BMI songwriters swept the short list of 2008 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees: hit writers Matraca Berg and Tom Shapiro will enter the elite ranks in the Songwriter category, while prolific songman John Hiatt stands ready to join the Hall in the Songwriter/Artist field. The candidates will officially be inducted Sunday, October 26 at the 39th Annual Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony, presented by AT&T.
- Matraca Berg
- Tom Shapiro
- John Hiatt
After garnering her first hit single as a teenager (T.G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks’ “Faking Love”), gilt-edged songwriter Matraca Berg proceeded to pen some of contemporary country music’s most poignant hits. Deanna Carter’s “Strawberry Wine”; Patty Loveless’ “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Bad”; Reba McEntire’s “The Last One to Know”; the Dixie Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me”; Gretchen Wilson’s “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today”; and Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” and current single “They Call It Falling for a Reason” skim the surface of her catalog lined with more than a dozen BMI Country Awards and Million-Air winners. Also an esteemed vocal stylist and performer, Berg released albums on RCA and Rising Tide labels in the 90s.
Four-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year Tom Shapiro has composed more than twenty no. 1 songs throughout an exceedingly prodigious career. Hits penned by Shapiro include “Ain’t Nothin’ ‘Bout You” (Brooks & Dunn); “Wink” (Neal McCoy); “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” (Trisha Yearwood); “That Ain’t My Truck” (Rhett Akins); “Watch Me” (Lorrie Morgan); “Perfect” (Sara Evans); “My Give A Damn’s Busted” (Jo Dee Messina); “You’ll Always Be My Baby” (Sara Evans) and “I Miss My Friend” (Darryl Worley). Along with receiving BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year three times in a five year period (‘93,’96,’97), he was named Music Row magazine’s top country songwriter in 1995, NSAI Songwriter of the Decade for the 1990s, and won the CMA Triple Play award in 1995 and 1997. The owner of more than 30 BMI Pop and Country Awards, Shapiro earned his fourth BMI Songwriter of the Year crown in 2002.
John Hiatt’s long career grounded in uncanny creative dexterity and sheer productivity has influenced generations of songwriter/artists treading steadily in his wake. The purveyor of more than 20 albums, Hiatt has also penned compositions recorded by a who’s who of the rock canon: Three Dog Night (“Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here”); Joe Cocker (“Have a Little Faith in Me”); Rosanne Cash (“The Way We Make a Broken Heart”); The Jeff Healy Band (“Angel Eyes”); Suzy Bogguss (“Drive South”); Earl Thomas Conley (“Bring Back Your Love to Me”); B.B. King & Eric Clapton (“Ridin’ With the King”); The Neville Brothers (“Washable Ink”); Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”); and Elvis Costello (“She Loves the Jerk”) make up the list of famous Hiatt fans. Named 1987’s Rock Male Vocalist of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine, he has also amassed multiple BMI Pop, Country and Million-Air honors. Currently touring in support of his critically acclaimed new album Same Old Man, Hiatt will receive the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the organization’s award ceremony this month.