Aaron Barker

Induction Year: 2016

Birth Name: Aaron Gayle Barker

Birth Date: 03-05-1953

Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas

Singer-songwriter Aaron Barker is best known for the string of hits he wrote for country superstar George Strait, but Barker’s long career has many other highlights. Long before his success as a songwriter, he made his mark as a charismatic entertainer.

Born in San Antonio, Barker got his first guitar at age six, taught himself to play it and was soon singing at school and church events. He also began to write songs at an early age. When asked to create a grade-school art project, Barker turned in poetry rather than work within the visual limits of his red-green color blindness. Those poems eventually became the basis for his first songs.

As a young man, he joined a show band called The American Peddlers as its bass player and lead singer. During his decade-plus tenure in the group, it played hundreds of clubs and military bases, marketed its own albums and amassed a large fan club. Barker was regarded at the time as a top stage entertainer in the Lone Star State.

But away from the band’s flashy smoke machines and laser lights, he played solo gigs, trying out his original material on audiences in small clubs and cafes. He left his successful band in 1988 with the aim of finding songwriting success.

A tape of his tunes found its way to George Strait’s manager. Strait recorded Barker’s song “Baby Blue” and scored a #1 hit with it in 1988. Strait repeatedly returned to the songwriter’s catalog for such successes as “Love Without End, Amen” (1990), “Easy Come, Easy Go” (1993), “I’d Like to Have That One Back” (1994), “I Know She Still Loves Me” (1996) and “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” (1996).

Meanwhile, Atlantic Records signed Aaron Barker as an artist. He charted with his CD’s title tune “The Taste of Freedom” in 1992 and reestablished his reputation as an entertainer. He issued further solo albums in 1998, 2002 and 2006, but Barker’s biggest “hits” as a singer remain the widely heard radio and TV jingles he wrote and recorded for Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Other artists clamored for his songs. Doug Supernaw’s record of “Not Enough Hours in the Night” (1995), Lonestar’s version of “What About Now” (2000) and Clay Walker’s renditions of “You’re Beginning to Get to Me” (1998) and “Watch This” (1997) all became Top 10 hits.

Others who have recorded Aaron Barker songs include Tyler Farr, Trace Adkins, Aaron Tippin, Tracy Lawrence, Neal McCoy, The Oak Ridge Boys, Granger Smith, Willie Nelson, Chris LeDoux, Dean Dillon and Trent Tomlinson. Barker was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

"An Old Time Christmas"

(written with John Jarvis)

George Strait2000 #62 Country

"Baby Blue"

George Strait1988 #1 Country

"Christmas Cookies"

George Strait2001 #33 Country
The Oak Ridge Boys2005 
The Robertsons (Duck Dynasty)2013  

"Easy Come, Easy Go"

(written with Dean Dillon)

Dean Dillon1991 
George Strait1993 #1 Country, #71 Pop

"Honky Tonkin' Fool"

Doug Supernaw1993 #50 Country

"I Can Still Make Cheyenne"

(written with Erv Woolsey)

George Strait1996 #4 Country
Aaron Barker2006 

"I Know She Still Loves Me"

(written with Monty Holmes)

George Strait1995 #5 Country

"I'd Like To Have That One Back"

(written with Bill Shore, Roy West)

George Strait1993 #3 Country

"I'm Leaving"

(written with Ron Harbin, L. David Lewis)

Aaron Tippin1999 #17 Country, #87 Pop
Aaron Barker2006 

"Love Happens Like That"

(written with Ron Harbin, Anthony Smith)

Neal McCoy1998 #29 Country

"Love Without End, Amen"

George Strait1990 #1 Country
Aaron Barker2006 

"Not Enough Hours In The Night"

(written with Ron Harbin, Kim Williams)

Doug Supernaw1995 #3 Country
Aaron Barker2006 

"Watch This"

(written with Ron Harbin, Anthony Smith)

Clay Walker1997 #4 Country

"What About Now"

(written with Ron Harbin, Anthony Smith)

Lonestar2000 #1 Country, #30 Pop

"You're Beginning To Get To Me"

(written with Tom Shapiro)

Clay Walker1998 #2 Country, #39 Pop

Aaron Barker

Induction Year: 2016