Former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn and his ex-musical partner Kix Brooks are among the 12 renowned songwriters who have been nominated for induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
According to a news release, the four nominees in the Songwriter/Artist category are: Dunn (whose credits include the hit “Believe”), Brooks (“Only In America”), Mary Chapin Carpenter (“Down At The Twist And Shout”), and Larry Gatlin (“Broken Lady”).
The eight nominees in the Songwriter category are: Tony Arata (“The Dance” by Garth Brooks ), Robert Byrne (“I Can’t Win For Losin’ You” by Earl Thomas Conley), Beth Nielsen Chapman (“This Kiss” by Faith Hill), John Jarrard (“Blue Clear Sky” by George Strait), Tony Martin (“Baby’s Gotten Good At Goodbye” by George Strait), Gretchen Peters (“Independence Day” by Martina McBride), Victoria Shaw (“I Love The Way You Love Me” by John Michael Montgomery) and Kim Williams (“Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis).
A Texas native, Dunn got his start as a country singer in Tulsa, where he penned future Brooks & Dunn hits like “Neon Moon” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” Oklahoma State University alumnus Tim DuBois, then an executive of Arista Nashville, paired Dunn with Brooks initially as songwriters and they soon became a formal duo. During their 1990-2010 partnership, Brooks & Dunn became the most popular duo in country music history.
Dunn also penned the Brooks & Dunn hits “She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind,” “She Used To Be Mine” and “Hard Working Man.” He co-wrote “Brand New Man,” “Working On My Next Broken Heart,” “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” “Ain’t No Way To Go,” “Believe,” “Play Something Country,” “Red Dirt Road,” “A Man This Lonely,” “Whiskey Under The Bridge,” “Little Miss Honky Tonk,” “Proud Of The House We Built” and more.
The nominations seek to recognize songwriters whose first significant works achieved commercial success and/or artistic recognition at least 20 years ago and who have “positively impacted and been closely associated with the Nashville Songwriting community and deemed to be outstanding and significant.” Two from the Songwriter category and one from the Songwriter/Artist category will be honored with induction on Oct. 7 at the Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony.
According to Oklahoma Rock Newsblog, if chosen for induction, Dunn would become the 20th Oklahoman in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, joining Gene Autry (1970), Johnny Bond (1970), Albert E. Brumley (1970), Floyd Tillman (1970), Merle Travis (1970), Bob Wills (1970), Jimmy Wakeley (1971), Roger Miller (1973), Carl Belew (1976), Dallas Frazier (1976), Woody Guthrie (1977), Jimmy Webb (1990), Conway Twitty (1993), Hank Thompson (1997), Merle Kilgore (1998), Tommy Collins (1999), Wayne Kemp (1999), Vince Gill (2005) and Garth Brooks (2011).
Also, Oklahoma fans can see Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame nominee Gretchen Peters play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Crystal Theatre in Okemah, where she is opening for Arlo Guthrie during the first show of the 2012 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. For more information, go to www.woodyguthrie.com.