The River's Badge

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 2011 Inductees


(Somehow, it seems like there should be an apostrophe in there someplace, but I guess it's technically correct).

Still, maybe "Songwriter's" (although that would only be ONE songwriter). How about "Songwriters'"? It's the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. It belongs to them.

Sorry, I'm off on a tangent before I even start.

Well, the latest inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were honored on October 16. (I bet it was in Nashville, right? It would be sort of counter-productive if it was held someplace else: "The latest inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were honored today in Wichita, Kansas."

I guess it was quite the gala, although from the paucity of information posted on YouTube, one would never know it. Maybe it was one of those "secret" inductions.

Well, their secret is unsafe with me! Because I somehow found out about it.

The 2011 inductees make up quite a lofty group. In researching the songs written by these guys, I find that they've written a whole bunch! Granted, most of them I haven't heard of, but that's my problem; not theirs.

And really, is it quantity or quality that matters? I say, quality. Because you could write one monster hit song, and there you go! Retire! And then, while you're lolling about in your mansion, and someone stops by and asks, "Hey, let me hear some of your other songs!", you could slap a CD on the player (or hand them a set of little tiny earbuds and make them listen through your iphone, but that's sort of awkward). And they'd listen for awhile, and then mutter, "Geez, you were really lucky to get that ONE big hit, weren't you?" But you wouldn't really be that offended, because after all, you have lots of MONEY! So, what do you care?

So, in trying to single out ONE big hit song from each of the non-performing songwriters, I shot for ones that I was at least familiar with. If you care to do the research to find out what other 4999 songs each of them wrote, well, it's pretty easy. Google is your friend.

John Bettis

I'm not going to quibble that the majority of songs John Bettis wrote are pop songs. Because he is obviously quite capable of writing a country song (as evidenced below). And you know, maybe he lives in Nashville. It's not the "Country Songwriters Hall of Fame" anyway.



Thom Schuyler

Let me just say that I really hate this performance by Kenny Rogers, especially because I love this song. I don't know what's up, but it seems like Kenny just wants to hurry up and get it over with. Why bother? Yes, Kenny, I know you've sung this song thirteen million times, and you're sick of it, but we're not.

Nevertheless, here it is:



Here's how it's supposed to go:




Allen Shamblin


Okay, okay. I just included this video in a recent blog post, but my goodness! If I'm going to pick an Allen Shamblin song, it's going to be this one! And Allen wrote a lot of good ones!

Still....



Okay, Allen gets two, because I also really like this song, and I haven't heard it in ages. This was co-written with Mike Reid:



Allen, of course (as if I knew this), wrote "The House That Built Me", which they tell me was a pretty big hit. DORK CONFESSION: Today, when I found it on YouTube, was the first time I'd ever heard that song. Seriously. But you know I don't listen to country radio. I'm more of a music historian than a hipster.

Anyway, my point in bringing this up is that, when you listen to all three of these songs, you see that Allen Shamblin has a soul. Unlike the majority of hit songwriters these days. Unless by "soul", you mean "wallet".

I like them, and I don't apologizing for liking them. Perhaps these songs are a perfect counterpoint to today's songs written by the likes of pseudo-songwriters such as Taylor Swift (And yes, I've heard them. I had to do research for a previous post, so I had to listen to them). You know, songs about, why do you have to be so mean to me? So touching. Really. I hear my church is adding that one to the hymnal.

Don't get me wrong. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame likes "wallet soul", too. That's why they named Taylor Swift their songwriter of the year.

But on we go, to other more important people.

The two performing songwriters who were honored are somewhat familiar names in the music industry. I heard that they each had a couple of hit songs, and have been able to make a comfortable living for themselves.

Okay, the thing about this guy, which is irritating for a music video blogger, is that, yes, he's a nice guy and all, but he's really stingy about allowing his music videos to be shared. I don't know why; that's his business. But this does narrow my options.

I have found a couple, though:


Garth Brooks



Garth Brooks - If Tomorrow Never Comes by romans34



Okay, that's it. Sorry. And that last one wasn't even a performance video. It was just a compilation of clips. Look Garth, if you want to get ahead in this business, you're going to have to let bloggers like me help to promote your music. I'm giving you this advice for your own good. I'm sure you'd like to have a little house out in Oklahoma one day, and not have to work anymore. Maybe grow a little garden. All that can be done! But you have to let me help you.

Unlike Garth Brooks, this next guy, you can find all the music videos you want! Nice! Thanks! This, however, creates a different problem. I don't want this post to be three miles long, so I have to pick two, or at the most, three.

By the way, I thought I would insert a plug here for a great music resource: All Music. This is a comprehensive site, and one does not have to wonder about the accuracy of the information here, unlike my old standby, which starts with the letter "W". Sometimes, with W, I have to surf over to another site to verify whether W is lying to me or not.

Alan Jackson





No video for "There Goes", which happens to be my favorite Alan Jackson song, but I also like this one a lot:



Quite a stellar group indeed. All five of these gentlemen are deserving of this honor. And it was fun to stroll down memory lane and revisit some of these songs. I find that there are so many great, great songs that have been almost forgotten, that when I get a chance to hear them again, they sound almost new. That's one of the joys of music.

So, out of these five songwriters, two are my favorites. You already know who one of them is, and I'm not revealing my other. I wouldn't want the other guys to feel like "runners-up". (And yea, I'm positive it would really, really hurt, considering that they just got inducted into a hall of fame and they're rich and they get to accost visitors to their mansions with an ipod filled with songs they've written). But still, I don't want to be uncouth.

I will note, however, that points have been deducted for the sparseness of available music videos. Just sayin'.

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