JERRY CHESNUT was born and raised in the Harlan County coal mining camps of eastern Kentucky. He grew up with his guitar, listening to the Grand Ole Opry and the Mid Day Merry Go Round (a country radio show broadcast daily out of Knoxville).  Following High School, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Far East during the Korean War. Upon discharge, he settled in Florida, where for seven years he performed on local radio stations and worked as a conductor for the Florida East Coast Railway System.

In 1958, Jerry moved to Nashville to pursue his first love, music. In 1967 (nine years later), Del Reeves released Jerry's first hit song, "A DIME AT A TIME". Artists and producers were so impressed with Jerry's fresh approach to music that some even attended his demo sessions to get the first shot at this new supply of material. In those days, (Singers Sang), (Producers Produced), (Labels sold Records), (Bookers Booked), (Managers Managed), (Publishers Published), (Writers Wrote), and no one dreamed of trying to do it all. During this era, Jerry signed a contract with United Artist records and could possibly have had a successful recording career, however after several releases, his creative nature overcame his desire to be an artist, and to the  amazement of his producer, he resigned. 

At the prompting of Roy Clark and others, Jerry became a regular on the  Hee Haw Show for a couple of years. Finding it was interfering with his songwriting, he also gave that up. In need of a place to meet with Artists  and Producers, Jerry purchased a building in the heart of Music Row and settled down to writing and pitching his songs. The years that  followed exceeded his fondest dreams. Jerry became involved with, and a friend of nearly everyone in the music industry throughout the entire world. In the late sixties and early seventies, he became known as the most versatile, productive, independent, hit songwriter of the times. For several years, he licensed the release of more than 50 recordings per year. This was the average of an unbelievable one per week. One particular week, he had 5 songs in the Billboard national chart and 3 in their Top Ten. In 1972, Jerry was named the Songwriter of the Year and in 1973, was acclaimed the International Writer of the Year. Jerry is the recipient of dozens of BMI Awards, 2 from ASCAP, 2 Grammy Nominations and 1 Tony, numerous Gold Records, and several Platinum ones.

After 12 nominations in 1996, Jerry's career was finally crowned by his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Foundation HALL OF FAME !   {Link} 

He was also inducted into the International Songwriters Association (ISA) HALL OF FAME
in 1999.