It was an honor to sit among songwriting heroes and legends last night at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony. On the event’s 41st Anniversary, inductees included John Bettis, Thom Schuyler, and Allen Shamblin in the writer category, and Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson as artist writers.
The ceremony was a touching tribute to the songs written and the stories told. It was a great privileged to hear each writer talk about their backgrounds and how they found the inspiration to write such poignant songs.
The ceremony started by honoring Chris DuBois as songwriter of the year, Taylor Swift as artist/songwriter of the year (for the forth year in a row!), and “If I Die Young” by Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry as song of the year. Publisher David Conrad was awarded the Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award. It was remarked that he had a hand in over 186 Top 10 Country hit songs. Wow!
A brief intermission was given, and in a room full of 1000 industry members and their families you’ve never seen such mingling. The Hearts Bluff table was so glad to see friends of ours like previous inductee Kye Fleming, and Aaron Barker. We visited briefly with NSAI’s director of sponsorship, Stephanie Myers, and complimented her on a successful evening. We were even able to say hello to Emmylou Harris, sitting over at the next table.
Finally each of the five big inductees took to the stage to deliver their thanks, but not before being honored with a speech by a longtime industry friend, and performances of their best songs sung by a few fellow songwriters. For John Bettis we heard “Heartland,” and “Top of the World” performed by Lynn Anderson. Co-writers of Garth’s hits played “The River,” “The Thunder Rolls,” and “We Shall Be Free.” Taylor Swift sang a touching rendition of “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning,” a song that Alan Jackson wrote to unite those hurting after 9/11. For Thom Schuyler, Lacy J. Dalton sang “16th Avenue,” which struck a chord in us, with our offices being on that exact street. Finally Allen Shamblin was given his moment in the spotlight and we heard Lionel Cartwright perform “The House That Built Me” and Wynonna was on hand to sing “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
To hear all those songs, along with many eloquent speeches given, it was truly a treat for us. We work with brilliant songwriters on a daily basis and it was such a great reminder of the gifts that have been given to these story tellers. So here’s to you, songwriters! Thank you for blessing each of us with the talent you’ve been given to express words as few can.
Hearts Bluff would again like to congratulate all of last night inductees for the well deserved honor!