Prolific country music songwriter readies for hall of fame induc - WSMV News 4

Prolific country music songwriter readies for hall of fame induction

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Don Schlitz is being inducted for the Songwriter category. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Don Schlitz) Don Schlitz is being inducted for the Songwriter category. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Don Schlitz)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Don Schlitz dropped out of school and came to Nashville when he was 20 years old. He had $80 in his pocket and the hope of becoming a songwriter.

It took some time, but eventually Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis and Garth Brooks all took notice.

Getting a sing-along from your song is success for the songwriter. Schlitz knows that feeling.

Kenny Rogers made “The Gambler” famous, but the words came from Schlitz. The song was released in 1978 and is still alive.

“Used to be that’s my favorite song, then my dad’s favorite song. Now it’s my grandfather’s favorite song,” Schlitz said.

Schlitz wrote 24 No. 1 country songs and 50 in the top 10. Grammy Awards and hits just kept on coming.

He’s sung the songs thousands of times and said they never get old.

“Why would anybody get tired of singing a song that was a song they wrote that they wanted to hear?” Schlitz said.

The singer gets the fanfare and the fame. It’s quieter for the writer.

“I could stand there for two or three hours and no one knows who I am,” Schlitz said. “And you know, that’s great. That’s great.”

Schlitz will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this October alongside Alan Jackson and Jerry Reed.

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