Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductees

Fall is always that awkward time of year for end-of-year lists, when they need to start firming up but always require a little wiggle room for last-minute add-ons.

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Fall is always that awkward time of year for end-of-year lists, when they need to start firming up but always require a little wiggle room for last-minute add-ons. For hopeful ’08 inductees into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, holiday releases may get the swift axe until next year, but with a veritable pantheon of top-notch musicians riding the red carpet at this week’s ceremonies at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, it’s hard to tell if a single soul was left out.

This year’s award-winners were Matraca Berg, Tom Shapiro and John Hiatt, who, before a slew of local guitar slingers and industry execs alike, performed chart-topping numbers. Inducted by WSIX host Gerry House, Shapiro took the stage with co-writers Rivers Rutherford and Mark Nesler for a performance of “Ain’t Nothin’ ‘Bout You” and “You Look Good in My Shirt.” That was followed by a few Berg hits such as “Wrong Side of Memphis” and a rendition of “Strawberry Wine” by Kim Carnes.

It was John Hiatt, though, who summed up both the great honor and unnecessary pomp of the event when he reminded the audience of how all great songwriters get their start.

“My dream was not to be in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, but just to learn how to write songs,” said Hiatt. “I still don’t 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.”

The wrap up the evening, the Nashville Songwriters Association International presented their annual Songwriter Achievement Awards. For their song “You’re Gonna Miss This,” Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miler were granted Song of the Year. Songwriter of the Year, however, went to Casey Beathard who co-wrote “Cleaning the Gun (Come On In Boy)” with Rodney Atkins, “Don’t Blink” with Kenny Chesney, “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” with George Strait, and “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” with Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus. A surprise tie between Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley was given for Artist of the Year.


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