Fifteen Hit Songwriters Contending for Hall of Fame Slots

Fifteen hit songwriters from three categories are vying for places this year in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The winners will be announced Sunday (Oct. 1) during ceremonies at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza in Nashville. Co-sponsoring the event are the Nashville Songwriters Foundation and the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Nominees from the “songwriters/pre-1970” division and their best-known songs are Hal Bynum (“Lucille,” “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang”); Billy Gray (“Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart,” “You Can’t Have My Love”); Allen Reynolds (“Ready for the Times to Get Better,” “Five O’Clock World”); Bob Tubert (“You’re the Only World I Know,” “I’ll Keep Holding On”); and Billy Edd Wheeler (“Coward of the County,” “Jackson”).

Candidates in the “songwriters/1970-1980” category are Randy Goodrum (“You Needed Me,” “Bluer Than Blue”); Larry Henley (“The Wind Beneath My Wings,” “Is It Still Over”); Dennis Linde (“Burnin’ Love,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge”); Layng Martine Jr. (“Rub It In,” “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”); and Dennis Morgan (“Let Me Let Go,” “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”).

Representing “songwriter/artists pre-1980” are Bobby Bare (“500 Miles Away From Home,” “God Bless America Again”); Mac Davis (“In the Ghetto,” “I Believe In Music”); Freddie Hart (“Easy Loving,” “Loose Talk”); John Hartford (“Gentle on My Mind,” “Gum Tree Canoe”); and Jerry Reed (“When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “East Bound and Down”).

Last year’s Hall of Fame winners were Tommy Collins, A.L. “Doodle” Owens, Wayne Kemp and Glenn Sutton. (Owens and Collins died soon after their induction.) To date, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has 135 members.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to