Bobby Karl Works The Grammy Block Party

Pictured (L-R): Lee Ann Womack; Meghan Trainor; Alicia Warwick, executive director, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy.

Pictured (L-R): Lee Ann Womack; Meghan Trainor; Alicia Warwick, executive director, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy.

Chapter 487

Even without kiddies squealing on the water-splash plaza, scaling the rock-climbing wall, strolling the wildflower paths or cavorting in the roly-poly playground, Cumberland Park was a little piece of heaven on Tuesday evening (May 12).

Situated on the east bank of the Cumberland River between the Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and Korean Veterans Bridge, adjacent to Titans Stadium, the park also contains a lovely little amphitheater that proved to be the ideal location for the 17th annual Grammy Block Party.

Adding to the ambiance were balmy temperatures, comfortable accommodations and cooling riverfront breezes. Not to mention free food and drink.

Pictured (L-R): Jeff Balding, president, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy; Alicia Warwick, executive director, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy; Hunter Hayes; George J. Flanigen IV, chair emeritus, The Recording Academy.

Pictured (L-R): Jeff Balding, president, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy; Alicia Warwick, executive director, Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy; Hunter Hayes; George J. Flanigen IV, chair emeritus, The Recording Academy.

The talent lineup didn’t hurt, either. All of the acts booked had a “wow” factor – Janice Gaines, John & Jacob, Blackberry Smoke, Lee Ann Womack, Hunter Hayes and Meghan Trainor.

“I see all kinds of friends: I love this!” exclaimed Womack from the stage. That’s because the crowd was comprised of the invitation-only, elite Nashville members of The Recording Academy. Who voted her a Grammy Award in 2002.

The who’s-who attendees included Pat McMakin, Patrick Clifford, John Styll, John Briggs, Jon Freeman, Scott Robinson, Scott McDaniel, Scott Hendricks, Nick Palladino, Nick DiFruscia of the national NARAS staff, Chris Farren, Chris Keaton, Eric Parker, Erika Wollam-Nichols & Roger Nichols, David Corlew & Carolyn Corlew, Bruce Bouton, Bruce Dees, Daniel Hill and Daniel Miller.

The crowd was notable for the singers and songwriters in attendance. David Nail, Mandy Barnett, Trent Summar, Gary Burr of Blue Sky Riders, Victoria Shaw, Brandon Heath, Shannon Sanders, Eddie Perez of The Mavericks and Chris Carmack of the Nashville TV show cast all turned up. Adding to the celeb vibe, mayoral candidate Howard Gentry was working the room.

And what a “room” it was. Flanking the stage were giant golden Grammys, and behind it was a spectacular view of the city skyline. The grassy floor of the amphitheater was backed with a low wall plus cocktail tables on the perimeter. On the knoll above that was a walkway dotted with draped tables and umbrellas. Hospitality tents held bars, wine servers, beer dispensers and food.

Nighttime shot of GRAMMY Block Party at Cumberland Park.

Nighttime shot of GRAMMY Block Party at Cumberland Park.

Catering was by Peg Leg Porker, who offered barbecue sandwiches and/or chicken-salad cups, plus bacon green beans, crispy pork rinds, baked beans and pasta shells with cheese.

Wine came courtesy of rock star Dave Matthews. I particularly liked his Dreaming Tree dry, light white.

Gliding through the crowd were such lovelies as Chandra LaPlume, Carla Wallace, Tree Paine, Lori Badgett, Hunter Davis, Leslie Fram, Tracy Gershon, Trey Fanjoy, Karen Clark, Sher Bach, Diane Pearson, Joanna Carter, Ronna Rubin, Laura Lamb Little and Lisa Harless.

Perhaps not so lovely, but equally delightful to greet were Ben Fowler, Frank Liddell, Julian King, Jeff Balding, Alan Valentine, George Flanigen, Andrew Kintz, Fletcher Foster, Woody Bomar, Doak Turner, Jim Catino, Shelby Kennedy, Earle Simmons, Bill VornDick, Chuck Ainlay, Walter Campbell, Wayne Halper, Greg McCarn, T.K. Kimbrell, Mike Sirls, Rod Essig, Terry Hemmings, Ed Salamon, Randy Perkins and Doug Howard.

The Nashville chapter of The Recording Academy now has 3,400 members, making it third in size behind L.A. and N.Y. We have more student members, 1,400, than any other chapter. Here’s something cool: Even non-voting Associate members can go a party as fabulous as this, with as classy a room to work as you’ll find.

Hunter Hayes performs at the Grammy Block Party.

Hunter Hayes performs at the Grammy Block Party.

All photos courtesy of The Recording Academy®/Photo by WireImage.com ©2015 

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