Industry Pics: ASCAP, Bluebird Cafe, CMA, SESAC

ASCAP Hosts Garth Brooks Country Songwriters Showcase

ASCAP recently hosted The ASCAP Foundation Garth Brooks Country Songwriters Workshop at its Music Row offices. Held Oct. 25 – 27, the workshop is part of an ongoing series designed to focus on the development and education of promising new country music songwriters. Conducted by longtime ASCAP member and veteran hit songwriter Liz Hengber (“It’s Your Call,” “For My Broken Heart” – Reba McEntire), the sessions provided advice on the art and craft of successful songwriting techniques, as well as information on important business-related topics including A&R and music publishing.

Pictured (L-R): Cecilia Castleman, Michelle Pereira, Katie Cole, Holly Chester, Bailey Callahan, Ryley Roth, Liz Hengber, ASCAP’s Beth Brinker, Joey Wray, Joe Sly and Mark Glinski

CMA Celebrates 35 Years of Song Of The Year Honors At The Bluebird Cafe

Sixteen powerhouse songwriters gathered recently at The Bluebird Cafe to celebrate 35 years of the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award and raise awareness for the Bluebird: The Movie fundraising campaign. The show was filled with stories and songs, all centered around the CMA Song of the Year Award nominees and winners throughout the 35-year history of The Bluebird Cafe. CMT Hot 20 Countdown‘s Katie Cook hosted the event, which was captured for the institution’s forthcoming documentary and was streamed on Facebook Live.

Among the writers taking part were Thom Schulyer, Don Henry, Jon Vezner, Mark Irwin, Karen Staley, Dickey Lee, Matraca Berg, Beth Neilsen Chapman, Doug Johnson, Tim Nichols, Marcus Hummon, Jeff Hanna, Tom Douglas, Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, and Steven Lee Olsen.

The Bluebird Cafe opened in June of 1982 and is in the midst of an ambitious Indiegogo campaign to fund Bluebird: The Movie, an in depth documentary about the influence the tiny 90-seat venue has had on singers, songwriters and popular music in general. The campaign is currently online, and fans can contribute here.

Songwriters, CMA staffers, Bluebird: The Movie production team gather prior to the CMA Awards Song of the Year Show at the Bluebird Cafe. [Click to enlarge]

Bluebird Cafe founder Amy Kurland (L) shares a moment with current General Manager Erika Wollam Nichols (C) and CMT Hot 20 Countdown co-host Katie Cook (R).


SESAC Celebrates Rising Songwriters During Bluebird Showcase

Thanksgiving came early for this group of up-and-coming songwriters at the Bluebird Cafe. Tuesday’s  (Nov. 21) showcase included Texas-born artist Jeremy Crady, who co-wrote “I’m Getting’ Stoned” on Eric Church’s Chief album; Emily Ann Roberts and Brandon Chase, from NBC’s The Voice (Team Blake) in Season 9 and Season 5, respectively; along with Scottish songwriter Simon Reid.

Pictured (L-R): SESAC songwriter Jeremy Crady, SESAC’s Edie Emery, guitarist Torey Harding, Starstruck’s Janet Leese, and SESAC songwriters Emily Ann Roberts, Brandon Chase and Simon Reid.


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Category: Artist, Featured

About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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