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Country Music Hall Of Fame® And Museum Announces 2020 Interview Series Schedule

February 12, 2020
Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame taken from a drone.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Feb. 12, 2020 – The Country Music Hall of Fame®  and Museum has scheduled its 2020 Poets and Prophets and Nashville Cats programs, which honor noteworthy contributors to country music with multimedia presentations that include in-depth, one-on-one interviews.

The long-running interview series Poets and Prophets spotlights the artistry and achievements of important songwriters who have made significant contributions to American music. Nashville Cats showcases musicians and session singers who have played important roles in support of hit artists in either the recording studio or on concert tours. Each interview is supplemented with recordings, photos and film clips from the museum’s Frist Library and Archive.

This year’s schedule is as follows:

Poets and Prophets

Salute to Songwriter Jackie DeShannon - Saturday, March 21, at 2 p.m.; Museum’s Ford Theater

GRAMMY winner Jackie DeShannon makes a rare Nashville appearance to discuss her career and perform a few of her classics. Born in Kentucky, DeShannon started out as a country radio performer as a child. As a teenager, she began a long recording career that would embrace country, rockabilly, folk, pop, gospel and R&B. “Buddy,” a Buddy Holly tribute she wrote, was a regional rockabilly hit she recorded in Nashville in 1958. After moving to Los Angeles in 1960, she debuted on the national charts in 1963 with her cover of Bob Wills’ “Faded Love,” then scored her first major pop hit in 1965 with a soulful rendition of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, DeShannon provided six chart singles for Country Music Hall of Fame member Brenda Lee, including the 1961 hit “Dum Dum.” “When You Walk in the Room” was a huge success for the Searchers during the British Invasion, and decades later Pam Tillis’ version reached the Top Five of the country chart. In 1969, DeShannon wrote and recorded the classic “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” “Bette Davis Eyes,” a hit for Kim Carnes, won DeShannon the 1982 Grammy for Song of the Year.

Salute to Songwriter Rodney Crowell - Friday, May 8, at 7 p.m. in Austin, Texas

Rodney Crowell started his career in his native Houston, playing drums in his father’s honky-tonk band at age 11. Significant moments in his musical growth included meeting major songwriting influence Guy Clark in Nashville and joining Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris’ heralded Hot Band in California. His hit songs include “’Til I Gain Control Again” (Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle); “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” (Waylon Jennings); “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” (Oak Ridge Boys); “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” and “It’s Such a Small World” (Rosanne Cash); “Shame on the Moon” (Bob Seger); “Ashes by Now” (Lee Ann Womack); “Please Remember Me” (Tim McGraw); “Song for the Life” (Alan Jackson) and “Making Memories of Us” (Keith Urban). As a recording artist, Crowell hit his stride when his 1988 album Diamonds and Dirt yielded five #1 country singles, including “After All This Time,” which won Crowell a Grammy for Best Country Song.

Salute to Songwriter Hillary Lindsey - Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

Hillary Lindsey moved to Nashville in 1994 to attend Belmont University and purse songwriting. Her first #1 came in 2001 as co-writer of “Blessed,” recorded by Martina McBride. Lindsey won the 2007 Grammy for Best Country Song for “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” sung by Carrie Underwood, who also turned to Lindsey for the hits “So Small,” “Wasted,” “Just a Dream” and “Last Name.” Lindsey collaborates with Lori McKenna and Liz Rose as the Love Junkies, and their successes includes Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” Miranda Lambert’s “It All Comes Out in the Wash” and Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” another Grammy winner for Best Country Song. Two Lindsey co-writes appear in the film A Star Is Born, “Always Remember Us This Way” and “I’ll Never Love Again,” which recently won a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Recent credits include Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Wonder Woman.” In 2019, ASCAP presented Lindsey with its Global Impact Award, a special honor recognizing the power and massive popularity of her songs outside the U.S.

Salute to Songwriter Mike Stoller - Saturday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

Mike Stoller will make a rare Nashville appearance to discuss his career at the last Poets and Prophets program of 2020. The songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Stoller was formed in 1950, when Stoller began creating melodies and arrangements that dovetailed with Leiber’s lyrics. In 1952, they wrote “Hound Dog” for blues singer Big Mama Thornton. The song became an enormous pop, R&B and country hit for Country Music Hall of Fame member Elvis Presley in 1956 and made Leiber and Stoller the hottest songwriting team in rock & roll. They also wrote “Jailhouse Rock,” “Loving You,” “King Creole,” “Treat Me Nice,” “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” and other hits for Presley. Atlantic Records signed Leiber and Stoller to one of the music industry’s first independent production deals. This led to them writing and producing more than a dozen hit singles for the Coasters, including “Charlie Brown” and “Yakety Yak.” One of the most prolific and creative songwriting teams in popular music, Leiber and Stoller also wrote “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King), “Kansas City” (Wilbert Harrison), “Love Potion #9” (the Clovers), “On Broadway” (the Drifters) and “I’m a Woman” (Peggy Lee). Leiber and Stoller were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


Fiddler and Guitarist Kenny Lovelace - Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

For more than 50 years, Kenny Lovelace has served as guitarist, fiddler, bandleader and right-hand man for Jerry Lee Lewis. Lovelace can be heard on Lewis’ Nashville recordings, including  “Another Place Another Time,” “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me),” “She Still Comes Around (to Love What’s Left of Me),” “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye” and “Thirty Nine and Holding.” He played mandolin when he was four and was a regular musical presence at fiddle contests, dances and parties before joining the Five Jets, a country band that morphed into a rock & roll outfit as the new style of music grew in popularity. Lovelace has performed with Chuck Berry, Country Music Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, the Rolling Stones and other legends.

Drummer and Percussionist Kenny Malone - Saturday, June 20, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

Kenny Malone grew up in Denver, played music at an early age and at 17 enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served 14 years. As a member of the Naval Academy Band, Malone played at President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration. Later, Malone led the percussion department at the Armed Forces School of Music. After moving to Nashville in 1970, Malone began working with Country Music Hall of Fame member Cowboy Jack Clement. He soon became an in-demand session musician due to his innovative style, often using unusual items to complement the mood for songs, such as salt shakers, leather chairs and pocket change. Malone can be heard on recordings by Country Music Hall of Fame members Bobby Bare, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West and Don Williams, as well as Ray Charles, Crystal Gayle, Dobie Gray, John Hartford and Gene Watson.

Guitarist Brent Mason – Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

One of the most recorded guitarists in history, Brent Mason has created distinctive riffs on more than 1,000 Top Ten hits. He has been CMA Musician of the Year twice and ACM Guitarist of the Year a record 11 times. Born in northwestern Ohio, Mason taught himself to play guitar at age five. After high school, he moved to Nashville and got a job with the Don Kelley Band, playing at the Stagecoach Lounge near Opryland. Country Music Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins invited Mason to appear on his 1985 album, Stay Tuned, which led to invitations to work with Lee Greenwood, Dan Seals, Keith Whitley and Country Music Hall of Fame member Randy Travis. Additionally, he played on hits by Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, George Jones and Reba McEntire. In the 2000s, Mason won a Grammy for Country Instrumental of the Year for his work on Brad Paisley’s “Cluster Pluck,” and more recently Mason provided guitar on Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country,” CMA Single of the Year in 2019. Mason has played on hits by Luke Combs, Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Steve Wariner and Chris Young. Mason also is a record producer and songwriter who has recorded two albums of his own.

Steel Guitarist Cindy Cashdollar - Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater

Dobro and lap steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar grew up in Woodstock, New York, where she was part of the blues and folk scenes, playing with local legends John Herald, Paul Butterfield and Rick Danko and Levon Helm of the Band. After working with Leon Redbone in the late 1980s, Cashdollar moved to Texas in 1992 to join western swing group Asleep at the Wheel. During her eight years with the band, Cashdollar appeared on Austin City Limits, recorded seven albums, won five Grammys and collaborated with Country Music Hall of Fame members Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. After leaving Asleep at the Wheel to pursue a wider variety of musical styles, Cashdollar has toured and recorded with a long list of notable artists, including Ryan Adams, Marcia Ball, Beausoleil, Bob Dylan, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Van Morrison, Pinetop Perkins and Dwight Yoakam. In 2011, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, and she was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Her latest album, Waltz for Abilene, will be released on Feb. 21.

Admission for these interviews with legends is included with museum admission or membership. For ticket information, visit Following the interviews, artists will sign copies of a commemorative Hatch Show Print poster, available for purchase from Circa the Museum Store. The programs will be streamed live at Poets and Prophets is presented by SunTrust.

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