The inaugural Nashville Spirit Awards and a reunion concert honoring the late Billy Block will be held April 18 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville. Organized and hosted by Jill Block, the night will celebrate the memory and legacy of her husband, the legendary Nashville promoter, drummer, radio and TV host who passed in March 2015 from a hard-fought battle with cancer.
The concert will feature original members of the Billy Block Barn Dance house band from the 1996 launch of the weekly show at the Sutler, as well as songwriters and artists from every era of The Billy Block Show over the past 18 years. The awards will honor those in the Nashville community that share Billy Block’s kindness, generosity and talent.
Confirmed artists include: Kevin Gordon, Jim Lauderdale, Kim Richey, Tim Carroll, Jason Eskridge, Rocky Block, Nancy Terzian, Tom Mason, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz, Jon Byrd, Kristi Rose and Fats Kaplan, The Delevantes, Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang, Paul Burch, Michael Kelsh, Nick Pellegrino, Ray Stephenson and Gary Nicholson.
Tickets are $15 and proceeds benefit Music Health Alliance.
“As Nashville grows, many Nashvillians have voiced concern over losing the heart of our great city,” said Jill Block. “Billy was all about heart. The Nashville Spirit Awards will help us pay homage to the heart and soul of Music City. It honors the people that make it a great place to live, work, enjoy music, and raise a family. That is why Billy and I were so happy here.”
She continued, “I’m just one of many that want that kind spirit to live on, just like Billy’s spirit lives on. One of his cancer fighting mottos, was ‘Expect a Miracle’. The miracle isn’t that Billy is still walking around town hosting his show today, it’s that his spirit lives on through all of us. So let’s celebrate each other and all the wonderful spirit in this town on April 18.”
The celebration also marks the second anniversary of Billy Block Day, formally recognized by the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2014. Block was surprised by the resolution when Sen. Thelma Harper read it from the stage during the Billy Block Show at Mercy Lounge. The Tennessee State Senate also passed a resolution shortly after his passing in 2015, giving him credit as the “Godfather of Americana” and referring to his nickname of “Mr. Nashville.” Joined by her family, Jill Block gave a speech in the Senate Chambers upon personally accepting the resolution.
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