Songwriter Rodney Crowell performs and shares stories from his life and career on March 19, 2022, as part of the Museum's ‘Poets and Prophets’ series, which spotlights songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music.
During the program, Crowell shares stories behind his hits including “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” (Waylon Jennings), “’Til I Gain Control Again” (Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle), “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” (Oak Ridge Boys), and “Shame on the Moon” (Bob Seger). Crowell also performs his songs “Song for the Life” and “Triage,” as well as covers of Hank Williams’s “No One Will Ever Know” and Mickey Newbury’s “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye.”
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Crowell played drums in his father’s local honky-tonk band, later fronting his own bands as a teenager. Moving to Nashville in 1972 with friend Donivan Cowart, Crowell formed friendships with songwriters Guy and Susanna Clark, Steve Earle, and Townes Van Zandt. During this time, Crowell had his first success as a songwriter with Jerry Reed’s recording of “You Can’t Keep Me Here in Tennessee” and Emmylou Harris’s “Bluebird Wine.” His songs have also been recorded by Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Lee Ann Womack, and more.
At the invitation of Harris, Crowell moved to Los Angeles as a member of her backing band, the Hot Band, in the mid-1970s. He began his solo career with his debut album, “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” in 1978. Returning to Nashville in 1982, he established a career as a successful recording artist with his 1988 album, “Diamonds and Dirt.” The album yielded five #1 country singles, earning Crowell a Grammy for Best Country Song for “After All This Time.”
This program was presented in support of the museum’s major exhibition “Outlaws and Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s.”
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