Tag Archive for: Songwriters

Songwriters Hall Names New Class

Kye Fleming

Kye Fleming

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation (NaSHOF) is pleased to announce this year’s inductees for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame: from the Songwriter category, prolific writers Kye Fleming and Mark D. Sanders; and from the Songwriter/Artist category, late Country music icon Tammy Wynette.

The three new inductees will be welcomed into the elite songwriting fraternity by their peers at the 39th Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony, presented by AT&T, on Sunday, October 18, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

Mark D. Sanders

Mark D. Sanders

“Kye, Mark and Tammy have made many poignant and enduring contributions to the music world and certainly deserve to take their places among their gifted peers,” said Roger Murrah, Chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. “It’s an honor for us to recognize them for their outstanding accomplishments.”

Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette

Fleming’s songwriter credits include hits such as “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (Barbara Mandrell) and “Smoky Mountain Rain” (Ronnie Milsap). Sanders’ resume is known for “I Hope You Dance” (Lee Ann Womack) and “It Matters To Me” (Faith Hill).  Wynette popularized many of her own compositions, including the standard “Stand By Your Man” and “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own.”

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony features tributes and performances of the inductees’ songs by special guest artists. NaSHOF’s sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), also presents its annual awards for the year’s best Song, Songwriter and Songwriter/Artist, as well as the Top 10 “Songs I Wish I Had Written,” as determined by its professional songwriters division. Tickets for the event are $200 each. A limited number of seats are available to the public this year and may be purchased by contacting event director Mark Ford at hoftix@nashvillesongwriters.com or 615-256-3354.

Hall Hosts Cindy Walker Donation Ceremony, Reveals Project

 Vince Gill, Fred Foster, Kyle Young and David Conrad - photo by Donn Jones.

(L-R) Vince Gill, Fred Foster, Kyle Young and David Conrad. photo: Donn Jones

When songwriter Cindy Walker died in March 2006, she left the writer’s share of her cherished catalog of songs to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Befittingly, the organization celebrated her life and work with a donation ceremony yesterday (8/12) and also revealed plans for a new Walker project.

The 1997 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee’s bequest included files and notebooks related to the songs, sheet music, photographs and business documents. Museum Director Kyle Young explained that Walker, who was once married briefly and had no children, thought of her songs as her “babies.” In one of her files, curators found Walker’s farewell note to her songs. “Goodbye my darling,” she wrote. “You have been so good to me. You have made me rich and famous. I love you, you are the reason I am, and you are in the Hall of Fame. I will miss you. Goodbye, your girl, Cindy Walker.”

“Few things have served as a more emotional reminder of our responsibilities here than Cindy Walker’s note to her ‘babies,’” said Young.

Museum trustee David Conrad described the Museum’s plans for the Walker songs. Crediting the idea to Sony/ATV Music Publishing President-CEO Troy Tomlinson, also a Board member, Conrad announced plans for a 12-song Walker demo to be shopped to film and television music supervisors. Conrad will executive produce, while Tony Brown, Fred Foster and Vince Gill have each volunteered to produce four songs for the project. Artists from different genres will create new arrangements of Walker’s songs which will then be pitched to Sony/ATV’s list of 450 film and television supervisors via MySpace. The publishers will contribute to the recording budget.

The celebration concluded with a musical salute to Walker presented by Nashville’s premier western swing unit, the Time Jumpers, who have kept a 10-year Monday night residency at the Station Inn that has fans lined up around the block before show time each week. Crowded close together in an intimate bluegrass style, the big swing band presented four songs from their standard repertoire including “Sugar Moon” with Kenny Sears on vocals, “You Don’t Know Me” with vocals by Carolyn Martin, “Miss Molly” with vocals by Ranger Doug, and “I Don’t Care” featuring the voice of Dawn Sears. Museum President Vince Gill joined the Time Jumpers to sing “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream).”

The celebration concluded with a musical salute to Walker presented by Nashville’s premier western swing unit, the Time Jumpers. The band presented four songs from their standard repertoire including “Sugar Moon” with Kenny Sears on vocals, “You Don’t Know Me” with vocals by Carolyn Martin, “Miss Molly” with vocals by Ranger Doug, and “I Don’t Care” featuring the voice of Dawn Sears. Museum President Vince Gill joined the Time Jumpers to sing “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream).”

ASCAP Planning Songwriters Workshops

ascap we create music1ASCAP is planning two separate songwriters workshops focused on Pop and Christian music. They will both run for six consecutive weekly sessions beginning in September, with each meeting featuring prominent music industry guest speakers giving advice on A&R, music publishing, legal issues, and more.

Serving as moderator for the Pop workshop will be songwriter/artist Robert Ellis Orrall. He is writer of three No. 1 songs and three hundred cuts recorded by artists like Lindsay Lohan and Taylor Swift. He also started Nashville’s rock label Infinity Cat Recordings which was previously home to Be Your Own Pet.

Confirmed presenters at the Christian workshop include the co-writers of ASCAP’s 2009 Christian Song of the Year, Matthew West and Sam Mizell. Also featured will be skilled music executives from EMI, Word, INO Records and others. Music businesswoman Cindy Wilt-Colville will facilitate.

The workshops are provided by the ASCAP Foundation free of charge to promising new songwriters who are ASCAP members or non-members. Attendance is limited.

How to apply: Submissions must two original songs (may be co-written)on a CD only, with typed lyrics and a brief bio/resume. CD must be labeled, including song titles, writer’s name, address, phone number and email; mailed or dropped off to ASCAP Nashville, Attention: 2009 ASCAP Foundation Pop or Christian Songwriters Workshop, Two Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. Submissions will not be returned. Pop submissions should be marked attention: Jesse Willoughby.

For details on the Pop Workshop, click here, or contact Jesse Willoughby at (615) 742-5000. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 4.

Submissions for the Christian Workshop are due Mon., Aug. 31. For questions, call ASCAP at (615) 742-5000.

NSAI Celebrates Successful Josh Turner Benefit


Pictured (L-R): Modern Management’s Ted Greene; NSAI President, Grammy-nominated songwriter Steve Bogard; Anderson; Turner; Camp; NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison and McLaughlin. Photo Credit: Bev Moser

On Wednesday night (7/22), multi-platinum MCA recording artist and award-winning songwriter Josh Turner headlined the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s inaugural “It All Begins With A Song” Performance Series at the Wildhorse Saloon. During the sold-out show, he invited special guests/hit songwriters John Anderson, Shawn Camp and Pat McLaughlin to the stage for acoustic sets. The packed-house was treated to Turner’s hit singles, including “Long Black Train,” “Firecracker” and “Another Try.” Turner was also presented with a Lifetime Membership to NSAI for his continued support.

Pickler, GAC in DC, and Puckett’s Rising Star

kellieKellie Pickler is on the cover of Nashville Lifestyles’ August issue, a.k.a. “The Hot List 2009.” Billed under the title, “Smokin’ Hot,” Pickler is the focus of a multi-page spread and interview. Her current single, “Best Days Of Your Life,” just cracked the Top 10 on the monitored charts and is certified Gold with more than 600,000 downloads.


GAC had exclusive access to the White House’s Country Music event this week. Performers included Alison Krauss + Union Station, Brad Paisley, and Charley Pride. The special, Country Music at the White House, will air Aug. 15 at 8:00 pm/CT with host Storme Warren.


puckettsDaniel Mason is the winner of the Puckett’s Grocery “Rising Star” competition. The open-mic songwriting contest, now in its third season, was held over several weeks at the venue/restaurant’s Franklin location. At the final event on July 21, Mason beat over 100 competitors to receive $500, and the chance to play alongside notable songwriters on Friday, August 7 at 9 pm, including Wynn Varble (“Waiting On A Woman”), and Leslie Satcher (“Troubadour”).

Jack Ingram, Mac McAnally Set Release Dates

jackJack Ingram will release his second Big Machine studio project Big Dreams & High Hopes on Tues., Aug. 25. The lead single “Barefoot and Crazy” is already at No. 8 on MusicRow’s Country Breakout Chart. Ingram’s list of top-notch co-writers, producers and collaborators for the new project includes Americana songstress Patty Griffin on the Ingram-penned “Seeing Stars,” and mainstream chart-topper Dierks Bentley on the honky-tonk party anthem “Barbie Doll.” Elsewhere, Little Big Town, Randy Houser, James Otto and The Lost Trailers (also known as The Little Big Lost Beat-Up Ford Funky Times Freedom Choir) contribute gang vocals. Jay Joyce, Jeremy Stover, Doug Lancio and Radney Foster all get production credits on the 11-track effort, and Ingram’s stellar cast of co-writers includes Jeffrey Steele, Darrell Brown, Dallas Davidson, Gary Burr and Tom Shapiro.


macMac McAnally’s latest album, Down By The River, will be out Aug. 4. The 11-song collection of new original material is his 11th release as a solo artist and his debut for Show Dog Nashville. The self-produced album showcases the acclaimed musician/songwriter on guitar, piano, harmonica, ukulele and percussion. Proceeds from “You First,” the lead single, will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project, whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.

McAnally received his first No. 1 single as an artist and sixth as a writer on his recent collaboration with Kenny Chesney, “Down The Road.” He was named 2008 Musician of the Year by the Country Music Association, and is also a 2007 inductee to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Starting as a Muscle Shoals session musician, then signing as Geffen Records’ first artist at the age of 16, McAnally went on to become a respected guitar player and singer, working with artists including Roy Orbison, Hank Williams Jr., Jimmy Buffett, Travis Tritt, and Dolly Parton. As a producer, he’s helmed successful projects by Sawyer Brown, and Chris LeDoux.

LifeNotes: Ellen Wood Hospitalized, Tim Nichols’ Mother

Get well wishes to former BMI publicist and Music City News writer Ellen Wood, who is in the hospital following surgery to repair a broken shoulder. The operation was complicated by Wood developing pneumonia. She is recuperating slowly at St. Thomas Hospital.

Condolences to Grammy winning songwriter, Tim Nichols, on the loss of his mother, Janet Nichols, on Saturday, July 18 to lung cancer. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 21 in Springfield, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Alive Hospice, 1710 Patterson Street, Nashville TN 37203.

Songwriters This Weekend: Matraca, Bluebird on Mtn.

matracaHit songwriter Matraca Berg will take a seat at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, July 18, as the latest subject of the quarterly programming series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m. program, which will be held in the Museum’s Ford Theater, is included with Museum admission and free to Museum members.

Museum Editor Michael Gray will conduct an in-depth, one-on-one interview with Berg, illustrated with audiovisual elements from the Museum’s collection, including recordings, photos and film clips. Berg will perform briefly during the program, and immediately following she will sign autographs in the Museum Store (visit the Museum’s Web site for signing details).

Matraca Berg’s stirring, powerful songs have helped her remain one of Music City’s most successful songwriters for more than two decades. Berg’s Billboard #1 hits include “Wild Angels” (Martina McBride), “You Can Feel Bad” (Patty Loveless), “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” (Trisha Yearwood), “The Last One to Know” (Reba McEntire) and “Strawberry Wine” (Deana Carter), among others. Other artists who have cut her songs include the Dixie Chicks, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Ray Price, Linda Ronstadt, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Gretchen Wilson.  As a recording artist, Berg charted a handful of singles herself in the 1990s.


Jude Johnstone, Danny Flowers and James House will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 18, in the third concert of the 2009 Bluebird on the Mountain series. Held on the scenic grounds of Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory, Bluebird on the Mountain showcases artists from the Bluebird Cafe. Season tickets are sold out for this year’s series, but advance tickets for the remaining single shows are available through Ticketmaster, which will add a handling fee. Tickets are $95 for a carload.

The series was created in collaboration with Amy Kurland, who founded the Bluebird Cafe in 1982 and built the club into one of Nashville’s premier performance venues for songwriters before selling it to the Nashville Songwriters Association International in late 2007.

Palming Off a Bug Fix, CMA Voting, Songwriters Team With Studdard

iphoneApple has just released an iTunes update (8.2.1) and among the “issues and improvements” it addresses is the music program’s ability to sync music with the Palm Pre phone. One of the new Palm smartphone’s selling points was that ability to seamlessly move music between iTunes and the phone, but obviously, Apple preferred that only official Apple products be endowed with that ability. Palm responded saying, “Palm’s media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we can consider.”


Polls for the Nominating Round of balloting for the 2009 CMA Awards will close at 5:00 PM CDT today (7/16). To vote you must be a current CMA member, and have your Member Number and PIN number ready. Click here.

The remaining CMA Awards ballot schedule is:
Aug. 11– Second Ballot sent

Aug. 24–Deadline for Second Ballot

Oct. 16–Final Ballot sent

Nov. 3–Deadline for Final Ballot


Several Nashville songwriters have cuts on the new Ruben Studdard album, Love Is. The R&B/American Idol star came to Music City to write for the project. With Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro, he wrote “Love Is My Rock,” and he teamed with Bill Luther and Barry Dean for “That’s Enough.”


The Refuge Center for Counseling, a local nonprofit that offers a variety of counseling services to those in need regardless of income level, along with corporate sponsor Wells Fargo/Wachovia Wealth Management will host a Songwriters Night at Boxwood Bistro tonight Thurs., July 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. Headlining the event will be Doug Johnson (“Three Wooden Crosses”), along with Rob Crosby, Chip Davis and Mark Steven Jones. Tickets are limited and can be purchased in advance for $75 at www.therefugecenter.org. Tickets are also available by contacting Virginia Fontanella at (615) 969-0064 or by e-mail at songwritersnight@aol.com. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

NSAI/Frost Specialty Offering Group Infringement Insurance

nsai-logoThe Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Frost Specialty today (7/15) announced the creation of the first-of-its-kind Group Copyright Infringement Insurance Policy for songwriters. This unique group insurance plan will dramatically reduce the cost of infringement-insurance premiums while establishing lower available coverage limits.

“Until now, this kind of coverage was cost prohibitive or unavailable to most songwriters,” said NSAI President, Grammy-nominated songwriter Steve Bogard. “Typically a songwriter or composer had to purchase a minimum of $1,000,000 in infringement coverage when in fact, the majority of infringement claims are resolved for less than $100,000,” Bogard continued. “We addressed that problem and the overall cost of such insurance.”

The NSAI/Frost Group Copyright Infringement Policy will offer coverage amounts beginning at $100,000 for less than $1,600 annually. Coverage at this low level was generally unavailable prior to creation of this group plan. More coverage is available for those who require it.

Contact Robert Frost at 615.322.9171 for more information.