Sign up for newsletter
 

Songwriters hall inducts John Hiatt, Matraca Berg, Tom Shapiro

Monday, October 27, 2008 – The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation welcomed hit songwriters Matraca Berg and Tom Shapiro and singer/songwriter John Hiatt into its ranks during the 39th Annual Nashville Songwriters Hall Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony held last night.

"We take pride each year in shining a spotlight on incredible songwriters who have helped create the very foundation of the music industry. We're delighted to welcome Tom, Matraca and John into the Hall of Fame, said Roger Murrah, chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation.

Shapiro was inducted by WSIX on-air personality Gerry House, who called him a great lyricist, an amazing melody guy and a great human being. Shapiro co-writers Rivers Rutherford and Mark Nesler performed a medley of Ain't Nothin' 'Bout You and You Look Good in My Shirt, before Jo Dee Messina took the stage to perform My Give a Damn's Busted. Billy Dean capped the segment with If There Hadn't Been You, saying to Shapiro, "There's no way I would ever have made it in this town if it weren't for you." Shapiro said he was inspired to be a songwriter out of his desire to "unlock the mystery of music, and why it moved me so much."

Berg was inducted by Hall of Fame songwriter Bobby Braddock. Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall and Randy Scruggs performed a medley of Wrong Side of Memphis and You Can Feel Bad before being joined by Kim Carnes, who treated the audience to Berg's signature song, Strawberry Wine. Martina McBride closed out the set with Wild Angels. Berg said the honor was more than she had ever dreamed and added, "I wanted to be a songwriter since I was four years old." She also thanked her husband, Jeff Hanna, and quoted Marshall Chapman saying, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

Hiatt was inducted by BMI's VP, Writer-Publisher Relations Jody Williams, who said, "I've only written one fan letter in my life, and it was to John Hiatt, after hearing his album 'Slow Turning'. His songs are everyday revelations whose brilliance lies in John's exploration of the mundane to reveal the common thread in all of us." Shawn Colvin performed This is the Way We Make a Broken Heart, before Emmylou Harris performed Icy Blue Heart, joined by Jon Randall. Michael McDonald closed out the set with Have a Little Faith in Me.

"My dream was not to be in the Songwriters Hall of Fame," said Hiatt, "but just to learn how to write songs, and this (Nashville) is the epicenter of songwriting. I still don't feel I know anything about songwriting; it's a harrowing experience, but to be honored this way makes me feel like I might know what I'm doing."

Larry Gatlin presented the first Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Mentor Award to veteran publisher and writer Bob Beckham.

In addition to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions, NaSHOF's sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), presented its annual Songwriter Achievement Awards. The organization's professional songwriter members voted You're Gonna Miss This, by Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller, as their Song of the Year. The Songwriter of the Year prize went to Casey Beathard, co-writer of hits such as Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (Rodney Atkins); Don't Blink (Kenny Chesney); How 'Bout Them Cowgirls (George Strait); and Ready, Set, Don't Go (Billy Ray Cyrus with Miley Cyrus). A tie in the Songwriter/Artist of the Year category presented honors to both Alan Jackson ("Small Town Southern Man / Good Time") and Brad Paisley ("Letter to Me / I'm Still a Guy").

The writers of NSAI's Professional Songwriters Division also singled out 10 songs and their writers for the organization's 2008 awards, informally dubbed The Songs I Wish I'd Written. Recipients were Better As A Memory (Scooter Carusoe, Lady Goodman / recorded by Kenny Chesney); Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (Casey Beathard, Marla Cannon-Goodman / recorded by Rodney Atkins); Don't Blink (Casey Beathard, Chris Wallin / recorded by Kenny Chesney); I Saw God Today (Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby / recorded by George Strait); If You're Reading This (Tim McGraw, Brad Warren, Brett Warren / recorded by Tim McGraw); Letter To Me (Brad Paisley / recorded by Brad Paisley); Love Me If You Can (Chris Wallin, Craig Wiseman / recorded by Toby Keith); Stealing Cinderella (Rivers Rutherford, George Teren, Chuck Wicks / recorded by Chuck Wicks); Watching Airplanes (Jim Beavers, Jonathan Singleton / recorded by Gary Allan); and You're Gonna Miss This (Ashley Gorley, Lee Thomas Miller / recorded by Trace Adkins).

More news for Matraca Berg

CD reviews for Matraca Berg

The Fields CD review - The Fields
Matraca Berg's new studio album is not so much a country project as it is a musically varying collection with a noticeably decided sense of place. The feeling of knowing where one belongs is expressed with the piano and strings ballad A Cold, Rainy Morning In London In June, where Berg truly feels like a homesick tourist, and also comes out during Oh Cumberland, a song about a famous Southern river that continually calls her home. These are highly personalized songs from the woman that won a »»»
Lying to the Moon And Other Stories
Though she hasn't logged a lot of air time on country radio as a singer, Matraca Berg is a familiar name to most of today's country singers. Berg is one of the most successful country songwriters of the 1990's, writing smashes like "The Wrong Side of Memphis," "Strawberry Wine" and "That Kind of Girl." Her latest CD is a re-issue of some of her best, but lesser-known, creations from previous albums, ranging from the tender title track and "Back When We Were Beautiful" to the more raucous and »»»
Sunday Morning to Saturday Night
Deana Carter built her career on two Matraca Berg-written singles, the CMA Single and Song of the Year "Strawberry Wine" and "We Danced Anyway," and now after two brilliant but unsuccessful albums on RCA, Berg has resurfaced on Rising Tide. With Emory Gordy Jr. producing, an all-star cast of musicians and singers performing, and Berg writing and singing every song, this album deserves to be a huge hit. "Good Ol' Girl" is a tribute to the truck-stop waitress who "serves up the biscuits and gravy »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
Concert Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops easily weather changes – The personnel in the Carolina Chocolate Drops may have changed drastically over the last few years - two of its three founding members are no longer - but that apparently has not had any impact whatsoever on the group both when it comes to the musical direction and the ability to come through in concert. Rhiannon Giddens, who plays fiddle... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Gerry House comes out (from behind the mic) For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
Once a Carter Girl, always a Carter Girl Expectations of being a "Carter Girl" - the way Carlene Carter refers to herself with her latest album title - must be extremely daunting at times. "It's as difficult as you want to make it," Carter explains. "I've always just embraced the fact that I was born into this family and very proud to be part of it." However, much like her mother, June Carter Cash, Carlene has always been a free spirit and fiercely individualistic. ... »»»
Loveless goes "Somewhere Else" To take a page from Judy Collins' notebook, Lydia Loveless has seen life from both sides now. After a childhood in tiny Coshocton, Ohio, a move to Columbus and a gig playing bass in her family's new wave/rock band as a teenager, Loveless set out on her own musical path at the age of 17. In 2010, the 20-year-old Loveless released her debut album, "The Only Man," which was critically acclaimed but just barely heard by the general public.... »»»
Carpenter strings her crowd along Mary Chapin Carpenter's songs have always transcended the mundane, whether through the introspective songs about life and death on albums like "The Age of Miracles" or "The Calling" or in the humorous ways she laughs at fate in songs such as I Feel Lucky or The Bug in order to show the chinks in our mortal facades. Her music has often helped us get beyond ourselves to see the places where real meaning lies, whether we decide to embrace such meaning or not.... »»»
Vincent goes both ways It's the Voice. Rhonda Vincent has been wrapping her soaring, golden-throated vocals around bluegrass tunes for a couple of decades now. The International Bluegrass Association named her Female Vocalist of the Year seven years running (2000-2006), and named her IBMA Entertained of the Year in 2001. From 2002-2006, Vincent carried home the Entertainer of the Year award from The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass (SPBGMA). Early in her career, Vincent also recorded a couple of country albums, before returning to bluegrass. Yet, it was always her voice that gave every project its power, beauty, and character.... »»»
With "Three Chords and the Truth," King covers it James King has been plowing the furrows of the bluegrass fields for more than 20 years now. He's a gifted storyteller whose emotionally expressive voice can make you cry on the sad songs and laugh at the tall tales some of the songs tell. His straight ahead guitar provides the rhythmic foundation on which he builds his stories of heartache, sacrifice, and joy. On his new album, "Three Chords and the Truth," King renders his own versions of classic country song... »»»
Carter Girl CD review - Carter Girl

It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. »»»

Turn It Up CD review - Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»
High Noon CD review - High Noon
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»
Out Among the Stars CD review - Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. »»»
Summer Number Seventeen CD review - Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music »»»