Yesterday, April 5th, it was announced that songwriter Don Schlitz had been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame along with Jerry Reed and Alan Jackson. The articles about Don's well deserved election generally mentioned "The Gambler" made famous by Kenny Rogers, "Forever and Ever Amen" and "On the Other Hand" recorded by Randy Travis and "When You say Nothing at All" by Keith Whitley and later Alison Krauss. Don's website mentions about 60 of his best songs. Check it out. (Altogether, he has 477 writing credits on ASCAP.) He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
My favorite Schlitz songs:
solo writing efforts - "The Gambler" and "The Greatest" for Kenny Rogers
with co-writers (in parenthesis):
"He Thinks He'll Keep Her", "I Feel Lucky", "I Take My Chances" and "Not Too Much to Ask", all for Mary Chapin Carpenter (MCC)
"Forever and Ever Amen", "Deeper Than the Holler" and "On the Other Hand" for Randy Travis and "Houston Solution" for Ronnie Milsap (Paul Overstreet)
"Loved Too Much" - Ty Herndon (Billy Livsey)
"Forty Hour Week (for a Livin')" - Alabama (Dave Loggins)
"Give Me Wings" - Michael Johnson (Kye Fleming)
"I Think about You" - Collin Raye (Steve Seskin)
"I Watched It All on My Radio" - Lionel Cartwright (Lionel Cartwright)
"Longshot" - Baillie & the Boys (Gary Scruggs)
"Oh Heart", "The Road That Leads Me to You", "She Deserves You" and "Read Between the Lines" for Baillie & the Boys (Kathy Baillie & Michael Bonagura)
One of my favorite Schlitz songs is missing from his website and it was recorded by a very famous country artist, Tim McGraw. The song, "Blank Sheet of Paper", was on his 2004 album, "Live Like You Were Dying". Don wrote it with the Warren Brothers, Brad and Brett. It was not released as a single. Maybe that's the reason it does not appear on Don's website.
"But he just stares at me
And I just stare at him
He don't know where to start
To say he doesn't want it to end
Now it’s one hour later
And I'm still a blank sheet of paper"
My wife and I were at a Bluebird Cafe show on October 12, 2013 which featured Don, the Warren Brothers, Josh Kear and Mark Irwin. One of the songs performed by the Warren Brothers that night was "Blank Sheet of Paper". A few unexpected guests showed up, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Faith sang one song but I don't recall what it was. The Warren Brothers have recorded 4 albums. The last two were titled "Well Deserved Obscurity" and "Barely Famous Hits". I like their self-deprecating sense of humor.
Another missing favorite from Don's website is "Love Wouldn't Lie to Me" for Trisha Yearwood (Terry Radigan). It was an album track from Trisha's "Where Your Road Leads" album.
What are your favorite Schlitz songs?