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
  • Rodney Crowell • ‘Poets and Prophets’ • Live at the Hall, 2022

    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...

  • Mark D. Sanders • Poets and Prophets, 2012

    Mark D. Sanders—co-writer of country classic “I Hope You Dance,” among other hits—describes his journey to the top of the country charts during this May 26, 2012, edition of Poets and Prophets, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s ongoing series to honor songwriters.

    A California native, ...

  • Allen Shamblin • Poets and Prophets, 2018

    Allen Shamblin—the award-winning songwriter who co-wrote such classics as Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” reflects on his career during this November 17, 2018, edition of the Museum’s ongoing Poets and Prophets series.

    Born in Tennessee ...

  • Jerry Chesnut • Poets and Prophets, 2009

    Jerry Chesnut—the songwriter behind classic country hits including “A Good Year for the Roses” and “It’s Four in the Morning”—shares detailed, often funny stories about his work and his career during this September 26, 2009, program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Poets and P...

  • Jerry Foster • Poets and Prophets, 2011

    Jerry Foster—who, as a member of renowned songwriting team Foster and Rice, delivered country hits for stars including Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Paycheck—surveys his career and creative partnership with Bill Rice during a September 10, 2011, conversation at the Country Music Hall...

  • Jeffrey Steele • Poets and Prophets, 2008

    Hit songwriter Jeffrey Steele performs signature hits like “My Wish” and “What Hurts the Most” and talks about his songwriting process and inspiration during this September 27, 2008, program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s songwriting-focused Poets and Prophets series.

    Steel...

  • Hank Cochran • Poets and Prophets, 2007

    Hank Cochran gives a spirited interview about his long career as a songwriter—with anecdotes about Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, as well as stories behind country classics including “Don’t Touch Me” and “Ocean Front Property”—during a Poets and Prophets program at the Country Music Hall of Fame....

  • Craig Wiseman • Poets and Prophets, 2007

    Craig Wiseman shares insights from his songwriting career and sings some of his biggest hits—including 2004 Tim McGraw chart-topper “Live Like You Were Dying” and award-winning Brooks & Dunn single “Believe”—during a Poets and Prophets program at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Held D...

  • Bob McDill • Poets and Prophets, 2008

    Bob McDill shares memories from his lengthy career as a hit country songwriter and offers insights into classic hits he’s written for Alabama, Dan Seals, and Don Williams during this Poets and Prophets program, held March 1, 2008, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Texas native McDill...

  • Roger Cook • Poets and Prophets, 2013

    Roger Cook traces his life from austere beginnings in Bristol, England, to writing hits for Crystal Gayle, The Hollies, George Strait, and Don Williams, during this Poets and Prophets interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, held on October 5, 2013. Accompanying himself on ukulele,...

  • Curly Putman • Poets and Prophets, 2009

    Curly Putman—the writer or co-writer of hits including “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Green, Green Grass of Home,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” and “My Elusive Dreams”—surveys his catalog of country classics during this live interview, held March 28, 2009, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Par...

  • Dallas Frazier • Poets and Prophets, 2010

    Dallas Frazier, the country songwriter known for “Elvira,” “Beneath Still Waters,” and “There Goes My Everything,” speaks about his best-known compositions and explains his thirty-year sabbatical from writing during this Poets and Prophets program, recorded December 10, 2010, at the Country Music...

  • 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...