Monday, September 10, 2007
– Bob DiPiero, Mac McAnally, Hank Williams, Jr., Flatt & Scruggs and gospel singer Dottie Rambo will be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
DiPiero and McAnally were named for the songwriter category. Flatt & Scruggs and Hank Jr. made it in the songwriter/artist category. Rambo is a special inductee.
"We extend to all of these fine writers and artists our heartiest congratulations," said Roger Murrah, chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. "They have honed their craft to perfection. For a writer who is connected to the Nashville music community, there is no higher honor than induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame."
There are 162 current members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Hank Williams, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. are the only father/son members, and Hank Williams, Sr. was inducted in the charter group of 1970. Flatt & Scruggs are the fourth artist duo to be inducted, joining the Delmore Brothers, the Louvin Brothers and the Everly Brothers. Rambo is the 10th woman to join.
Youngstown, Ohio, native Bob DiPiero moved to Nashville in 1979 to pursue songwriting and soon signed with Combine Music. His first cut was Reba McEntire's 1980 hit "I Can See Forever in Your Eyes." In 1983, his "American Made" by The Oak Ridge Boys became a national ad jingle for Miller Beer. By the mid-'80s his songs were appearing regularly at the top of the charts. In 1995 DiPiero earned a Triple Play award from the CMA for penning 3 number 1 hits in a year, an honor he earned again in 1996. "Wink" (Neal McCoy) was named BMI Country Song of the Year in 1995. "Worlds Apart" (Vince Gill) was given a similar accolade at the 1997 Country Radio Music Awards. DiPiero was named Songwriter of the Year at the 1998 Nashville Music Awards. He was also a member of the band Billy Hill from 1989-91.
Raised in Belmont, Miss., McAnally was a guitar and piano prodigy who was performing in clubs by age 13. By age 18, he was a session guitarist in Muscle Shoals. He began his recording career in 1977 and has released 10 albums. He wrote hits for Alabama ("Old Flame"), Shenandoah ("Two Dozen Roses"), Steve Wariner ("Precious Thing"), Ricky Van Shelton ("Crime of Passion") and T.G. Sheppard ("One Owner Heart"). He has produced artists from Ricky Skaggs to Chris LeDoux to Sawyer Brown (for whom he also penned the hits "Café on the Corner," "All These Years," "The Boys and Me" and "Thank God For You"). McAnally is a longtime member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer band, has produced Buffett records and has co-written Buffett songs "It's My Job" and "License to Chill."
Tennessee native Lester Flatt first hooked up with North Carolina native Earl Scruggs as part of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1945. Three years later, they left Monroe to start their own act. In 1953, Flatt & Scruggs began their WSM radio show for Martha White Flour, then joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1956. Well-known in bluegrass and country circles, Flatt & Scruggs became the first country group to be booked on the folk music circuit. The duo gained worldwide recognition in 1962 when they recorded the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Although they did not write the song, it hit number one within five weeks of the show's first broadcast. In 1962 they also performed at Carnegie Hall, becoming the first bluegrass act to grace the venerable stage, and performed the now-famous Martha White jingle. In 1967, Earl's instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was used in the film Bonnie & Clyde. That song earned the duo a performance Grammy and went on to achieve Million-Air status from BMI. Throughout their career, Flatt & Scruggs wrote many of their popular songs, including "Don't Get Above Your Raisin'," "Crying My Heart Out Over You," "Flint Hill Special" and "Cabin in the Hills." Though they disbanded in 1969, they each were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Honor and, in 1985, became only the second bluegrass act to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Rambo, undisputed queen of gospel music, began writing songs as an eight-year-old sitting on a creek bank near her Morganfield, Ky. home. She left home to tour at age 12 and was "discovered" as a teenager by the legendary Gov. Jimmie Davis of Louisiana, who signed her to a publishing deal. Throughout the '60s and '70s, Rambo's distinctive voice and affecting delivery won her legions of fans around the world. By the mid-1980s, she experienced health problems that sidelined her for almost two decades, until the 2003 release of "Stand By The River," her first solo project in 18 years. The title cut, a duet with Dolly Parton, garnered massive airplay and was nominated as 2003 Song of the Year by the Christian Country Music Association. She is the author of "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need" and the 1982 Gospel Music Association Song of the Year, "We Shall Behold Him." She received a Dove Award in 1999 for her song, "I Go to the Rock," sung by Whitney Houston in the hit motion picture "The Preacher's Wife." Other well-known titles by Rambo include "If That Isn't Love," "The Perfect Rose," "Behold the Lamb," "Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus," "Too Much to Gain to Lose," "Remind Me Dear Lord," "Tears Will Never Stain the Streets of That City," "I Will Glory in the Cross" and "I've Never Been This Homesick Before." In 1994, the Christian Country Music Association recognized Rambo as their Songwriter of the Century and in 2002 presented her with the Living Legend Award. She is a member of the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and is a two-time inductee into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame - once as a soloist and again as a member of the Rambo trio. In 2001, Rambo received the ASCAP Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Though he began his career in the shadow of his legendary father, Hank Williams, Jr. emerged as a formidable singer-songwriter in his own right with 1960s hits such as "It's All Over But the Crying" and "Cajun Baby." With 1979's "Family Tradition," he broke with the Nashville mainstream by adopting a rebel image and writing/recording in a style incorporating his blues and Southern rock influences. The results were millions in records sold, 42 top-10 hits and 2 CMA Entertainer of the Year honors. He holds 20 BMI Awards for his songwriting. He wrote what is arguably the most-heard country song of modern times, "Are You Ready For Some Football?," heard nationally as the theme song of ABC's Monday Night Football telecasts since 1989.
The five new inductees will be officially inducted at the 38th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Oct. 14.