Tony Arata

Induction Year: 2012

Birth Name: Anthony Michael Arata

Birth Date: 10-10-1957

Place of Birth: Savannah, Georgia

Born in Savannah, Georgia, and raised on nearby Tybee Island, Tony Arata is noted for his personal, poetic lyrics. He began writing songs in high school and played in regional country and rock bands while majoring in journalism at Georgia Southern University. He was discovered in an Atlanta nightclub by a representative of the Noble Vision Records. As a result, the label's Jim Glaser recorded Arata's first hit as a writer, 1983's "The Man in the Mirror."

Arata also recorded his own LP for the label. Comprising entirely self-composed material, the disc was picked up for national distribution by MCA Records. He placed two singles on the country charts as a recording artist. The singer-songwriter moved to Nashville in 1986 and signed with Dennis Morgan's publishing company. In 1990, Garth Brooks' recording of "The Dance" became Arata's first #1 hit.

"After watching movies like It's a Wonderful Life and Peggy Sue Got Married," he told CMA Close Up magazine, "I began thinking about the theme of being given the opportunity to go back and change your life, and then deciding not to do it. And that's where I came up with ‘The Dance.'"

In addition to Brooks, who recorded eight of Arata's songs, the songwriter's works have been cut by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Suzy Bogguss, and Randy Travis, among others. Arata's songs were particularly favored by Patty Loveless and Lee Roy Parnell. Loveless recorded Arata's "Handful of Dust" twice and has also cut "Long Stretch of Lonesome," "Someday I Will Lead the Parade," "Nobody Here By That Name" and "Here I Am," which became a major hit for her in 1994. Parnell had a Top 10 success with Arata's "I'm Holding My Own" in 1994 and also recorded "You Can't Get There From Here," "Tell the Truth" and "Right Where It Hurts."

During his Nashville songwriting career, Tony Arata also worked as an editor for business trade publications.

"A Handful of Dust"

Patty Loveless1994 
Michael James1994 
Don Williams1998 
Patty Loveless (remake)2009 


(written with Jon Schwabe)

Garth Brooks1993 

"Come on Home"

(written with David Hodge)

Tony Arata1984 #76 country

"Dreaming with My Eyes Wide Open"

Clay Walker1994 #1 country

"Face to Face"

Garth Brooks1992 

"Here I Am"

Patty Loveless1994 #4 country

"I Hear a Call"

Emmylou Harris1993 
Michael James1995 

"I Used to Worry"

(written with Scott Miller)

Delbert McClinton1992 
Jelly Roll Johnson2000 
Tony Arata2000 

"I'll Be Your Fool Tonight"

Jim Glaser1985 #54 country

"I'm Holding My Own"

Lee Roy Parnell1994 #3 country

"Kickin' and Screamin'"

Garth Brooks1993 

"Long Stretch of Lonesome"

(written with Gary Scruggs)

Patty Loveless1997 

"Love Every Time"

Suzy Bogguss1999 
Jelly Roll Johnson2000 
The Stevens Sisters2002 

"Love Is Stronger"

Suzy Bogguss1999 
Ty England2007 

"Nobody Here By That Name"

(written with Pete Wasner)

Patty Loveless2005 

"Nothing But Love"

Patty Loveless1996 
Philip Claypool1999 
Ty England2007 

"Same Old Story"

Tony Arata1986 
Garth Brooks1990 
Ronna Reeves1991 

"Satisfied Mind"

Hal Ketchum1996 
Randy Travis1998 

"Sing You Back to Me"

(written with Gene Nelson)

Trisha Yearwood2007 
Patti Page2008 

"So Close"

(written with George Marinelli, Pete Wasner)

Bonnie Raitt2005 

"Someday I Will Lead the Parade"

(written with Scott Miller)

Jo-El Sonnier1992 
Patty Loveless1996 

"Sure Thing"

Tony Arata1985 #65 country

"Tell the Truth"

(written with Lee Roy Parnell)

Lee Roy Parnell2001 

"The Change"

(written with Wayne Tester)

Garth Brooks1996 #19 country

"The Dance"

ACM Song of the Year

Garth Brooks1990 #1 country
George Winston1999 
Floyd Cramer1999 

"The Man in the Mirror"

Jim Glaser1983 #17 country
Mountain Heart2004 

"The Way I Remember It"

(written with Tommy Sims)

Garth Brooks1999 

"This Is My Prayer for You"

(written with Gary Scruggs)

Reba McEntire1999 

"Why Ain't I Running"

(written with Gary Brooks, Kent Blazy)

Garth Brooks2003 #24 country

"You Can't Get There From Here"

Lee Roy Parnell1997 #39 country

Tony Arata

Induction Year: 2012