LEGENDARY SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER ALLEN REYNOLDS TO BE SALUTED AS POET AND PROPHETLEGENDARY SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER ALLEN REYNOLDS TO BE SALUTED AS POET AND PROPHET AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM ON OCTOBER 6, 2012
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Allen Reynolds will take a seat at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, October 6, as the latest subject of the quarterly series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m., in-depth interview and performance, held in the museum's Ford Theater, is included with museum admission and free to museum members. The program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org.
The 90-minute program, hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray, will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum's Frist Library and Archive. Seating for the program is limited, and program passes are required for admittance. Immediately following, Reynolds will sign limited edition, commemorative Hatch Show Print® posters. (Visit the museum’s website for complete admission and signing details.)
As a songwriter and a producer, Allen Reynolds helped shape country music for more than three decades. His song credits include “Five o’Clock World,” “Dreaming My Dreams with You,” “We Should Be Together,” and “Ready for the Times to Get Better.” He has produced albums for Shawn Camp, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Hal Ketchum and Kathy Mattea. He also played a major role in launching Garth Brooks’ career and Don Williams’ solo career.
Allen Reynolds was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, on August 18, 1938, and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. During his freshman year at Rhodes College, Reynolds met Dickey Lee. The two became fast friends and began writing and performing together. Lee signed a recording contract with Sun Records, and the two friends met Cowboy Jack Clement.
When Clement joined Nashville’s RCA Records in 1960, he signed Reynolds, who recorded a few moderately successful singles. After a few years, Clement moved to Beaumont, Texas, to open a studio with Bill Hall—Reynolds and Lee followed. During that time, the two wrote “I Saw Linda Yesterday”—a Top Ten pop hit for Lee.
In 1964, Reynolds moved back to Memphis and worked as a banker and moonlighted as a writer for Screen Gems Publishing Company. His day job inspired his song “Five o’Clock World.” The Vogues made it a Top Five hit in 1965. (Hal Ketchum, with Reynolds as his producer, turned the song into a Top 20 country hit in 1992.) Reynolds and Lee started Gold Dust Music publishing company and represented songwriter Bob McDill. (Later, Reynolds co-owned the successful Forerunner Music, which was sold to Universal Music Publishing Group in 2000.)
By 1970, Reynolds had left the bank and moved his family to Nashville. He joined Clement’s publishing company, Jack Music. A few years later, Reynolds was managing Jack Music and Clement’s newly founded label, JMI Records. During this time Reynolds signed Don Williams and produced his first two albums.
At the beginning of Reynolds’ career as a producer, he continued to write great country songs. Johnny Russell recorded “Catfish John” in 1973; Waylon Jennings recorded “Dreaming My Dreams with You” for his 1975 album Dreaming My Dreams; and Don Williams recorded “We Should Be Together” (a Top Five hit in 1974). Williams and Jennings each recorded “I Recall a Gypsy Woman” during this period.
JMI Records closed in 1975. Reynolds became an independent producer. Crystal Gayle was one of his first clients. Together they recorded 10 albums—which produced 17 #1 singles, including her signature classic “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” (composed by Richard Leigh). Reynolds also wrote Gayle’s Top Ten hits “Wrong Road Again,” “Somebody Loves You” and the chart-topping “Ready for the Times to Get Better.” In 1984, Reynolds met Kathy Mattea and produced such award-winning songs as “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Where’ve You Been.”
Reynolds began working with an unknown artist named Garth Brooks in 1989. As of 2012, he has produced every album Brooks has released—with the exception of the 1999 pop departure Garth Brooks … In the Life of Chris Gaines. Brooks’ Reynolds-produced albums have collectively sold more than any other country artist in history.
Reynolds was the longtime owner of Jack’s Tracks Recording Studio in Nashville. Brooks bought the studio from Reynolds in 2010. In 2012, on the singer’s 50th birthday, Brooks renamed Jack’s Tracks as Allentown Records, in honor of Reynolds.
Reynolds has received four CMA awards, five ACM awards and numerous BMI awards—including a Million-Air, a Two Million-Air and a Four Million-Air award. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music history. Previous Poets and Prophets honorees include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Wayne Carson, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Sonny Curtis, Dean Dillon, Kye Fleming, Jerry Foster, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Roger Murrah, Dan Penn, Curly Putman, Mark D. Sanders, Don Schlitz, Whitey Shafer, Jeffrey Steele, Norro Wilson and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The Museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the Museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.