Meet Our Speakers

Don Schlitz

Don Schlitz’s first recorded song, The Gambler, sung by Kenny Rogers, won him the 1978 Grammy for Country Song of The Year. Randy Travis’ Forever and Ever, Amen earned him the same award in 1988. Don’s won three CMA Song of the Year Awards and two ACM Song of Year Awards. His songbook includes 24 #1’s and such Country standards as On The Other Hand, I Feel Lucky, Houston Solution, One Promise Too Late, He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, 40 Hour Week (for a Livin’), Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain, When You Say Nothing At All, Deeper than the Holler, Learning to Live Again, and Strong Enough to Bend, songs sung by Reba, Garth Brooks, Keith Whitley, Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tanya Tucker, The Judds and many others. In 2001 he wrote the songs for the Broadway show, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This four-time ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Schlitz received the ASCAP Creative Achievement Award in 2007 and in 2010 was honored with the Academy of Country Music's Poet's Award for lifetime achievement in songwriting.  In 2012, Don was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City. Kenny Rogers, when inducting him, said “Don doesn’t just write songs; he writes careers.”

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