Don Schlitz

Donald Alan Schlitz Jr. (born August 29, 1952, in Durham, North Carolina) is a country music songwriter. For his songwriting efforts, Schlitz has earned two Grammys, as well as four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards. In 1993, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.[2]

Don Schlitz
Birth nameDonald Alan Schlitz, Jr.[1]
Born (1952-08-29) August 29, 1952
OriginDurham, North Carolina, United States
Years active1978-present
Associated actsKenny Rogers Randy Travis Keith Whitley

Schlitz was announced as an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame on April 5, 2017, and was inducted by Vince Gill on October 23.[3]

Songwriting career

Schlitz' first hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler", which became a crossover country hit upon its release in 1978, later becoming one of Rogers' signature songs.[2] Since then, Schlitz has written numerous country songs and penned several hits for other country artists. Among his biggest hits are two Number One songs which he co-wrote with Paul Overstreet, "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis and "When You Say Nothing at All" by Keith Whitley.

United States President George H. W. Bush also commissioned Schlitz to write a theme song for his "Points of Light" program.[2] This song, "Point of Light", was a No. 3 country hit for Randy Travis in 1991.

Schlitz also worked with Kenny Rogers again in 1998. Rogers joked at the time that "every 20 years I will record a Don Schlitz song". The result was a hit single called "The Greatest". Rogers also recorded several more of his songs in 2013 for his best-selling You Can't Make Old Friends album.


He composed the music for the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


In addition to writing hit singles for other artists, Schlitz has recorded three albums of his own. The first, titled Dreamers' Matinee, was released in 1980 on Capitol Records. A live compilation, titled Live at the Bluebird Café, was released in 2001. In 2010, Schlitz released another studio album of new material, Allergic to Crazy.


Year Title US Country
1978 "The Gambler" 65
1979 "You're the One Who Rewrote My Life Story" 91

Singles co-written by Don Schlitz

This list of songs or music-related items is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Singles written or co-written by Don Schlitz include the following. Asterisks denote songs which reached Number One on the U.S. Billboard country charts.



  1. Full name per Broadcast Music Incorporated database
  2. Brennan, Sandra. "allmusic ((( Don Schlitz > Biography )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  3. Watts, Cindy. "Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, Don Schlitz tapped for Country Music Hall of Fame".
  4. "2010 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
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