Keith Stegall


Although the average country music fan may not recognize the name Keith Stegall, chances are, they've probably listened to, bought and enjoyed a record with Keith Stegall's name on it. And that is just fine with Keith. As a producer and a songwriter, Keith has consistently been providing listeners with some of the best music in the world for over the past 25 years. The bare numbers are staggering: Producer and/or songwriter of over forty number one hits. Producer of twenty-one platinum and multi-platinum albums plus eight gold albums. Producer of over 50 million records sold. Four CMA awards. Ten ACM awards. Six Grammy nominations. The list goes on...and on...

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Stegall grew up around the music industry, His father, Bob, played steel guitar for country legend Johnny Horton. Keith attended the Louisiana hayride before he was even in school. At age eight, he made his stage debut at a regional show in Tyler, Texas.

"My uncle had a recording studio, and he would take me there while he was working. One night he heard me playing the piano, and brought a mic down and cranked up the tape. So I rattled off four ar five tunes for him including 'It Keeps Right On Hurtin', and 'Six Days On The Road'. That was my first experience in the studio. I was eight."

A few years later Keith took up the guitar and joined a rock/soul band called the Pacesetters. By the time he was fifteen, he had become fond of the folk sound; this was when Stegall began to write songs. In high school, he toured internationally in the Cheerful Givers, a folk group.

In a chance meeting with legend Kris Kristofferson, Stegall was able to play three songs for him. "Afterwards, Kristofferson shook my hand and said, 'You're pretty good. You really ought to move to Nashville.' I did."

Three months after his arrival in 1978, Keith co-wrote his first hit, Dr. Hooks' 1980 smash "Sexy Eyes". Helen Reddy, The Commodores, Johnny Mathis, and others rushed to record Stegall's songs in L.A. Most notable among the subsequent recordings was Al Jarreau's huge hit "We're In This Love Together".

In Nashville, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Eddy Arnold, Moe Bandy, George Strait, and Steve Wariner recorded Stegall compositions. By 1985, Mickey Gilley and Glen Campbell had taken Keith's tunes to the top of the country charts with "Lonely Nights" and "A Lady Like You".

Stegall was also able to experience the music industry as an artist. In 1980, he debuted the country charts with Capital Records. A subsequent stint with Epic Records yielded hits "Pretty Lady" and "California", one of the first country music videos.

In 1985, Keith was nominated by the Academy of Country Music for its Top New Male
Vocalist award. But by then Stegall felt disillusioned with his own career. A lifetime on the road had
taken its toll, and he wanted out. He wished to concentrate exclusively on his first love- songwriting.

Stegall quit performing. "Then my career really went into a slump," he laughs. "The songwriting dried up. Everything went away. It was a tough time for me. So I went home and licked my wounds. But it was the best thing that ever happened. It forced me to get my nose back to the grindstone."

Randy Travis, then a struggling nightclub singer, asked Keith to produce an independent album to sell at his local gigs. The project led to Keith producing a pair of standout songs on Travis' epochal debut, Storms of Life. Ronnie Milsap took Stegall's "Stranger Things Have Happened" up the charts in 1990. Keith had regained his songwriting feet.

Meanwhile, a friend and songwriting partner kept asking Stegall to produce a tape to play for record companies. That friend, Alan Jackson, would eventually employ Keith's production talents on every album of his released, reaching over 30 million units sold. Stegall continued collaborations with Jackson, co-writing "Don't Rock The Jukebox" and "Dallas," two of Alan's biggest hits.

In 1992, Keith received an offer to head Mercury Nashville's A&R department and a chance to release another album as an artist. "I thought this is not my gig. I've spent half my life fighting with record labels," recalled Keith. "Alan (Jackson) said, 'Half the reason I wanted to work with you is that you are an artist and you understand." So reminiscent of Chet Atkins years earlier at RCA, Keith Stegall became an artist and executive at Mercury Records.

1996 saw the release of Passages, Keith's critically acclaimed Mercury debut. The same year, two of Keith's compositions, Clay Walker's "If I Could Make A Living" and Travis Tritt's "Between An Old Memory And Me" enjoyed great success on the charts.

In 1997, Keith teamed up with legendary songwriter Dan Hill ("Sometimes When We Touch"). The collaboration quickly yielded two number one records: Sammy Kershaw's "Love Of My Life" and Mark Wills' "I Do (Cherish You)." Shortly after Wills recorded "I Do," the platinum selling pop act 98 Degrees heard the song and included it on their sophomore album 98 Degrees And Rising, as well as on the soundtrack to the 1999 Julia Roberts film Notting Hill. The song became one of the group's biggest hits reaching the top 5 in the CHR and AC charts.

The new millennium began with Stegall producing Jamie O'Neal's gold-selling debut Shiver for Mercury Records which included two number one songs. Stegall also produced O'Neal's version of "All By Myself" which appeared prominently in the film "Bridget Jones' Diary".

Despite parting ways with Mercury Records after nearly a decade of service, 2002 turned out to be a banner year for Stegall. The Stegall produced album Drive by Alan Jackson was released and featured the number one songs "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" and "Drive." The album went on to sell over four million copies and garnered Keith two CMA Awards, an ACM Award and a Grammy nomination. Keith was also named Music Row Magazine's "Producer Of The Year."

In late summer of 2003, the Stegall produced, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett spent a staggering eight weeks at number one, making it the biggest hit of Alan Jackson's career and Buffett's first number one record. The song propelled Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 2 album to go platinum in less than three weeks and earned Keith two ACM Awards in 2004. The followup single, "Remember When," went number one as well in 2004.

Also in 2004, Keith penned George Strait's number one smash "I Hate Everything" and a cut on Alan Jackson's "What I Do" cd.

In 2006, Keith took a position at Broken Bow Records as Chief Creative Officer. The small independent label is home to acts Craig Morgan, Jason Aldean, Lila McCann, Sherrie Austin and Megan Mullins among others.

One might think that Stegall would eventually slow down, but he couldn't be any happier occupying the many roles of his career. "I'm so happy to get to do all these things," Stegall says. "Every little piece of the puzzle makes me happy."


Honors:

2003 ACM Single of the Year - "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett (producer)

2003 ACM Vocal Event of the Year - "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett (producer)

2003 Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year - Drive by Alan Jackson (producer)

2002 CMA Album of The Year - Drive by Alan Jackson (producer)

2002 CMA Single of The Year - "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson (producer)

2002 ACM Album of the Year - Drive by Alan Jackson (producer)

2002 Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture - Bridget Jones Diary (producer)

2002 Music Row Magazine "Producer Of The Year"

2001 ACM Single of the Year - "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson (producer)

2001 Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year - Under The Influence by Alan Jackson (producer)

2000 Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year - Cold Hard Truth by George Jones (producer)

2000 BMI Pop Award - "I Do (Cherish You)" (writer)

1997 Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year - Everything I Love (producer)

1994 CMA Album of the Year - Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles (producer)

1993 CMA Single of the Year - "Chattahoochee" by Alan Jackson (producer)

1993 ACM Single of the Year - "Chattahoochee" by Alan Jackson (producer)

1993 ACM Album of the Year - A Lot About Livin' (And A Little 'Bout Love) by Alan Jackson (producer)

1991 ACM Album of the Year - Don't Rock The Jukebox by Alan Jackson (producer)

1991 ACM Single of the Year - "Don't Rock The Jukebox" by Alan Jackson (producer/writer)

1991 Grammy nomination for Country Song of the Year - "Don't Rock The Jukebox" (writer)

1986 ACM Album of the Year - Storms of Life by Randy Travis (producer)

1986 ACM Single of the Year - "On The Other Hand" by Randy Travis (producer)

TNN Music City News Awards - Single of the Year: "Chattahoochee" by Alan Jackson (producer)

TNN Music City News Awards - Single of the Year: "On The Other Hand" by Randy Travis (producer)

TNN Music City News Awards - Album of the Year: Storms Of Life by Randy Travis (producer)

TNN Music City News Awards - Single of the Year. "It's All The Same To Me" by Billy Ray Cyrus (producer)

TNN Music City News Awards - Album of the Year. Cover To Cover by Billy Ray Cyrus (producer)

BMI "Two Million Broadcast Performances" - "Sexy Eyes" (writer)

BMI "Two Million Broadcast Performances" - "We're In This Love Together" (writer)

BMI "One Million Broadcast Performances" - "Dallas" (writer)

BMI "One Million Broadcast Performances" - "Love's Got A Hold On You" (writer)

BMI "One Million Broadcast Performances" - "Don't Rock The Jukebox" (writer)

BMI "One Million Broadcast Performances" - "If I Could Make A Living" (writer)

BMI "One Million Broadcast Performances" - "Love Of My Life" (writer)
 

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