Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Monday’s (Nov. 2) announcement from Hall of Fame board chair Sarah Cates means that the five acclaimed writers will join the 219 previous inductees during the “50-51” edition of the HOF’s gala on Nov. 1, 2021 at Music City Center in Nashville.
“This year marks our 50th year to welcome a new class into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. And although our year has looked different, we couldn’t be more excited to continue our commitment and core mission by announcing the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2020,” said Cates in a statement. “It’s our great honor today to welcome our class of 2020: Kent Blazy and Brett James in the songwriter category; Spooner Oldham in the veteran songwriter category, Steve Earle as our songwriter/artist and Bobbie Gentry as our veteran songwriter/artist.”
Three-time Grammy winner Earle has released 18 studio albums, beginning with his acclaimed 1986 debut, Guitar Town, and is known for writing songs such as “Copperhead Road” and “The Devil’s Right Hand.” Singer/songwriter/producer Gentry is best known for her 1967 No. 1 smash “Ode To Billie Joe,” as well as “Fancy” and “Mornin’ Glory.”
Blazy’s songwriting credits include “If Tomorrow Never Comes” (Garth Brooks), “Ain’t Goin’ Down (’Til The Sun Comes Up)” (Garth Brooks) and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” (Chris Young). James has a long list of songwriting credits, including “Jesus Take The Wheel” (Carrie Underwood), “When The Sun Goes Down” (Kenny Chesney & Uncle Kracker) and “Summer Nights” (Rascal Flatts). Oldham has written such R&B and pop hits as “I’m Your Puppet” (James & Bobby Purify), “Cry Like A Baby” (The Box Tops) and “Sweet Inspiration” (The Sweet Inspirations).