Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Buddy Cannon

Ep. 119 - Buddy Cannon 

"Give It Away" - A Nashville Institution


Scott and Paul talk about their friends at Pearl Snap Studios and share a listener-submitted clip highlighting what Pearl Snap can do for you, too!

PART TWO - 3:47 mark
Paul shares a recent eye-opening musical experience.

PART THREE - 8:47 mark

Scott's in-depth conversation with Buddy Cannon

* Click the orange play button below to begin listening. Or click here to download to your device.

Scott calls up Buddy Cannon to learn about how he went from growing up in a family so poor they didn't have a car to becoming a legendary Nashville songwriter and record producer; how he started writing songs out of boredom, the circumstances of getting his first four cuts in two days (all by the CMA's Entertainer of the Year); how his first charting single became a #1 hit; the experience of writing his first song after getting sober; why he had to tell Kenny Chesney he couldn't produce his early albums; the real-life conversation that became his biggest hit; the time he freaked out when his musical hero called him on the phone; and how he and Willie Nelson only co-write via text message.

Though widely recognized as a respected Nashville record producer, Buddy Cannon initially made his mark in the music business as a songwriter. His first charting single came with Mel Tillis’ recording of “I Believe in You,” which reached #1 on the Billboard country rankings in 1978. He went on to write several Vern Gosdin hits, including the #1 singles “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy.”

George Straight took his “I’ve Come to Expect it from You” to #1, but his greatest success with Straight came in 2006 when “Give It Away” hit the top spot on the charts and went on to be named Song of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

Additionally, Buddy’s songs have been recorded by Hank Snow, Loretta Lynn, David Allan Coe, Billy Ray Cyrus, George Jones, Gene Watson, Alabama, Bill Anderson, Don Williams, Tracy Byrd, and others.

As a producer he’s worked on projects for Sammy Kershaw, Sara Evans, Chely Wright, Craig Morgan, John Michael Montgomery, Reba McEntire, Joe Diffie, Joe Nichols, Jamey Johnson, Randy Travis, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Rhonda Vincent, Dolly Parton, and Merle Haggard. He has produced most of Willie Nelson’s recent albums, and has produced every Kenny Chesney album since 1997. His work with Chesney includes nearly two dozen #1 singles. A multiple Grammy winner, Cannon has also won a CMA and three ACM awards for his production work, including the ACM’s Producer of the Year honor in 2005.

Songcraft's Buddy Cannon Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a selection of Buddy's great songs, including the majority of his collaborations with Willie Nelson. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.