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Allen Shamblin

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Allen Shamblin
Birth nameJames Allen Shamblin II[1]
Born (1959-05-13) May 13, 1959 (age 65)

Allen Shamblin is a country music songwriter who was born in Tennessee, and was brought up in Huffman, Texas.


After graduating from Sam Houston State University he worked in Austin as a real estate appraiser. In 1987, he quit his job and moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter. He supported himself by parking cars and working in a warehouse. During live shows he tells stories about his parents sending him money so he could survive. In 1990, Randy Travis took a song Shamblin wrote, about his great-grandfather,[2] to number one on the country charts. After "He Walked on Water", he followed it up with four more number one songs including: "We Were in Love," "In This Life" and "Walk on Faith."[3] He often co-writes with other songwriters. He co-wrote with Steve Seskin for number one hits with "Life's a Dance" and "Don't Laugh at Me." Don't Laugh at Me was a hit for Mark Wills and was later recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary resulting in a school program designed to teach children tolerance and prevent bullying in the playground. His biggest song, "I Can't Make You Love Me," was co-written with Mike Reid and was a hit for Bonnie Raitt. His song "The House that Built Me", co-written with Tom Douglas, was recorded by Miranda Lambert and she won the Best Female Country Vocal Performance Grammy for the recording.[4]

In 2009, Shamblin was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association Hall of Fame on March 1, 2009, at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas.[5] In 2011 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.[6]



  1. ^ "Allen Shamblin INDUCTION YEAR: 2011". nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com.
  2. ^ ""ROWFAX Column # 18 (March, 2013): The Producer's Chair: Allen Shamblin" by James Rea". Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  3. ^ "Allen Shamblin Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Songwriter Allen Shamblin on "The House that Built Me" | ZOAngel | Jewish Journal". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28.
  5. ^ "ASCAP Celebrates Guy Clark and Allen Shamblin for Texas Songwriter Honors".
  6. ^ "Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame".

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