Williams_CrazyHeart

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Nov. 3: The Country Music Hall of Fame was born 48 years ago today, with the induction of its first three members. One was Jimmie Rodgers, the first big star of commercial country music. The other two are represented here, in a song written by Fred Rose and recorded by his superstar protege, Hank Williams, in 1951.

Rose was a professional tunesmith who’d migrated from Tin Pan Alley to country music in the early 1940s. Besides his many writing credits — including such classics as “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “It’s A Sin,” “Roly Poly” and “Hang Your Head In Shame” — Rose helped pioneer Nashville’s music business when he and Roy Acuff formed the city’s first music publishing company. And he helped guide the career of the red-hot Hank Williams, as both a songwriter and a recording artist.

He shares writer credit with Williams on several songs, and is believed to have contributed anything from slight polishing to significant reworking to several others. This one came from Rose and co-writer Maurice Murray. Hank recorded it in September 1951, with Rose as usual overseeing the session at the old Castle Studio in downtown Nashville. Also cut that day was “(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle,” which MGM Records paired with “Crazy Heart” for a two-sided hit.

Learn more about all three of the charter inductees from their Country Music Hall of Fame profiles here, here and here. And check out their song catalogs from the Songwriters Hall of Fame Web site herehere and here. Among the hundreds of titles you’ll find a wealth of classic numbers in not only the country field but the Great American Songbook.

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