When Trace Adkins recorded 'You're Gonna Miss This,' he knew Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller had written a very special song. Peers of those writers agreed, and last night named it Song of the Year at the 39th Annual Nashville Songwriters Hall Fame induction ceremony in Nashville.

Miller says when he and Gorley first worked on the song, they were so busy writing it and getting it recorded that they didn't get into the emotion of it. Then Adkins recorded it and made the two realize its depth.

"One night you're home putting dishes in the dishwasher and the kids are going crazy, and all of a sudden it comes on the radio and you want to bawl your eyes out," recants Miller. "Because now it means something, and every time you hear it, it is more emotional than the last time."

Gorley adds that when he and Lee perform it, they often look out to see people in the audience crying.

"They come up to us and tell us what it means to them afterward. It really seems to hit people right where they are and impact them."

The newest members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame -- Tom Shapiro, Matraca Berg and John Hiatt -- were also inducted Sunday night. The Hall of Fame, which hopes to open to the public next year, is run by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation.

Among the night's performers was Jo Dee Messina, who sang 'My Give A Damn's Busted' in honor of Shapiro. Billy Dean also sang the Shapiro-penned 'If There Hadn't Been You.'

"I used to record demos for Tom and he taught me how important it is to be true to the melody of a song," Dean told the crowd. "There would be no way I would have made it without Tom working with me in those early years."

Shapiro, who has written or co-written a string of hits including 'You Look Good In My Shirt' (recorded by Keith Urban) and 'Ain't Nothin' About You' (recorded by Brooks & Dunn) explained that the reason he got into music was because "I wanted to unlock the mystery of music and why it moved me so much."

Berg, who has recorded several albums as well as written a number of hit songs, was honored by Martina McBride, who sang her hit 'Wild Angels.' Jessi Alexander, Jon Randal and Randy Scruggs performed Berg's hits 'Wrong Side of Memphis' and 'You Can Feel Bad.' They were joined by Kim Carnes who performed the classic hit Berg wrote for Deana Carter, 'Strawberry Wine,' which is called by some the ultimate coming-of-age song.

"I have wanted to be a songwriter since I was four years old, when (songwriter) Red Lane would sit in our kitchen and make up melodies to nursery rhymes," Berg said.

Hiatt was named to the Hall of Fame in the Singer/Songwriter category. Shawn Colvin performed his song 'This is the Way We Make A Broken Heart' and Emmylou Harris sang 'Icy Blue Heart' with Randall, a song she originally recorded with Hiatt. Michael McDonald also honored Hiatt with his rendition of 'Have A Little Faith In Me,' a song he says could be a conversation between a person and God, as well as two people in a relationship.

"This was never part of my dream. I just wanted to write songs and learn to be a songwriter," said a humbled Hiatt, who also recalled his first writing job at Tree Publishing, where they agreed to pay him $25 per week to be a staff writer. "I walked out the door thinking, 'Those fools are gonna pay me to write songs! What a town'."

Casey Beathard was named the NSAI Songwriter of the Year for penning hits including 'How 'Bout Them Cowgirls,' recorded by George Strait, and 'Ready, Set, Don't Go,' by Billy Ray Cyrus with Miley Cyrus. Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley shared the Songwriter/Artist of the Year honors.

Larry Gatlin presented the first Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Mentor Award to veteran publisher and writer Bob Beckham. This award goes to a person in the songwriting community known for mentoring new songwriters when they arrive in town.