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Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Names Fifteen Nominees for 2008

August 8 2008

Ten songwriters and five songwriter/artists have been nominated for one of the nation’s highest songwriting honors – induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Of the nominees, two from the songwriter category and one from the songwriter/artist category will be inducted during the annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony to be held on Sunday, October 26, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville, TN.

"Each of these nominees has honed the songwriting craft to perfection, and the songs they’ve given us are absolute treasures,” said Roger Murrah, a 2005 inductee and the current chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation (NaSHOF), which owns and administers the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The ballot seeks to recognize songwriters whose first significant works achieved commercial success and/or artistic recognition at least 20 years ago and have “positively impacted and been closely associated with the Nashville music community and deemed to be outstanding and significant.”

This year’s ten nominees in the Songwriter category are: Matraca Berg (“Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter), Paul Craft (“Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life” by Moe Bandy), Kye Fleming (“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” by Barbara Mandrell), Larry Henley (“The Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler), the late John Jarrard (“Blue Clear Sky” by George Strait), Bob Morrison (“You Decorated My Life” by Kenny Rogers), Mark D. Sanders (“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack), Tom Shapiro (“Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” by Brooks & Dunn), John Scott Sherrill (“Would You Go With Me” by Josh Turner) and Sharon Vaughn (“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” by Willie Nelson).

The five nominees in the Songwriter/Artist category are: the late Paul Davis (“I Go Crazy”), Larry Gatlin (“All the Gold in California”), John Hiatt (“Ridin’ With the King”), the late Johnny Horton (“Honky Tonk Man”) and Tony Joe White (“Rainy Night in Georgia”).

The ballot was recommended to the NaSHOF board of directors by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, which is comprised of Hall of Fame members and Music Row historians. Votes are cast by Hall of Fame members and Professional Songwriter members of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), as well as the boards of the NaSHOF and NSAI.

Established in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame boasts 168 members, including songwriting luminaries such as Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Bob Dylan, Don & Phil Everly, Flatt & Scruggs, Vince Gill, Harlan Howard, Roger Miller, Bill Monroe, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Dottie Rambo, Jimmie Rodgers, Cindy Walker, Jimmy Webb, Hank Williams, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. It was announced in September 2007 that the future home of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will be the historic building at 34 Music Square East, former home of the Quonset Hut, Columbia Studio A, Columbia and Epic Records and Sony Music Nashville. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will become the first organization honoring songwriters to emerge from a virtual entity to one with a physical location.