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Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame to Induct Matraca Berg, John Hiatt, and Tom Shapiro

September 4 2008

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation (NaSHOF) is pleased to announce this year’s inductees for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame: from the Songwriter category, hit writers Matraca Berg and Tom Shapiro; and from the Songwriter/Artist category, musical trailblazer John Hiatt.

The three new inductees will be welcomed into the elite songwriting fraternity by their peers at the 39th Annual Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony, being presented this year by AT&T on Sunday, October 26, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

“Like their predecessors, Matraca, Tom, and John have made meaningful and lasting contributions to the music world and deserve to take their places in the Hall of Fame,” said Roger Murrah, Chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. “We’re delighted to recognize them for their accomplishments.”

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, Bob McDill, 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. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit foundation dedicated to honoring and preserving the songwriting legacy of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The NaSHOF’s principal purposes are to educate, archive and celebrate songwriting that is uniquely associated with the Nashville music community.

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony is one of the music industry’s foremost events of the year. The evening features tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs by special guest artists. NaSHOF’s sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), also presents its annual awards for the year’s best Song, Songwriter and Songwriter/Artist, as well as the Top 10 “Songs I Wish I Had Written,” as determined by the professional songwriters division.

Tickets for the event are $200 each. A limited number of seats are available to the public this year and may be purchased by contacting event director Mark Ford at or 615-256-3354.

Inductee Biographical Information Nashville native Matraca Berg was still a teenager when she had her first hit as a songwriter. “Faking Love” became a #1 smash for T.G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks in 1982. Berg was a recording artist herself in the ‘90s, first for RCA and then for Rising Tide. She is one of BMI’s most prolific contemporary writers and has collected more than a dozen of the performing rights organization’s country songwriting awards. She is particularly notable for providing massive hits for female country artists, including Deana Carter (“Strawberry Wine” – NSAI Song of the Year in 1996; CMA Song and Single of the Year in 1997); Reba McEntire (“The Last One to Know”); Patty Loveless (“I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Bad”); Trisha Yearwood (“Wrong Side of Memphis” and her current "They Call It Falling For a Reason"); Martina McBride (“Wild Angels”); the Dixie Chicks (“If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me”) and Gretchen Wilson (“I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today”), among others.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Tom Shapiro began his songwriting career in Los Angeles. After earning a music degree from BostonUniversity and briefly teaching at Berklee, he moved to the West Coast in 1974. After some initial success in R&B with “Never Give Up on a Good Thing” by George Benson, Shapiro relocated to Nashville in 1982 and shifted his focus to country songwriting. Since then he has had more than 45 Top-10 hits with artists such as Ronnie McDowell (“In a New York Minute”); Tanya Tucker (“Highway Robbery”); Lee Greenwood (“Touch and Go Crazy”); Holly Dunn (“Are You Ever Gonna Love Me”); Neal McCoy (“Wink” – 1995 BMI Country Song of the Year); Sara Evans (“No Place That Far”); Brooks & Dunn (“Ain’t Nothing ’Bout You” – 2002 ASCAP Country Song of the Year); Trace Adkins (“Hot Mama”) and Montgomery Gentry (“She Don’t Tell Me To”). Shapiro was BMI Country Songwriter of the Year in 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2002. NSAI named him Songwriter of the Decade for the 1990s, and he was Music Row magazine’s Songwriter of the Year in 1995.

A genre-bending, inventive performer and poignant songwriter, Indianapolis native John Hiatt has captured and held the attention of audiences and critics alike in a career that has spanned more than 30 years and 20 albums as an artist. While developing his own signature sound through the years, Hiatt has attracted performers from all over the musical map to his catalog. In addition to Hiatt, artists who have interpreted his self-penned tunes include Three Dog Night (“Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here”); Joe Cocker (“Have a Little Faith in Me”); Rosanne Cash (“The Way We Make a Broken Heart”); The Jeff Healy Band (“Angel Eyes”); Suzy Bogguss (“Drive South”); Earl Thomas Conley (“Bring Back Your Love to Me”); B.B. King & Eric Clapton (“Ridin’ With the King”); The Neville Brothers (“Washable Ink”); Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”); and Elvis Costello (“She Loves the Jerk”). Hiatt was named 1987’s Rock Male Vocalist of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine and Artist-Songwriter of the Year at the 2000 Nashville Music Awards. In 2007, he was awarded a star on Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame. On September 18, 2008, he will receive the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Hiatt is currently on tour in support of his critically acclaimed new album, Same Old Man (New West Records.)