Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Set to Induct Five of the Best

by Preshias Harris / 47 days ago / Comments
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Shania Twain, Steve Wariner, Hillary Lindsey, Gary Nicholson and David Malloy

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is adding ‘five of the best’ to the coveted membership of their exclusive club. The five songwriters will be officially inducted during the 52nd annual Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala at Music City Center on October 30, 2022. See ticket info below.

Shania Twain, Steve Wariner, Hillary Lindsey, Gary Nicholson and David Malloy – the Hall’s Class of 2022 – are the newest inductees to join the legendary body in October.  The official announcement was made by Sarah Cates, chair of the organization’s board of directors, and Mark Ford, its executive director, revealing that the songwriting giants behind the hits “You’re Still The One,” “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven,” “Girl Crush,” “One More Last Chance” and “Drivin’ My Life Away” will soon become the newest members of the NaSHOF.

“This is always one of my favorite days of the year – when we announce our incoming class and begin their journey to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in October,” said Cates at the 2022 Inductee Announcement - Made Possible By FICO.  “I’m especially gratified to note that – for the first time since 2009 – two of our inductees-elect are women,” she added.

Ford introduced each member of the new class: 

  • Lindsey and Nicholson in the contemporary songwriter category
  • Malloy in the veteran songwriter category
  • Twain as the contemporary songwriter/artist
  • Wariner as the veteran songwriter/artist.

Hillary Lindsey’s songwriter credits include “Jesus Take The Wheel” (Carrie Underwood), “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town) and “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Keith Urban).  Gary Nicholson’s resume is known for “That’s The Thing About Love” (Don Williams), “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill) and “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery-Gentry).  David Malloy’s hits include “Drivin’ My Life Away” (Eddie Rabbitt), “Suspicions” (Eddie Rabbitt; also Tim McGraw) and “Love Will Turn You Around” (Kenny Rogers).  Shania Twain recorded many of her self-penned hits, including “You’re Still The One,” “Come On Over” and “Forever And For Always.” Steve Wariner popularized many of his own compositions, including “You Can Dream Of Me,” “Where Did I Go Wrong” and “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven.” 

Scroll down for brief biographical information on each inductee and some personal thoughts. 

 

About the NaSHOF and Gala ticket info:

The Hall of Fame Gala is a fundraiser benefitting the nonprofit Nashville Songwriters Foundation.  Starting in September, select public seating may be purchased as available by contacting Executive Director Mark Ford at mail@nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com  or 615-460-6556.

Induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is one of the nation’s most highly prized songwriting honors.  Since 1970, the Hall has enshrined more than 220 of the greatest writers from all genres of music ever to put words to music in Music City. More information is available here.  

 

HILLARY LINDSEY [inductee-elect – contemporary songwriter category]

Hillary Lindsey was one of the first female songwriters that I noticed when I became engulfed in the immense field of talent that I found in Nashville.  She stood out from the crowd; she would take the reins and make a song her own. She had moved from Washington, GA, to attend Belmont University and signed her first publishing deal during her senior year. In 2002 received her first credit for a No. 1 song: “Blessed” recorded by Martina McBride. In 2005 Carrie Underwood, fresh from her American Idol win, released “Jesus Take the Wheel,” penned by Hillary alongside Brett James and Gordie Sampson. That song became a crossover, 3X Platinum hit that earned the 2006 Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as the 2006 ASCAP Country Song of the Year, the 2006 NSAI Song of the Year and the 2005 ACM Single of the Year.  Underwood has recorded nearly 40 of Hillary’s songs, including “So Small” and “Wasted.”

Hillary has penned numerous hits for by Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw, Little Big Town and Keith Urban among others.  Hillary was named ACM Songwriter of the Year in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

 

GARY NICHOLSON [inductee-elect – contemporary songwriter category]

When I first met Texas native Gary Nicholson, I didn’t realize I was in the presence of greatness, but I soon came to see that despite his modest nature he was responsible for some of the best-known country (and crossover) hits that span decades. 

In 1973, a song he sent to Nashville made it onto the 1980 soundtrack of Urban Cowboy 2, thanks to good friend/producer Jim Ed Norman.  With that success, Gary moved to Music City, where he worked as a guitar player and a songwriter for Norman’s publishing company.  In 1983 “Your Love Shines Through” by Gilley gave Gary his first Top 5 song and paved the way for future successes for artists such as Don Williams, Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings, T. Graham Brown, Vince Gill, Clay Walker, Montgomery-Gentry and Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood.  Gary has 600 recorded songs spanning multiple genres.  In 2011 he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.

 

DAVID MALLOY [inductee-elect – veteran songwriter category]

I first met David Malloy when we both attended a Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in the mid 90s.

After a pair of early singles by Sammi Smith and Carmol Taylor, David’s first major success as a songwriter came through his collaboration with Eddie Rabbitt and Even Stevens.  Together, the trio wrote and produced classic chart-topping hits for Rabbitt such as “Drivin’ My Life Away,” “I Love A Rainy Night,” “Step By Step,” “Someone Could Lose A Heart Tonight,” “Gone Too Far” and “You Can’t Run From Love.”  Rabbitt’s “Suspicions” (also a hit for Tim McGraw in 2008) was BMI’s 1980 Country Song of the Year.  

“Love Will Turn You Around” by Kenny Rogers was named ASCAP’s 1983 Country Song of the Year.  Other hits from David’s catalog include “Real Love” by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers and “One Honest Heart” by Reba McEntire, among many more.

 

SHANIA TWAIN  [inductee-elect – contemporary songwriter/artist category]

Shania Twain was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada where she performed with local bands until she was signed to Mercury Nashville.  It was there, as label mates, that Eric Heatherly first met Shania.  “She was a class act right from the start,” he recalled recently, describing her as a groundbreaker. “She was kind and hospitable and welcoming to me to the label as a new artist. Next thing I know, I’m backing her up on guitar for the 1997 CMA Awards show, my biggest break in the music business at that time. She was a perfectionist and hands-on 100% of the time during band rehearsals, including every detail of what we wore onstage and how she wanted us to present ourselves. 

Since the release of her debut album 1993, Shania has placed 22 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 7 #1s and 8 more in the Top 10.   Shania was named NSAI’s 1998 Songwriter/Artist of the Year, as well as BMI’s 1999 Country Songwriter of the Year and 2000 Country Songwriter of the Year.  She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2011. 

 

STEVE WARINER  [inductee-elect – veteran songwriter/artist category]

Steve Wariner was born in Noblesville, IN, but grew up in Russell Springs, KY, so Kentucky claims him as one of their own and was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2011.  We met for the first time when we were both guests at a NSAI Hall of Fame Gala in the early ‘90s.

While performing in a local club, he was discovered by Dottie West, who convinced the 17-year-old to join her band. He would later play with Bob Luman’s band.  Years later, he met his idol, Chet Atkins, who hired Steve as a bass player and eventually signed him to his first recording contract at RCA Records.  This launched his career as a songwriter/artist.  Steve’s credits as a songwriter include his own recordings of “You Can Dream Of Me,” “Baby I’m Yours,” “Precious Thing,” “I Got Dreams,” “Where Did I Go Wrong,” “Two Teardrops” and “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven,” which was named 1998 CMA Song and Single of the Year and the 1998 ACM Song of the Year.  Steve also has written hits for many other artists. Steve is one of only four guitarists upon whom Chet bestowed the honor of Certified Guitar Player, or C.G.P., in his hifetime.

 

Group photo:

Pictured (l-r) are: Mark Ford (NaSHOF executive director), inductees Steve Wariner, Hillary Lindsey, David Malloy and Gary Nicholson and Sarah Cates (chair of NaSHOF Board of Directors). Not pictured, inductee Shania Twain.  Photo Credit: Bev Moser

 

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About Preshias Harris

Preshias Harris Journalist

Preshias Harris is a music journalist who has interviewed everyone from Alabama to ZZ Top for articles and stories published in numerous music magazines. She is the author of longest-running monthly country music column in America and authored The College of Songology™ 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s ‘Need To Know’ Reference Handbook. As a music career development consultant with special emphasis on emerging and aspiring artists and songwriters, she focuses on ‘chasing the dream’ while understanding the realities of the music industry. She maintains a writers’ room on Music Row – named The Sangtuary – for her clients and their co-writers. She is a member of ASCAP (as a publisher), BMI, The Country Music Association (CMA), The Recording Academy, The National Association of Talent Directors (NATD) and a life member of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

You can find out more about Preshias at https://www.collegeofsongology.com and find her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com