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 and raised in Texas, Shamblin concentrated on sports in high school, drifted through college, and was working as an Austin real estate appraiser when chance encounters with legendary songwriters Billy Joe Shaver and Townes Van Zandt inspired him to try their craft.
After months of struggling, Shamblin finally completed a handful of songs, then stumbled into an introduction to a Nashville record-label executive. Her encouragement, however, ended up paralyzing him, and he suffered through two years of writer’s block before he was finally able to find his musical voice.
A gifted storyteller, Allen Shamblin recounts his journey here from untested amateur to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriters, pointing out the people—such as Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Don Schlitz—who helped him along the way.
During the program, Shamblin also performs four of his songs, including “The House That Built Me,” which earned CMA and ACM nods for Song of the Year, and “He Walked on Water,” his first #1 song, recorded by Randy Travis.
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