Voters for this year's Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame class face a tough choice. They must induct just one from a stacked field of singer/songwriter candidates: Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Eddy Raven and Dwight Yoakam.
Keith, Paisley and Yoakam need no introduction in 2019, and Raven is the Cajun and reggae-influenced country songwriter and recording artist behind a staggering 13 straight top 10 solo hits released between 1984 and 1990.
The lone inductee will be part of the same class as two of the following eight songwriters: Shawn Camp (Garth Brooks' "Two Pina Coladas," Brooks & Dunn's "How Long Gone"), Ed Hill (Reba McEntire's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," John Michael Montgomery's "Be My Baby Tonight"), Marcus Hummon (The Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away," Sara Evans' "Born to Fly"), Archie Jordan (multiple Ronnie Milsap hits), Kostas (multiple hits for Yoakam and Patty Loveless),Rivers Rutherford (Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," Paisley and Dolly Parton's "When I Get Where I'm Going"), Ronnie Rogers (Alabama's "Dixieland Delight" and "Jukebox in My Mind") and Jerry Salley (McEntire's "I'm Going to Take That Mountain," Wade Hayes' "How Do You Sleep at Night").
Read More: 10 of the Best Dwight Yoakam Songs
Per a press release, all nominees experienced their first significant (Top 20) songs at least 20 years ago. The three selections will be inducted at the 49th anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, Oct.14, at the Music City Center.
In addition, a veteran songwriter and veteran songwriter/artist, with their first significant (Top 20) songs coming at least 30 years ago, will be elected by a separate body of veteran voters. Those nominees will not be announced in advance. All inductees will be revealed later this summer.