

Birth Name: Joe Marion Allison

Birth Date: 10-03-1924

Place of Birth: McKinney, Texas

Death Date: 08-02-2002

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

After attending college in Oklahoma and serving in the Air Force during World War II, Joe Allison worked as a commercial artist. He found his niche as a radio disc jockey at KMAC in San Antonio beginning in 1944.

In 1945, he went on the road as the emcee of cowboy star Tex Ritter's troupe. Allison was back at KMAC in 1946, when he first tasted success as a songwriter with Ritter's recording of his "When You Leave, Don't Slam the Door." He went to WDAI in Memphis in 1947 and to WMAK in Nashville in 1949. He also hosted his own daily radio shows on both WSM and WSIX in Music City and served two years as a Grand Ole Opry announcer.

He joined KXLA in Los Angeles in 1952. Allison moved into television via hosting Town Hall Party and Country America in L.A. He subsequently became a highly regarded country radio consultant. He was heavily involved in the formation of the Country Music Association as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

His active years as a songwriter were the 1940s through the 1960s. Among the nearly 100 songs he has registered with BMI are such country classics as "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" and "He'll Have to Go" as well as the bluegrass evergreen "20-20 Vision." He wrote a number of songs with his wife, Audrey, including "He'll Have to Go." Popularized by Jim Reeves, the country classic has been recorded by more than 200 artists. It was the last song recorded at the last studio session by Elvis Presley.

Allison served in leadership roles in the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, the Recording Academy (NARAS), the Tennessee Performing Arts Council and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. His multifaceted career also involved creating the country division for Liberty Records, managing the Central Songs publishing company, producing records for stars such as Roy Clark and Hank Thompson, heading the Nashville country music offices of Paramount/Dot Records and Capitol Records and becoming a prominent antiques dealer. He moved to Nashville in 1965 and retired from music in 1970 to concentrate on his antiques business.

Joe Allison was inducted into the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1976.

"20-20 Vision"

(written with Milton Estes)

Jimmy Martin1955 
The Osborne Brothers1955 

"Brand New Beat"

(written with Audrey Allison, Paul Wyatt)

Gene Vincent1957 

"He'll Have to Go"

(written with Audrey Allison)

Jim Reeves1960 #1 country, #2 pop
Bobby Vinton1962 
Nat King Cole1962 
Elvis Presley1977 
Ronnie Milsap1981 
Elvis Costello1981 
Charley Pride2001 

"He'll Have to Stay"

(written with Audrey Allison, Charles Grean)

Jeanne Black1960 #6 country, #4 pop

"Hello Old Broken Heart"

(written with Audrey Allison)

Jean Shepard1956 

"I'd Fight the World"

(written with Hank Cochran)

Hank Cochran1962 #23 country
Ray Price1966 
Jim Reeves1974 #19 country
Jamey Johnson & Bobby Bare2012 

"It Scares Me Half to Death"

(written with Audrey Allison)

Jean Shepard1957 

"It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)"

(written with Audrey Allison, Faron Young)

Faron Young1956 #5 country

"Just Another Man"

(written with Glen Campbell)

Glen Campbell1967 

"Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young"

Faron Young1955 #1 country
Eddy Arnold1955 
Conway Twitty1961 
Willie Nelson & Faron Young1985 

"Love Is Just a State of Mind"

(written with Red Lane)

Roy Clark1969 #57 country

"Never Mind My Tears"

(written with Tex Ritter)

Tex Ritter1948 

"Rock City Boogie"

(written with Anita Kerr)

Tennessee Ernie Ford1953 

"Teen-Age Crush"

(written with Audrey Allison)

Tommy Sands1957 #2 pop

"When You Leave, Don't Slam the Door"

(written with Tex Ritter)

Tex Ritter1946 #3 country

Joe Allison

Induction Year: 1978