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
  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Songwriter Red Lane Interview • Poets and Prophets

    Hit country songwriter Red Lane visits the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2010 for an in-depth, one-on-one interview, part of the Museum's Poets & Prophets series featuring legendary songwriters.

    Lane launched his songwriting career in the mid-1960s, with stars including Faron Young, W...