Paul Craft

Induction Year: 2014

Birth Name: Paul Charles Craft

Birth Date: 08-12-1938

Place of Birth: Memphis, Tennessee

Death Date: 10-18-2014

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Paul Craft was born in Memphis and spent part of his early life on his parents’ 2,000-acre cotton, bean and rice farm in nearby Proctor, AR. Fascinated by country radio, he got a harmonica at age 10, an accordion at age 11 and a ukulele shortly thereafter, which led to playing guitar and banjo. He developed a love for bluegrass music and performed for a time with Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys.

Craft served a stint in the Coast Guard, graduated as an English major from the University of Virginia and attended one year of law school in Memphis. He belongs to the Mensa Society, whose members have IQs in the top two percent of the population.

After working for his stepfather’s printing company, operating a music store and performing in the Memphis group The Settlers, he began to focus on his songwriting. His first successes came in 1968, when Skeeter Davis and Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs recorded his songs. He moved to Nashville in 1975 and had 35 of his songs recorded during his first year in town.

Craft has a special niche in the Nashville songwriting community. That is, he is a hit country creator who is also one of Music Row’s most prolific providers of songs to the bluegrass world. Among his 200 songs recorded by bluegrass artists are ones by Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, The Lewis Family and The Nashville Bluegrass Band. The Osborne Brothers have recorded 10 Craft tunes; The Seldom Scene has recorded nine.

In addition, Craft creates wickedly humorous fare such as “It’s Me Again, Margaret” (Ray Stevens) as well as mainstream country hits such as “Blue Heartache” (Gail Davies), “Brother Jukebox” (Mark Chesnutt) and “Come As You Were” (T. Graham Brown). His “Dropkick Me, Jesus” (Bobby Bare) and “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life” (Moe Bandy) brought him the unusual distinction of having both be nominated for country-song Grammy Awards in the same year, 1976.

Craft’s catalog also contains several much-recorded “standards,” including “Midnight Flyer,” “Keep Me From Blowing Away” and “Teardrops Will Kiss The Morning Dew.”

"Ain't No Way Of Knowin'"

(written with Shawn Camp, Phillip Lammonds)

Shawn Camp2004 
Lou Reid2005 
The Steep Canyon Rangers2007 

"Ancient History"

Doyle Lawson1995 
Paul Craft1998 


(written with Lewis Anderson)

Joe Stampley1982 #25 country

"Blue Heartache"

Osborne Brothers1973 #64 country
Gail Davies1980 #7 country
Paul Craft1998 
Tennessee Gentlemen1977 
Lou Reid2000 

"Brother Jukebox"

Don Everly1977 #96 country
Keith Whitley1989 
John Starling1990 
Mark Chesnutt1991 #1 country
Vernon Oxford1995 
Paul Craft1998 

"Call Of The Honky Tonk"

Carl Jackson1987 

"Come As You Were"

Jerry Lee Lewis1983 #66 country
T. Graham Brown1989 #7 country

"Dropkick Me, Jesus"

Bobby Bare1976 #17 country
Paul Craft1977 

"Drunk Front"

(written with Tim Krekel)

Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley1981 

"Fastest Grass Alive"

Osborne Brothers1974 
Paul Craft2007 

"Hank Williams You Wrote My Life"

Moe Bandy1976 #2 country
Paul Craft1998 

"Heartache Lookin’ For A Home"

Osborne Brothers1975 
Charlie Sizemore2011 
Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top X-Press2012 

"His And Hers"

(written with Orville Couch, Tony Douglas)

John Anderson1987 
Vernon Oxford1995 
Tanya Rae Brown1999 
Orville Couch2003 

"Honky Tonk Waltz"

Ray Stevens1976 #27 country
Gail Davies 1981 

"It’s Me Again, Margaret"

Paul Craft1974 #55 country
Ray Stevens1985 #74 country
Johnny Goodtime1996 
Cledus T. Judd2007 

"I’ve Fallen (And I Can’t Get Up)"

(written with Patience Clements, David Kent)

Charlie Sizemore2007 
Paul Craft2007 

"Keep Me From Blowing Away"

Jerry Lee Lewis1973 
Seldom Scene1973 
Osborne Brothers1974 
Linda Ronstadt1974 
Charlie Sizemore1996 
T. Graham Brown1998 
The Grascals2006 
Different Roads 2007 
Willie Nelson2008 

"Loser Friendly"

(written with Wood Newton)

David Ball2001 

"Makin' Up His Mind"

Jack Greene1971 

"Midnight Flyer"

Osborne Brothers1973 #74 country
The Eagles1974 
Charlie McCoy1979 #94 country
Kenny Rogers & The First Edition1979 
Sue Powell1981 #57 country
Moody Brothers1985 
Paul Craft1998 
J.P. Cormier2007 
Craig Duncan and The Smoky Mountain Band2008 

"Raised By The Railroad Line"

Seldom Scene1972 
Paul Craft1998 

"Stand Beside Me (Behind Me)"

Osborne Brothers1972 

"Take Another Swing At Me"

Randy Travis1992 
Paul Craft1998 

"Teardrops In My Tequila"

Paul Craft1978 #84 country
J.J. Cale1983 
Bill Durham2007 

"Teardrops Will Kiss The Morning Dew"

Del Reeves & Billie Jo Spears1976 #42 country
Alison Krauss & Union Station1989 
Osborne Brothers1995 
Paul Craft1998 

"The Want Of A Woman"

Seldom Scene1972 

"Through The Bottom Of The Glass"

Seldom Scene1974 
Leon Rausch1976 #99 country
Paul Craft1998 

"Too Bad You’re No Good"

(written with Cadillac Holmes)

Jill Markey 1998 
Trisha Yearwood2000 
Paul Craft2007 
Seldom Scene2007 

"We Know Better"

Paul Craft1977  #98 country

"We've Been Strong Long Enough"

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn1981 

"When The New Wears Off Of Our Love"

Jody Miller1977 #25 country
The Whites1983 #25 country

Paul Craft

Induction Year: 2014