Reporting Kurt Wolff
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation (NaSHOF) announced yesterday (Aug. 15) that Randy Owen of country group Alabama and songwriters Will Jennings, Layng Martine, Jr. and Jeffrey Steele are this year’s inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The four will be officially inducted during a ceremony on Oct. 13 at Music City Center in Nashville.
“Among all the great songwriters who have put the music in Music City, only a few are elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said Pat Alger, chair of the foundation’s board of directors, in a press statement. “This year we are delighted to bestow this honor upon Will Jennings and Jeffrey Steele in the songwriter category; Randy Owen in the songwriter/artist category, and Layng Martine Jr. in the veteran songwriter category.”
Country fans are certainly familiar with Owen, thanks to his work as lead vocalist and songwriter for Alabama. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame back in 2005, the group has racked up dozens of hit songs and best-selling albums since they first began recording in the 1970s. Alabama songs written by Owens include “Mountain Music,” “Lady Down on Love” and “Tennessee River.”
Jennings’ credits include “Up Where We Belong” (Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes) and songs for Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow, Steve Winwood and Celine Dion. Among Steele’s most recognized songs are “The Cowboy In Me” (Tim McGraw) and “What Hurts The Most” (Rascal Flatts). And Martine, Jr. is responsible for, among others, “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” (Reba McEntire) and the smash 1974 hit “Rub It In” (Billy “Crash” Craddock).
The Nashville Songwriters Association was founded in 1967, and among the first Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members inducted in 1970 were Gene Autry, Johnny Bond, A.P. Carter, Ted Daffan, Leon Payne, Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, Ernest Tubb, Cindy Walker, Hank Williams and Bob Wills. Additional members now include Garth Brooks, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Harlan Howard, Alan Jackson, Don Schlitz, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.