Representatives for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation have announced Kye Fleming, Mark D. Sanders and the late Tammy Wynette as the honorees set for induction in the Hall’s 39th annual event Sunday, October 18.
The new inductees will be welcomed into the elite songwriting fraternity by their peers at dinner and induction ceremony, presented by AT&T, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
Prolific writers Fleming and Sanders will be inducted into the “Songwriter” category, while Wynette will be inducted into the “Songwriter/Artist” category.
Fleming’s songwriter credits include hits such as “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (Barbara Mandrell) and “Smoky Mountain Rain” (Ronnie Milsap), while Sanders’ resume is known for “I Hope You Dance” (Lee Ann Womack) and “It Matters To Me” (Faith Hill). Wynette, meanwhile, popularized many of her own compositions, including the standard “Stand By Your Man” and “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own.”
Regarding this year’s inductees, Roger Murrah, chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, said, “Kye, Mark and Tammy have made many poignant and enduring contributions to the music world and certainly deserve to take their places among their gifted peers. It’s an honor for us to recognize them for their outstanding accomplishments.”
2009 NasHOF honoree Mark D. Sanders
Established in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame boasts 176 members to date, including songwriting luminaries such as Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Bob Dylan, Don & Phil Everly, Lester Flatt & Earl 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 and Hank Williams Jr.
Considered one of the music industry’s foremost events of the year, this year’s NaSHOF event will features tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs by special guest artists.Additionally, NaSHOF’s sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International, also will 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 its professional songwriters division.
About Mark D. Sanders
California native Sanders was a literature major, a basketball player and a surfer who, at the age of 29, came to Nashville to write songs. After 10 years, his career skyrocketed in the early 1990s, thanks to hits by Diamond Rio (“Mirror, Mirror”), Tracy Lawrence (“Runnin’ Behind”) and John Anderson (“Money In The Bank”).
Sanders was NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 1997. He had five No. 1 songs in 1995 alone. His “No News” (by Lonestar) was ASCAP’s 1996 Country Song of the Year. He received four CMA Triple Play Awards, given for charting three No. 1 songs in a 12-month period. His “I Hope You Dance” (Lee Ann Womack), which was named Song of the Year for NSAI, ASCAP, BMI, the ACM and the CMA, earned a 2000 Grammy for Best Country Song.
He and co-writer Tia Sillers authored a book inspired by the song that has sold 2 million copies. Additionally, Mark’s songs have been hits for artists such as George Strait (“Blue Clear Sky”), Ricochet (“Daddy’s Money”), Faith Hill (“It Matters To Me”) and Jack Ingram (“That’s A Man”).
Songwriter Kye Fleming, 2009 NsHOF inductee.
About Kye Fleming
A “Navy brat” from Arkansas, Fleming started writing songs at 14 and spent her early 20s on the folk-music circuit performing original material. In 1977, she signed as a staff writer with Pi-Gem Music, where she and another young songwriter, Dennis Morgan, started collaborating.
The catalog they created reads like a country’s greatest-hits package of the ’70s and ’80s: “Years,” “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (Barbara Mandrell) “Smoky Mountain Rain” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” (Ronnie Milsap), “Roll On Mississippi” (Charley Pride), as well as BMI’s 1983 Country Song of the Year “Nobody” (Sylvia).
Fleming was NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 1981 and 1982. She was BMI Country Songwriter of the Year in 1980, 1982 and 1983. She was BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year in 1981 and 1982. In 1987, her “Give Me Wings” (Michael Johnson) was named Billboard‘s Country Song of the Year. With more than 45 BMI awards–10 of them earning Million-Air status–she is one of the most-awarded songwriters in country-music history.
About Tammy Wynette
The late Wynette (1942-1998), born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Itawamba County, Miss., spent her youth picking cotton, working as a beautician, a waitress and a shoe-factory employee before her rise to stardom. It was while working in Alabama as a hairdresser and a local entertainer that Wynette began making trips to Nashville, where she auditioned for producer Billy Sherrill, who signed her to Epic Records in 1966.
Soon thereafter, Wynette began writing songs and her collaborators included Sherrill, George Jones (to whom she was married from 1968-1975), Earl “Peanut” Montgomery and future husband George Richey. She co-wrote her classic “Stand By Your Man,” as well as her other country hits “Another Lonely Song,” “The Ways To Love A Man,” “Two Story House,” “We Sure Can Love Each Other” and “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own” (also a hit for Kenny Rogers & Dottie West).
Noted for her powerful, piercing vocal delivery, Tammy was named CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1968, 1969 and 1970. She died on April 6, 1998, at age 55 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame later that year.