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Don Schlitz

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Biography

A 1993 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Don Schlitz was one of Nashville's preeminent songwriters and the author of numerous chart-topping hits. He was a native of Durham, North Carolina, and after a short stint at Duke University in the early '70s, he moved to Nashville to seek his fortune, working as a swing-shift computer operator for five years while honing his songwriting skills. Schlitz got his big break in 1978 when Kenny Rogers had a monster hit with his "The Gambler." The number one smash not only became one of Rogers' signature songs, but also spawned a series of TV-movies; later, Schlitz recorded and released his own version of the hit on his debut album, Dreamers Matinee. During the '80s, many other prominent artists recorded his songs, including John Conlee, Alabama, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, and Keith Whitley. Schlitz frequently co-wrote songs with Paul Overstreet; one of their most distinguished collaborations was "Forever and Ever Amen," which became an enormous hit for Randy Travis. In 1987, Schlitz wrote or co-wrote five number one singles, including "On the Other Hand," another hit for Travis. He continued steadily churning out hit songs, and was even commissioned by President George Bush to compose a theme for his "Points of Light" campaign in the early '90s.

Top Songs

Born:

19 August 1952 in Durham, NC

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s