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Country Music Hall of Fame’s 2017 Inductees Announced

Country Music Hall of Fame’s 2017 Inductees Announced 

 
 
Congratulations to the new inductees into the Country
Music Hall of Fame. 
This year, three country music greats move into a very exclusive
‘club.’ Let’s hear it for Jerry Reed, Alan Jackson and Don Schlitz.
 
Jerry
Reed (March 20, 1937 – September 01, 2006)
achieved worldwide fame with unforgettable roles in movies such as
“Gator,” “W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings” and the “Smokey and the
Bandit” series. 
However, before appearing in movies, he had begun a long and
distinguished career in country music since arriving in Nashville in the
early 1960s. 
As a songwriter, Reed was getting cuts on some of Nashville’s hottest acts, including Porter Wagoner. 
But it was his unique guitar style that made him an in-demand
session player and brought him to the attention of Chet Atkins with whom
he would later cut a Grammy-winning album, ‘Jerry and Me.’ Reed is one
of only five recipients of Atkins’ coveted ‘Certified
Guitar Player’ status, bestowed by Atkins only upon those that he
believes have mastered the instrument.
 

Reed
wrote and recorded “Guitar Man,” a song that
charted for him in 1967. Elvis Presley loved the song and decided to
cut his own version of it, insisting that Reed come into the RCA Studio
to recreate his guitar sound. 
Presley went on to record several other Reed compositions,
including “U.S. Male,” often with Reed playing guitar on the recordings.
 
Reed’s
infectious sense of humor came across in
his stage shows and on his records, including “When You’re Hot, You’re
Hot,” “Amos Moses” and “East Bound and Down,” the latter having been
featured on the soundtrack of the first “Bandit” movie.
 

Alan Jackson (born October 17, 1958) is a well-deserved
member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, in addition to enjoying an illustrious recording career. 
So far, he has chalked up twenty-six Billboard Number One Country
songs and sold more than sixty million albums. Of the fifteen albums
that topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart, nine have been certified
‘multi platinum’ by RIAA.
 
Jackson’s
traditional country style has remained
popular over the decades, winning him sixteen CMA Awards, seventeen ACM
Awards and numerous other awards. He has received two Grammy Awards,
including one for “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning.”
 
When he was 27, Jackson and his wife Denise moved
to Music City where he found work in the mailroom at The Nashville Network. 
His talent was quickly spotted (with a little help from Glen
Campbell), and Jackson became the first artist signed to the Arista
Nashville label. 
(On a personal note, at that time I was an intern at BNA Records, just down the hall. 
Arista, BNA and BMG Publishing were all on the same floor.)
 
His many hits include “Here in the Real World,”
“Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Remember When,” “It Must Be Love” and many more. Alan Jackson continues to ‘Keep it Country.’
 
Don Schlitz (born August 29, 1962) is one of Nashville’s
most prolific and successful songwriters. 
His first hit as a songwriter is a song that went on to become
instantly recognizable from the first few notes: “The Gambler,” recorded
by Kenny Rogers. Not only did that song win a Grammy, but it also
became Kenny Rogers’ signature song and something
of a ‘standard’ in country and pop genres.
 
Two
of Schlitz’ other best-known compositions,
both co-written with Paul Overstreet, are “Forever and Ever, Amen”
recorded by Randy Travis, and Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At
All.”
 
His
list of hit co-writes seems almost endless
with recordings by stars such as Alabama, George Strait, Garth Brooks,
Ronnie Milsap and more, with titles that include “I Think About You”
(Collin Raye), “Point of Light” and “On the Other Hand” (Randy Travis),
“He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” (Mary Chapin Carpenter),
“Daddy’s Come Around” (Paul Overstreet)… The list goes on and on.
 

Schlitz
is a member of both the Songwriters Hall
of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was a regular
performer at The Bluebird Café in Nashville where is credited (with
collaborators Paul Overstreet and Thom Schuyler) with creating the
‘songwriters in-the-round’ concept that is now accepted
as standard practice at songwriter shows.

By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International
Photo (c) Country Music Hall of Fame

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