The inaugural event at Nashville’s newest music venue, the Woods at Fontanel, was christened by some of Nashville’s most influential songwriters Saturday night (7/10) during Songwriters Sing for Nashville. Patrons gathered to hear music directly from the men and women who created songs recorded by some of the biggest names in music history.
The day kicked off with Marc Beeson, Jaron Boyer, Chuck Cannon, Danny Flowers, James House, Kendell Marvel, Danny Myrick, James Slater and Lari White performing their hits on the Gibson Tunesmith Stage in the Farm House Restaurant at Fontanel. The music transitioned to The Woods outdoor music venue late in the afternoon, where 12 members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame delighted the audience with their own renditions of multi-genre hits spanning six decades. Matraca Berg, Kye Fleming, Dallas Frazier, Dickey Lee, Dennis Morgan, Hugh Prestwood, Mark D. Sanders, Don Wayne, Roger Murrah, Jim Weatherly, Mike Reid and Freddy Weller took turns individually or in small groups telling stories behind songs they wrote and then performing those songs as they were originally written. Highlights included Weatherly’s “Midnight Train To Georgia” and “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” which were made famous by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Murrah sang his version of “We’re In This Love Together,” which was recorded by Al Jarreau, and Dallas Frazier had the crowd singing along to “Elvira.” Mike Reid delighted the audience with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and Matraca Berg wrapped up the evening by dedicating “Strawberry Wine” to the memory of Fred Carter, Jr., father of Deana Carter, who passed away Saturday morning.
During the evening, Walter Hunt, Nashville Metropolitan Councilman for the 3rd District, read a proclamation thanking the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members for giving their time, talents and resources to help others in times of crisis. He then presented each songwriter an individual copy of the proclamation.
“On behalf of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors, I express heartfelt gratitude to all of the performing writers and to every single person behind the scenes who worked so hard to make the Songwriters Sing For Nashville event the success it was this past Saturday,” said Murrah, who also serves as Board Chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation.
Songwriters Sing for Nashville was presented by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Anchor Trailways & Tours. The intimate outdoor music venue is located on the property of the Fontanel Mansion, which along with the Farm House Restaurant and the Trails at Fontanel, opened to the public last month.
Last month, Anchor Trailways & Tours presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to get the flood relief fund started so people in need could begin to apply and get much needed help quickly. Anchor Trailways & Tours, the exclusive transportation partner for Fontanel, also donated their services on the day of the concert, and receipts from Saturday’s tours of the Fontanel Mansion were donated to the cause.
Applications for flood relief funds will be available at most First Tennessee Banks in the Nashville area, and donations can still be made at any First Tennessee location. The certified public accounting firm of Hoskins and Company, Harvey Hoskins, CEO, will assess the needs and forward the application to First Tennessee Bank for payment on a case-by-case basis. The intention of the fund is to assist families affected by the May floods with short-term bills including, but not limited to, mortgage and rent payments, utility bills, etc.