Gretchen Peters

Induction Year: 2014

Birth Name: Gretchen Peters

Birth Date: 11-14-1957

Place of Birth: Bronxville, New York

The youngest of four children, Gretchen Peters was raised in the New York City suburb of Pelham, NY in Westchester County. Her father was an author and a television documentary producer. The household was intellectual and creative, and the songwriter was writing poems while still in grade school. When she was seven, she asked for and got a guitar for Christmas.

Her parents divorced when she was eight. In 1970, she moved with her mother to Boulder, Colorado. Her mother took her to local clubs, and the teenaged Peters was soon performing in them.

When she was 18, records by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris led her to the music of Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard, who deeply influenced her as a songwriter. Peters made her first homemade recording at age 19, and it received local radio airplay. She then quit the University of Colorado to make music full time.

Inspired by the successful examples of K.T. Oslin, Steve Earle and Nanci Griffith, Gretchen Peters moved to Nashville in late 1987. Within two years, established artists were recording her songs.

Her first big success as a songwriter was “The Chill of an Early Fall,” recorded by George Strait in 1991. Peters’ domestic-violence saga “Independence Day” was a hit for Martina McBride in 1994 and was named the 1995 CMA Song of the Year. It was also nominated for a country-song Grammy Award, as was the 1995 Patty Loveless hit “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am.”

Gretchen Peters was named Songwriter of the Year at the 1996 Nashville Music Awards. In 2007, she was Folkwax magazine’s Artist of the Year.

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams has also been her collaborator on many songs. In addition to providing songs to him, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Pam Tillis, Shania Twain and more, Peters has always pursued her own career as a performing and recording artist.

"Brothers Under The Sun"

Bryan Adams2002 
Michael Martin Murphy2004 

"Cloud #9"

(written with Bryan Adams, Martin Karl Sandberg)

Bryan Adams1999 #6 U.K.

"Dance With The One That Brought You"

(written with Sam Hogin)

Cee Cee Chapman1990 
Shania Twain1993 #55 country

"Don't Let Go"

Bryan Adams & Sarah McLachlan2002 

"Here I Am"

Bryan Adams2002 #5 adult contemporary, #5 U.K., soundtrack: Spirit

"Hey Elvis"

Brian Setzer & Bryan Adams1996 
Billy Ray Cyrus2000 

"High Lonesome"

Randy Travis1991 
The Woodys1998 
Mark Newton2000 

"How You Learn To Live Alone"

(written with Mary Gauthier)

Jonathan Jackson2013 soundtrack: Nashville (TV)
Mary Gauthier2014 

"I Saw Your Light"

Lee Ann Womack2002 

"If Heaven"

Gretchen Peters2004 
Andy Griggs2005 #5 country, #65 pop
Keith Marcum2008 

"If Wishes Were Horses"

Claire Lynch1997 
Kimber Clayton1998 
The Muellers2008 

"Independence Day"

1994 CMA Song of the Year

Martina McBride1994 #12 country
Gretchen Peters2001 
Carrie Underwood2005 

"Inside Out"

Bryan Adams1998 
Trisha Yearwood w/ Don Henley2002 

"Let That Pony Run"

Pam Tillis1993  #4 country

"Like Water Into Wine"

Patty Loveless1997 #57 country
Gretchen Peters2001 

"Love’s Been Rough on Me"

Etta James1997 
Lee Roy Parnell2001 

"My Baby Loves Me"

Patricia Conroy1992 #8 Canada
Martina McBride1993 #2 country

"New Years Eve 1999"

Alabama & Gretchen Peters2000 #55 country
Eric Hancock2007 

"Nobody's Girl"

Michelle Wright 1996 #50 country

"On A Bus To St. Cloud"

Trisha Yearwood1996 #59 country
Gretchen Peters1996 
Jimmy LaFave2001 
Angela Heatherly2007 

"Over Africa"

Gretchen Peters1996 
Neville Brothers1999 

"Rock Steady"

(written with Bryan Adams)

Bonnie Raitt & Bryan Adams1995 #30 adult contemporary, #73 pop


Suzy Bogguss1994 #65 country
Gretchen Peters2000 


Lionel Cartwright1991 
Bryan Austin1994 
The Gordons1997 

"The Chill Of An Early Fall"

(written with Green Daniel)

Joe Barnhill1990 
George Strait1991 #3 country
Gretchen Peters2004 

"The Secret Of Life"

Gretchen Peters1996 
Faith Hill1999 #5 country, #46 pop

"This Side Of Paradise"

(written with Bryan Adams)

Bryan Adams2005  #20 adult contemporary

"This Uncivil War"

Gretchen Peters1996 
Martina McBride1999 

"To Be With You"

Larry Boone1991 #34 country

"Traveller’s Prayer"

George Jones1991 

"What Would It Take"

Anne Murray1996 

"When You Are Old"

Martina McBride1992 
Gretchen Peters1996 #68 country
Jeff & Sheri Easter2001 
Eleanor McCain2001 
Patty Morabito2003 
Hilary Ann Feldman2008 

"When You Love Someone"

(written with Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen)

Bryan Adams1997 soundtrack: Hope Floats
John Rich2000 
Sweet Surrender2001 
Lynne Rothrock2002 
Kenny Rogers2013 

"You Don't Even Know Who I Am"

Patty Loveless1995 #5 country
Tamika Tyler2005 
Gretchen Peters2005 
Angela Hacker2007 

"You've Been A Friend To Me"

Bryan Adams2010 #13 country (Canada), soundtrack: Old Dogs

Gretchen Peters

Induction Year: 2014