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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
Watkins Family make time From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky...... »»»
Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it.... »»»
Moreland gets high Sitting in a motel room in Houston after a weekend gig at the Mucky Duck, singer/songwriter John Moreland is in a pretty good mood. His career is on a major upswing, and he is riding some pretty big critical success of his latest release, "High on Tulsa." Moreland has a lot to be happy about with three cuts picked for the soundtrack of the hit TV show "Sons of Anarchy,"...... »»»
Moorer gets "Down to Believing" Allison Moorer packed a lot of living in the past five years leading up to the recently released "Down To Believing." The results are evident throughout the effort, like a light at the end of a tunnel. Writing or co-writing 12 of the 13 tracks, Moorer is fearlessly open and autobiographical. "Even when I try to make them about something or someone else, they always end up being about me. I am the subject that I know best." ... »»»
Thanks to Wills, AATW remains the king After over 40 years of touring and recording as the founder, lead guitar and front-man for Western Swing music's standard-bearers, Asleep At The Wheel, Ray Benson has a lot of irons in the fire these days. In fact, with his TV show Texas Music Scene a hit throughout the southwestern U.S. and touring in support of AATW's new release, "Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys," he is as busy now as ever.... »»»
Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»
Wild Ones CD review - Wild Ones
Kip Moore's sophomore release has been a long time in coming - 3 1/2 years - a surprise considering how well he did with his debut, "Up All Night," and its big hits ("Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money"). Moore has said he spent time expanding his sound - and he surely has done that - although two failed singles doubtlessly didn't help. »»»
Common Law Wife CD review - Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony.  »»»
Michael Ray CD review - Michael Ray
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»
The Blade CD review - The Blade
Ashley Monroe gains more acclaim for other projects than she does for her own solo efforts. Monroe is one third of side group Pistol Annies. She sang with Blake Shelton on his hit "Lonely Tonight." She received praise for her first proper solo album, "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. Can "The Blade" turn the trick? »»»
Bittersweet CD review - Bittersweet
Australian songwriter Kasey Chambers has never managed to gain the profile elsewhere that she has Down Under, despite consistently releasing great albums as a solo artist and as a duo with her ex-husband. Almost a full year after initially releasing "Bittersweet," Chambers is giving the strong album an official U.S. release. »»»