Bobbie Gentry and Steve Earle are among the composers who will be inducted as the newest members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The five inductees will be honored during the NaSHoF Gala on November 1st, 2021, along with the yet-to-be-named inductees for next year — the 2020 ceremony was canceled due to the Covid pandemic.
Gentry’s iconic and mysterious “Ode to Billie Joe” would be enough to merit her inclusion in the Hall of Fame, but she also wrote and recorded “Fancy” and the Glen Campbell duet “Mornin’ Glory,” as well as releasing a handful of albums that were repackaged in 2018. For 35 years, Earle has been one of country music and Americana’s most revered singer-songwriters, penning popular hits like “Guitar Town” and “Copperhead Road” in addition to the social commentary of “Christmas in Washington” and “John Walker’s Blues.”
In addition to Earle and Gentry, the incoming group of 2020 inductees includes Kent Blazy, Brett James, and Spooner Oldham. Blazy is best known for his work with Garth Brooks, whose collaborations include “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up).” James has enjoyed numerous contemporary hits, including Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” and Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker’s “When the Sun Goes Down.” Oldham, meanwhile, is a veteran of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, scene who co-wrote R&B hits such as “I’m Your Puppet” and “Cry Like a Baby” with fellow Shoals legend Dan Penn.
The previous class of Hall of Fame inductees, who were announced in August 2019, included Dwight Yoakam, Larry Gatlin, and Marcus Hummon.