Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, and Don Schlitz were named Country Music Hall of Fame inductees on April 5, 2017, during a ceremony at the Hall of Fame’s rotunda.
Alan was elected as the Modern Artist, while the late Jerry Reed was selected as the Veteran Artist. Don Schlitz joined in the Songwriter category, which rotates every three years (songwriter, musician, non-performer).
The trio was formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Oct. 22, 2017.
Jerry Reed Loved the Industry
Before Don Schlitz and Alan Jackson took the stage, the late Jerry Reed finally got his due. The guitar-playing showman, known for songs “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “East Bound and Down,” was the first inductee to be announced during the ceremony.
Jerry, who died in 2008 at the age of 71, was one of country music’s best all-around entertainers. He could pen a hit, pluck a guitar, sing, and act.
As a songwriter, Jerry wrote tunes for Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and more. As a solo artist, he scored No. 1 hits with “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “Lord, Mr. Ford,” and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft).” As an actor, Jerry co-starred in the films Smokey and the Bandit, The Waterboy, and more. As a guitar player, he was in a league of his own.
“If dad were here, he would be so humbled and so grateful because music was his life,” said Jerry’s daughter, Seidina Hubbard. “He loved this industry. He loved picking and singing and writing.”
Don Schlitz Represents Everyone
Songwriter Don Schlitz is the man behind country music classics “The Gambler,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “When You Say Nothing At All,” and more.
Over the course of his career, Don has penned more than 50 Top 10 singles. His songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, and more. The Grammy-winning tunesmith was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
“I will never be able to believe that I deserve this,” said Don Schlitz, before Alan was recognized. “Unless I receive it as a representative of my family, my mentors, my collaborators, my promoters, and my friends. That’s only way I can deal with this. I can only represent.”
Alan Jackson Reaches Mountaintop
Alan Jackson had been chasin’ that neon rainbow, livin’ that honky-tonk dream since dropping his 1990 debut album, Here in the Real World. The singer of simple songs has amassed more than 50 Top 10 hits over his 30-plus-year career. He’s also one of the Top 10 best-selling country artists of all time.
In addition, Alan has won just about every award under the sun. Alan has earned two Grammy Awards, 18 ACM Awards, and 16 CMA Awards, including three for Entertainer of the Year. AJ’s iconic catalog of hits includes “Chattahoochee,” “Gone Country,” “Little Bitty,” “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” and more.
“Honored, that’s the first thing comes into your mind,” said Alan Jackson. “It’s such an honor . . . This is about the last dream on the list, right here.”