Four join legendary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

10.11.15
Rosanne Cash
The Tennessean

When she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on Sunday night, Rosanne Cash joined a club of legendary Nashville music-makers. But one big name in that club meant more than all of the others: her father, late country music icon Johnny Cash.
“It makes me want to cry just to think about it,” she told The Tennessean on Sunday. “It's so special.”
It was an emotional evening for the Americana artist and her fellow 2015 inductees, Mark James, Even Stevens and Craig Wiseman. The four songwriters were celebrated with songs and speeches at the Nashville Songwriters Association’s annual gala dinner at the Music City Center.
For decades, James has been tied to some towering pop classics, including “Suspicious Minds” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” both of which he wrote on his own. He noted that he was receiving this honor late in his career, which was a good thing.
"It's always nice to have something you can look forward to, something that you hadn't hit on,” he said.
Wiseman has penned country hits for the last 20 years, from Tracy Lawrence’s “If the Good Die Young” to Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here.” But, like Stevens, he had humble beginnings in Music City.
"Look, I came here sleeping in a van," he told The Tennessean. "All I ever wanted to be was a songwriter. That's my identity. That's who I am. When I get this (award), and it goes home, the Grammy and the CMA Awards, all of those things go to the side. This (award) goes dead center, because this is it."
Nashville Songwriters Association International also presented its annual awards at Sunday’s ceremony, recognizing the year’s most popular songs written by Nashville songwriters.
Rodney Clawson was named Songwriter of the Year, recognized for a massive year of country hits that included Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids,” Lady Antebellum’s “Bartender” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt.” Read the rest of the review here