John Hiatt

Induction Year: 2008

Birth Name: John Hiatt
Birth Date: August 20, 1952
Place of Birth: Indianapolis, IN
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Thirty years after the release of his debut album, John Hiatt remains one of America's most respected and influential singer-songwriters. As the Los Angeles Times once wrote, "(Hiatt) writes the funniest sad songs--and the saddest funny songs--of just about anybody alive."

Hiatt earned a Grammy nomination for 2000's Crossing Muddy Waters, and B.B. King and Eric Clapton shared a Grammy for their album "Riding With The King", whose title track was a Hiatt composition. His songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love"), Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Milsap, Iggy Pop, the Neville Brothers, Rosanne Cash (the #1 country hit "The Way We Make A Broken Heart"), the Jeff Healey Band ("Angel Eyes"), Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt and even the cartoon bear band of Disney's 2002 film The Country Bears.

His latest album, critically acclaimed as always, 2003's Beneath This Gruff Exterior, was joined that same year by the third Hiatt covers tribute to date, It'll Come To You, and his seventh U.S.-issued retrospective, The Best Of John Hiatt.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, Hiatt enjoyed a garage rock youth. After graduating high school, he moved to Nashville and immediately landed a job writing for a music publishing company. Three Dog Night cut his song "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here," which went to the Top 20 in 1974. Epic then signed Hiatt to his own record deal and released his debut, Hangin' Around The Observatory, later that year. Following 1975's Overcoats, he exited the label and moved to California. Then there were two albums on MCA (1979's Slug Line, 1980's Two Bit Monsters) before a stint on Geffen resulted in three more (All Of A Sudden 1982, Riding With The King 1983, Warming Up To The Ice Age 1985).

With seven solo albums under his belt, his A&M debut, Bring The Family, (1987) proved to be his landmark. His rootsy rock-country-blues fusion, performed with guitarist Ry Cooder, bassist Nick Lowe and drummer Jim Keltner, was Hiatt's first charting effort and he was named Best Male Vocalist in Rolling Stone's Critics Poll. Raitt would later cover the album's "Thing Called Love" on her multiplatinum smash Nick Of Time, and its "Memphis In The Meantime" and "Have A Little Faith In Me" (covered by artists from Joe Cocker and Delbert McClinton to Jewel) became fan favorites.

1988's Slow Turning, his first recorded with his touring band the Goners, and Stolen Moments (1990) continued the praise. After the Bring The Family line-up partnered in 1992 for an album and tour as Little Village, a solo Hiatt returned for Perfectly Good Guitar (1993). The next year, he released his first live album, the tongue-in-cheek titled Hiatt Comes Alive At Budokan?, before relocating to Capitol Records for Walk On (1995) and Little Head (1997). His albums since have been independently released: Crossing Muddy Waters, 2001's The Tiki Bar is Open (which reunited him with the Goners after almost 10 years apart), Beneath This Gruff Exterior (the first album credited to John Hiatt and the Goners) and 2005's Master of Disaster, on which Hiatt is backed by roots rockers the North Mississippi Allstars.

Today, Hiatt resides on a 100-acre farm outside of Nashville--and his list of classic songs which, besides those already mentioned, includes "Tennessee Plates," "Lipstick Sunset," "She Loves The Jerk" and "Drive South" continues to grow. A dedicated following hails each new album and tour even as fellow artists continue to mine a catalog of some of the most astute, wry and powerful songs in American popular music. On Sunday, April 22, 2007, John Hiatt was honored with his own star on Nashville's Walk of Fame.

Discography / Career Highlights

Catalog Highlights:

1974: Hangin' Around the Observatory (Epic)
Produced by Glen Spreen

1975: Overcoats (Epic)
Produced by Glen Spreen

1979: Slug Line (MCA)
Produced by Denny Bruce

1980: Two Bit Monsters (MCA)
Produced by Denny Bruce

1982: All of a Sudden (Geffen)
Produced by Tony Visconti

1983: Riding with the King (Geffen)
Produced by Simon Climie

1985: Warming Up to the Ice Age (Geffen)
Produced by Norbert Putnam

1987: Bring the Family (A&M)
Produced by John Chelew

1988: Slow Turning (A&M)
Produced by Glyn Johns
#8 Single "Slow Turning"

1989: "She Don't Love Nobody" (MCA/Curb)
Performed by Desert Rose Band
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song

1990: Stolen Moments (A&M)
Produced by Glyn Johns

1992: Little Village (Reprise)
Performed by Little Village - Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Jim Keltner and Nick Lowe
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Duo/Group with Vocals

1993: Perfectly Good Guitar (A&M)
Produced by Matt Wallace

1994: Hiatt Comes Alive at Budokan? (A&M)
Produced by Matt Wallace

1995: Walk On (Capitol)
Produced by Don Smith

1996: "Cry Love" - Walk On (Capitol)
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal

1997: Little Head (Capitol)
Produced by Davey Faragher, John Hiatt

1998: "Have A Little Faith In Me" - Walk On (Capitol)
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal

2000: Crossing Muddy Waters (Vanguard)
Produced by Matt Wallace

2000: Crossing Muddy Waters (Vanguard)
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album

2001: The Tiki Bar is Open (Vanguard)
Produced by Jay Joyce

2003: Beneath This Gruff Exterior (New West)
Produced by Don Smith

2005: Master of Disaster (New West)
Produced by John Dickinson

2005: Live From Austin, TX (New West)
Produced by Bill Arhos

2008: Same Old Man (New West)
Produced by John Hiatt

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