Matraca’s songwriting career
Native Nashvillian Matraca Berg grew up around the music industry. Her mother was songwriter/session singer Icie Calloway Berg. Her stepfather was songwriter Dave Kirby ("Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone," "Memories to Burn," "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang"). Matraca had her first #1 hit as a writer with Karen Brooks and T. G. Sheppard's 1983 duet "Faking Love," co-written with Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bobby Braddock. Matraca Berg was only 18 years old at the time.
She has since had more than 50 of her songs recorded. Some who have sung her songs include Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Linda Ronstadt, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, Dusty Springfield, Emmylou Harris, Kim Carnes, Ray Price and Loretta Lynn.
"Strawberry Wine," a #1 hit for Deana Carter co-written by Berg, was named the CMA Song of the Year for 1997. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award as Country Song of the Year, as was 2007's "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today."
"Wrong Side of Memphis," "XXX's and OOO's," "You Can Feel Bad," "Hey Cinderella," "I'm That Kind of Girl," "The Last One to Know" and "Strawberry Wine" have all been broadcast on radio and TV more than a million times apiece.
Berg and fellow Nashville songwriter Marshall Chapman co-wrote the songs for the 2000 stage musical Good Ol' Girls. She appeared in the 1987 motion picture Made in Heaven and on the soundtrack of the movie The Thing Called Love in 1993. As a backup vocalist, she has been in the studio with Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and Neil Young. As a producer, she has guided recordings for Christian singer-songwriter Christy Sutherland.
Matraca Berg is also a recording artist. Her albums include Lying to the Moon (1990), The Speed of Grace (1993) Sunday Morning to Saturday Night (1997) and The Dreaming Fields (2011). She has been married to singer-songwriter Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band since 1993. Berg is the youngest-ever Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.