"Strawberry Wine" Writer Joins Hall of Fame

Sept. 5, 2008 — Three composers with a heavy influence on country music — Matraca Berg, John Hiatt and Tom Shapiro — will take their place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame during a ceremony Oct. 26.

Each of them has heard his or her songs on country radio numerous times through the years — even if the average listener didn't think of them first. Matraca wrote Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine," the winner of several Song of the Year honors. She also authored such titles as Martina McBride's "Wild Angels," Patty Loveless' "You Can Feel Bad" and Reba McEntire's "The Last One To Know."

Tom was named Songwriter of the Decade for the 1990s by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, with a backlog of hits that includes Neal McCoy's "Wink," Sara Evans' "No Place That Far," Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You" and Tanya Tucker's "Highway Robbery."

John Hiatt is best-known as a raucous, soulful singer-songwriter in adult alternative music, though his songs have been covered a number of times by country artists. Suzy Bogguss sang "Drive South," Rosanne Cash found success with "The Way We Make A Broken Heart" and the Desert Rose Band scored with "She Don't Love Nobody."

Established in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame includes such familiar members as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. The Hall has only recently found a physical home: It will soon be housed in a building on the original site of Music Row's first recording studio.