Poets and Prophets

Poets and Prophets

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's in-depth interview series Poets and Prophets spotlights country songwriters whose contributions to the genre have been extensive, and enduring.

Launched in 2007, the Poets and Prophets series aims to fuel a deeper understanding of how famous songs are born and built, and how master songwriters approach the craft. Members of the Museum's staff lead one-on-one interviews with these legendary country songwriters, and programs are augmented with performances, film and audio clips, and historic photographs.

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Poets and Prophets
  • Al Anderson • Poets and Prophets, 2016

    On stage at the Museum, Al Anderson performs live and details his transition from decades as guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the rock band NRBQ to becoming a successful country songwriter.

    Early in the program—part of the Museum’s Poets and Prophets series, recorded on February 6, 2016—Ande...

  • Bob DiPiero • Poets and Prophets, 2014

    Bob DiPiero reveals the spark of inspiration that led him to write “American Made,” “Blue Clear Sky,” and other hits during this interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, held on February 5, 2014, as part of the Poets and Prophets series. He also explains how giving guitar lessons i...

  • Bill Anderson • Poets & Prophets, 2009

    In an interview for the Museum’s Poets & Prophets series, Bill Anderson, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, talks about his approach to songwriting, his formative years, some of his biggest hits as a songwriter (many recorded by other artists), and his comeback as a songwriter beginning ...

  • Buzz Cason, Dallas Frazier, Dickey Lee, Dan Penn • Poets and Prophets Reunion

    Hit-making songwriters Buzz Cason, Dallas Frazier, Dickey Lee, and Dan Penn come together to perform signature songs at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on April 1, 2017, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Museum’s Poets and Prophets series.

    A Nashville native, Cason has written s...

  • Pat Alger • Poets and Prophets, 2019

    Songwriter Pat Alger—known for writing hits recorded by Garth Brooks and many others—performs and shares memories from his musical education and career, live in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theater.

    Though Alger contributed significant hits to several artists, he made his big...

  • Dean Dillon • Poets & Prophets, 2008

    Dean Dillon—one of the most successful and influential songwriters in country music, and a major source of hits for Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait—talks about his career during a 2008 “Poets and Prophets” interview at the Museum, augmented by live performances, video and audio cl...

  • Billy Joe Shaver • Poets and Prophets, 2018

    Songwriter Billy Joe Shaver performs and shares stories from his colorful life and career live in the Ford Theater on September 15, 2018, as part of the Museum's Poets and Prophets series, which spotlights songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music.

    Billy Joe Shaver op...

  • Norro Wilson • Poets & Prophets, 2011

    Norro Wilson, a leading Nashville record producer and songwriter from the 1970s through the ’90s, talks about his life and career in country music (with a focus on his songwriting) during this 2011 interview, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s signature interview series, “Poets &...

  • Lori McKenna • Poets & Prophets, 2018

    Singer-songwriter Lori McKenna has written and co-written a collection of country hits, including Hunter Hayes’s “I Want Crazy,” RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls,” Little Big Town's Grammy- and CMA Award-winning “Girl Crush, and “Humble and Kind,” a #1 for Tim McGraw.

    Here, McKenna visits the Country M...

  • Dan Penn • Poets & Prophets, 2010

    In his first-ever interview before a live audience, acclaimed R&B songwriter and record producer Dan Penn talks about his formative years in the music business in Muscle Shoals and Memphis, his songwriting, and his memories of working with Rick Hall, Arthur Alexander, Chips Moman, Spooner Oldham,...

  • Liz Rose • Poets and Prophets, 2019

    Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose—Taylor Swift's go-to co-writer for such early hits as "Tim McGraw," "White Horse," and "You Belong with Me"—recounts her unlikely career journey for the Poets and Prophets series at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    During this interview and performanc...

  • Don Schlitz • Poets & Prophets, 2011

    Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz discusses his songwriting career—encompassing more than fifty Top Ten country hits, including the Grammy and CMA Award-winning Kenny Rogers chart-topper “The Gambler”—during this 2011 interview, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Poet...

  • Gretchen Peters • Poets and Prophets, 2015

    Songwriter Gretchen Peters shares live songs and stories from her award-winning career during this January 2015 program at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, part of the ongoing Poets and Prophets series, which spotlights songwriters who’ve made significant contributions to the country mu...

  • Shane McAnally • Poets and Prophets, 2016

    Shane McAnally is honored for his songwriting and reflects on his life and career during this 2016 interview and performance, held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the songwriter-focused Poets and Prophets series.

    The program opens with McAnally performing the Miranda Lamb...

  • Sonny Throckmorton • Poets and Prophets, 2013

    Texas-based songwriting legend Sonny Throckmorton—whose credits include Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” and “If We’re Not Back in Love by Monday,” George Strait’s “The Cowboy Rides Away,” Moe Bandy’s “It’s a Cheatin’ Situation,” and Jerry Lee Lewis’s "Middle Age Crazy” and “I Wish I Was Eighteen A...

  • Billy Edd Wheeler • Poets and Prophets, 2014

    Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Billy Edd Wheeler—whose many masterful compositions include “Coward of the County” (Kenny Rogers), “Jackson” (Johnny Cash and June Carter), “It’s Midnight” (Elvis Presley), and “Gimme Back My Blues” (Jerry Reed)—discusses his career and performs during a ...

  • Buzz Cason • Poets and Prophets, 2014

    Songwriter Buzz Cason discusses his career and performs during this 2014 Poets and Prophets program, held to mark the tenth anniversary of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s exhibition and Grammy-winning CD, “Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945–1970.”

    In 1956, Caso...

  • Tom Douglas • Poets and Prophets, 2013

    During his 100-minute Poets and Prophets program, songwriter Tom Douglas performs his hits “The House That Built Me,” “Little Rock,” and “Love Remains,” and talks about his upbringing; musical influences and beginnings; decision to leave a successful real estate career to pursue songwriting; stor...

  • Whitey Shafer • Poets and Prophets, 2008

    Sanger “Whitey” Shafer—a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame who supplied songs for George Jones, George Strait, Keith Whitley, and many others—performs live and offers a life- and career-spanning discussion during this 2008 program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’...

  • Roger Murrah • Poets and Prophets, 2010

    Roger Murrah—who was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 on the strength of country chart-toppers such as “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “High Cotton,” “I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why),” “If I Could Make a Living,” “Life’s Highway,” and many others—talks about his musical and...

  • Mike Reid • Poets and Prophets, 2017

    During his 2017 Poets and Prophets program, songwriter Mike Reid—whose catalog includes hits for Ronnie Milsap, Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna, Tim McGraw, and many others—talks about his life and music, interspersing a handful of performances, including “Everywhere,” “Stranger in My House,” “Walk on Fait...

  • Red Simpson • Poets and Prophets, 2013

    Red Simpson, who became known as the Bard of Bakersfield for his songwriting ability, performs live and sits down for an hourlong interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum during this 2013 program, part of the ongoing Poets & Prophets series, centered on songwriters who have made sig...

  • Sharon Vaughn • Poets and Prophets, 2017

    Sharon Vaughn—whose songwriting credits include the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” Reba McEntire’s “I’m Not That Lonely Yet,” the Lorrie Morgan-Keith Whitley duet “’Til a Tear Becomes a Rose,” Patty Loveless’s “Lonely Too Long,” and Randy Travis’s “Out of My Bones,” among many others—p...

  • Paul Overstreet • Poets and Prophets, 2016

    Hit songwriter Paul Overstreet—who’s written hits for George Jones, Randy Travis, Keith Whitley, and many others—performs a selection of live songs and discusses his decades-long career during this 2016 program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s ongoing Poets and Prophets series...