Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz are this year’s inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame member Vince Gill hosted the announcement ceremony Wednesday morning (April 5) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Jackson, Reed and Schlitz will be formally inducted during the Hall of Fame’s annual Medallion Ceremony later this year.
At age 58, Jackson was elected in the modern era artist category. Still a successful recording artist and a major concert headliner, the Georgia native’s lengthy list of hits include “Here in the Real World,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Midnight in Montgomery,” “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues),” “Chattahoochee” “Livin’ on Love,” “Gone Country and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” his reflection on the 9/11 attacks, resulted in a Grammy for best country song and also single and song of the year honors at the CMA Awards.
Elected in the veterans era artist category, the late Jerry Reed had a wide-ranging career that took the Georgia native from the recording studios of Atlanta and Nashville to a side career in movies and television. Regarded as one of the most original guitar stylists in the history of country music, he was working as a studio musician in Nashville while attempting to launch his own recording career when Elvis Presley recorded Reed’s “Guitar Man.” Unable to capture the sound of Reed’s original recording, he was called in to play on Presley’s recordings of “Guitar Man” and another Reed composition, “U.S. Male.” Reed was a two-time winner of the CMA’s instrumentalist of the year award.
Reed later became a regular on The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour TV series and scored major hits, including “Amos Moses,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, “East Bound and Down,” “Lord, Mr. Ford” and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft).” He also co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and three separate Smokey and the Bandit features. His last major film role was in Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy in 1998.
Reed died in 2008 at age 71 after being diagnosed with emphysema in 2008.
Schlitz, 62, who will be inducted in the songwriter category, remains one of Nashville’s most prolific and respected composers. His credits include Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” Randy Travis’ “On the Other Hand” and “Forever and Ever, Amen,” Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing at All” and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.”
Born in North Carolina, Schlitz has won two Grammys and is a three-time recipient of the CMA song of the year award. His membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame follows his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the national Songwriters Hall of Fame.