COPD Foundation: Phil Everly Concert Benefit Featuring Paul Simon

Dear Nashville Community,

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your generosity at our recent Phil Everly Concert Benefit featuring Paul Simon.  

With this being our first event within Nashville, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from your community. Because of your contributions, the event raised $120,000, all of which will go towards the Foundation's mission of preventing and curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and improving the lives of all people affected by COPD.

We would like to thank Patti Everly whose steadfast commitment to raising awareness of COPD and honoring the memory of her husband Phil provided the impetus for making this concert a reality.

The evening would not have been such a success without the exquisite performance by Paul Simon. Royce Risser and Mike Dungan lent their voices to a very profitable live auction with "Little Miss Dynamite" Brenda Lee adding an effervescence and playfulness to the entire event. Our sincere gratitude to Bill Mayne for everything he did to make this event a success.    

The benefit could not have occurred without Sylvia Roberts' generosity in donating her home for this exceptional event. 

Above all, thank you for supporting the COPD Foundation. We look forward to our continuing relationship with you.   

John W. Walsh
President and Co-Founder, COPD Foundation

MUSICROW: Lee Brice Receives Gold, Platinum Honors From NMPA

• November 6, 2014 • 
Lee Brice was honored recently for two of his hit singles, garnering with a platinum award for “I Don’t Dance” and a gold award for “Parking Lot Party,” during a meeting at NMPA’s Curb Publishing headquarters in Nashville. Brice’s publisher is Curb Music Publishing.
NMPA president/CEO David Israelite was on hand to present the honors to Brice.

Pictured (L-R): Drew Alexander, David Israelite, Lee Brice, Mike Curb) Photo: NMPA/Bev Moser.
Pictured (L-R): Drew Alexander, David Israelite, Lee Brice, Mike Curb. Photo: NMPA/Bev Moser.

Pictured (L-R): Lee Brice, David Israelite and Curb Publishing executives. Photo: NMPA/Bev Moser.
Pictured (L-R): Lee Brice, David Israelite and Curb Publishing executives. Photo: NMPA/Bev Moser.

CMT NEWS: Paul Craft, Master Songwriter, Dies in Nashville

Hits Include "Dropkick Me, Jesus," "Brother Jukebox" and "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life"
Paul Craft (front row), Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas and John Anderson
Paul Craft (front row), Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas and John Anderson
Photo Credit: Bev Moser
Paul Craft, a prolific songwriter whose hits include Bobby Bare's "Dropkick Me, Jesus" and Mark Chesnutt's "Brother Jukebox," died Saturday (Oct. 18) at a Nashville hospital following years of ill health. He was 76.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Craft was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on Oct. 5. According to The Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper, he showed up briefly at Nashville's Music City Center to have his photo taken with fellow inductees Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas and John Anderson and was immediately taken to St. Thomas Hospital.

During the induction ceremony, his longtime friend Layng Martine Jr., a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member himself, noted Craft was not only a member of Mensa, the "genius" circle, but also a jokester who had composed single-handedly such weird hits as the outrageously metaphoric "Drop Kick Me, Jesus" and "It's Me Again, Margaret," Ray Stevens' hit about an unrepentant obscene phone caller. Bare told the crowd former President Bill Clinton once cited "Drop Kick Me, Jesus" as his favorite song.

Singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett paid tribute to Craft at the ceremony by performing a medley that included "Brother Jukebox" and "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life," the latter a hit for Moe Bandy.

Craft, whose credits include T. Graham Brown's "Come as You Were" and Gail Davies' "Blue Heartache," also had more than 200 bluegrass cuts, including the Osborne Brothers' "Midnight Flyer" and the Seldom Scene's "Keep Me From Blowing Away." In 1974, the Eagles released "Midnight Flyer" on their On the Border album and Linda Ronstadt issued "Keep Me From Blowing Away" on her breakthrough album, Heart Like a Wheel.

A gifted guitarist and banjo player, Craft's instrumentals were recorded by the likes of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, and he also served a tenure as the banjo player in Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys. Atkins signed Craft to RCA Records in the '70s and produced several singles that had marginal chart success.

MUSICROW; Artist Updates: Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and More

• October 16, 2014 •
Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser.
Garth Brooks. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser.

After 18 years, The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood is coming back to St. Louis. The concerts will be Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Scottrade Center.
Tickets will be on sale Friday, October 24th at 10:00 AM CST and will be available at, or 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster Express 1-866-448-7849. There will be no sales at the venue box office or Ticketmaster outlets on Oct. 24.
• • •
Reba McEntire will headline a benefit concert at Depot Square in Gallatin, Tenn. on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m., to fund lung cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Organized by singer and lung-cancer patient Dawn Sears, the show will also feature performances by The Time Jumpers (of which Sears is a member) and Riders In The Sky.
“I am on a mission to help fund lung cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center,” states Sears. “A benefit concert is the best way I know how to do that. It is my mission to bring more hope to those of us with lung cancer. I was diagnosed with lung cancer over a year ago and I now have a greater understanding of the daily battle and challenges that people with cancer of any kind face.”
Gold-winning Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton, a cancer survivor himself, will emcee the event.
• • •
Photo: Bev Moser
Trisha Yearwood. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser.

Trisha Yearwood will be performing at the 2nd Annual Save The Children Illumination Gala on Nov. 19, at the Plaza hotel in New York City. The leading, independent organization for children in need in the United States and around the world will honor the following guests and companies for their achievements in giving children a brighter future: Ben Affleck, The Right Honorable Tony Blair, Austin Hearst, T.J. Maxx, and more. The event will be hosted by Save the Children artist ambassador and trustee Jennifer Garner.

MUSICROW MAGAZINE: ‘The Best of Me’ Premieres in Nashville with Exclusive Concert

• October 10, 2014 • 
Lady Antebellum together with Nicholas Sparks. Photo: Bev Moser.
Lady Antebellum together with Nicholas Sparks. Photo: Bev Moser.

“This is the best soundtrack of all of my films.” -Nicholas Sparks.
Director Michael Hoffman (Mid Summer Night’s Dream, One Fine Day) took the stage at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater on Thursday, October 9 to welcome an invitation-only crowd to the Nashville premiere of his latest film, The Best of Me. The Relativity Media release, in theaters October 17, is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ (The Notebook, A Walk To Remember) novel by the same title.
“When we talked about a soundtrack, we talked about Country music because Nick Sparks movies are about honesty,” said Hoffman in his introduction from the stage. “From the beginning, the lynchpin was Lady Antebellum. I can’t thank them enough. They watched the movie and wrote the ballad of The Best of Me. They prove we were right that Country Music touches people in this country.”
Pictured (L-R): Director Michael Hoffman, author Nicholas Sparks.
Pictured (L-R): Director Michael Hoffman, author Nicholas Sparks. Photo: Bev Moser.

Sparks added, “This is the best soundtrack of all of my films. When I look out on you, I think ‘This is where the talent lies.’ It’s my honor to be here with you [artists].”
Jason Markey (Act of Valor), Sr. VP Music & Soundtracks at Relativity Media partnered with Universal Music Group Nashville (EMI Nashville) to create the film’s soundtrack. Artists contributing to the project include Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Colbie Caillat, Thomas Rhett, Thompson Square, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Eric Paslay, David Nail, and Eli Young Band.
Immediately following the Nashville premiere, artists took to the stage to perform acoustic sets of their work. Before “The Way Things Go,” Rhett noted he had read the book before he knew he had a song in the movie. Caillat sang her soundtrack cut, “In Love Again,” a title she wrote about a relationship that left her not wanting to fall in love with anyone else. Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum accompanied her on piano after she sampled her title “Never Gonna Let You Down” and her latest single “Try.” Together with Gareth Dunlop, the four sisters of SHEL performed “Hold On.”
Lady Antebellum wrapped the performances with “I Did It With You,” a title co-written with Monty Powell. “This is the first experience we had writing for a motion picture,” said Hillary Scott. “In the past few days, we have been between here and Los Angeles. Thank you to everyone for making this a great experience.” The trio concluded with “Bartender” and invited Caillat back for a cover of “Islands In The Stream.”

Members of Shel with Gareth Dunlop. Photo: Bev Moser.
Members of SHEL with Gareth Dunlop. Photo: Bev Moser.

A $7.50 “Movie Cash Ticket” will be made available for admission to the film with the purchase of all physically released versions of the soundtrack, thanks to Relativity Studios. For superfans, Walmart will offer a special ZinePak including the soundtrack, 48-pages of photos and quotes from actors and film makers, an unabridged audio book and seeds from the flower that is featured in the story.
The film stars James Marsden and Luke Bracey respectively as older and younger “Dawson” and Michelle Monaghan and Liana Liberato respectively as older and younger “Amanda,” high school sweethearts reuniting after 21 years of growing up in Louisiana.

CMT News: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inducts Four New Members

John Anderson, Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas, Paul Craft Join the Ranks
Paul Craft (front row), Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas and John Anderson
Paul Craft (front row), Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas and John Anderson
Photo Credit: Bev Moser
If you heard America singing Sunday night (Oct. 5), chances are the most familiar melodies were wafting from the Music City Center in Nashville as John Anderson, Paul Craft, Gretchen Peters and Tom Douglas were being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NSHF).

Hundreds of the honorees' family members, friends and music industry associates -- and a fair number of politicians -- packed the venue's grand ballroom for a ceremony that ran nearly four and a-half hours.

The award presentations and acceptance speeches were interspersed with tribute performances of the winners' compositions by Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett , Josh Turner, Bobby Bare, Rodney Crowell, Trisha Yearwood, Brandy Clark, John Rich, Britt Ronstadt, Collin Raye, Allen Shamblin and Bobby Braddock.

Layng Martine Jr., a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member himself, inducted his friend of 39 years, Craft, into the songwriters' pantheon.

He noted Craft was not only a member of Mensa, the "genius" circle, but also a jokester who had composed single-handedly such weird hits as the outrageously metaphoric "Drop Kick Me, Jesus" and "It's Me Again, Margaret," the tale of an unrepentant obscene phone caller.

But Craft's canon, Martine continued, also includes more than 200 bluegrass cuts (Craft once played banjo in Jimmy Martin's band), as well as the ethereal "Keep Me From Blowing Away" and the honky-tonk classics "Brother Jukebox" and "Hank Williams You Wrote My Life."

In tribute to Craft, Rhett performed a medley that included "Hank Williams You Wrote My Life" and "Brother Jukebox." Ronstadt gave a stellar rendition of "Keep Me From Blowing Away," a song her aunt, Linda Ronstadt, recorded on her Grammy-winning 1974 album, Heart Like a Wheel.

Bare drawled "Drop Kick Me, Jesus," a Top 20 hit for him in 1976. He noted that former President Bill Clinton had cited the composition as his favorite song.

Crowell spoke on behalf of Peters, calling her "both a songwriter and a poet (who) sings as beautifully as she writes."

Crowell, who has recorded and performed with Peters, said "Matador," one of her songs, "moved me so greatly, I cried from the soles of my feet."

Clark then took the stage. Singing solo and accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she delivered heart-wrenching samples of three of Peters' introspective hits -- "Let That Pony Run," "Independence Day" and "You Don't Even Know Who I Am."

Singer Bryan Adams, who co-writes with Peters, congratulated her via a raucous video greeting. Then Yearwood capped the tribute with an inconsolably lonely rendition of "On a Bus to St. Cloud," a minor hit for her in 1995.

Peters told the crowd her songwriting roots were anchored on a move she and her newly-divorced mother made from New York to Boulder, Colorado, when Peters was in the eighth grade.

"Those couple of years of upheaval made me a writer," she declared. "Music never once let me down."

She said she moved to Nashville in 1987, attracted by the talents of such emerging artists as Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and Crowell and not even knowing that songwriters wrote songs for other people to sing.

Although Peters' lavish talents as a performer and recording artist have yet to be widely recognized in the U.S., she regularly performs abroad. She thanked the people of Great Britain for giving her a career as a touring artist.

Publisher Troy Tomlinson told the story of Douglas' long and uphill climb to be a songwriter.

"All Tom ever wanted to do was put words on paper," he said.

Douglas was 27 years old and the head of a family when he first moved to Nashville to write songs, Tomlinson explained. After four years of failure, he retreated to Texas and sold real estate for the next nine years.

Finally, Douglas summoned up the courage to give a cassette tape of a song he'd written to producer Paul Worley. That song was "Little Rock," which Raye recorded and took to No. 2 in 1994.

And so began a string of hits for Douglas that would eventually include "Love's the Only House," "I Run to You," "Grown Men Don't Cry" and "The House That Built Me."

Tomlinson praised Douglas' "smart, redemptive lyrics and strong melodies."

Raye brought down the house -- and earned a standing ovation -- with his performance of "Little Rock," the story of a recovering alcoholic who is still incomplete without the woman he loves.

Lady Antebellum sent video congratulations, thanking Douglas particularly for penning their 2010 hit, "I Run to You."

Hall of Fame member Shamblin gave an affecting performance of "The House That Built Me," the song Lambert took to the top of the charts. McGraw squeezed tear ducts with "My Little Girl," his 2006 hit he co-wrote with Douglas.

Douglas gave the best acceptance speech of the evening in which he deftly likened the process of songwriting to the creation story in Genesis and in which he gracefully traced the progress of songwriting from the songs of King David to "Teardrops on My Guitar," touching all the lyrical and melodic landmarks in between. It was as well-crafted and impactful as his best songs.

"Let's talk about John Anderson," singer-songwriter-producer Rich proposed to the crowd as he prepared to induct the final honoree of the evening.

He began by reciting Anderson's chart triumphs, which stretch back to 1977 and include 19 Top 10s and five No. 1 singles, six of which were Anderson's own compositions.

Among the best-known of these, Rich pointed out, were "Swingin'," the 1983 crossover hit Anderson co-wrote with Lionel Delmore, and the majestic "Seminole Wind" from 1992 that Anderson wrote on his own.

Rich noted that Anderson played in a rock band until he fell under the sway of George Jones and Merle Haggard.

He moved to Nashville after finishing high school and worked a series of odd jobs that included helping install a roof on the then-new Grand Ole Opry House.

Anderson's mantra, Rich continued, is, "You sing what you know, and you know what you sing." He described Anderson as being like "the younger brother of the Outlaw movement" of the 1970s.

Unlike mere singers who try to trace the sinuous, sidewinder movements of the music business, Rich said, Anderson is the artist who cuts straight ahead, indifferent to trends and fashions.

"He is the George Jones of our generation," Rich proclaimed.

Anderson's fellow Floridian and Hall of Fame member Braddock sat at the piano and delivered a wistful version of "Seminole Wind." Rich sang "I Wish I Could Have Been There" and the goofy "Chicken Truck."

Turner, after detailing his long and close dealings with Anderson, both as a friend and admirer, sang "Swingin'." He asked the crowd to "imagine the horns" that graced the original recording.

Anderson thanked Jamie, his wife of 32 years, and then went on to cite specific allies who have aided him in his long career. He gave special praise to the Nashville Songwriters Association for its steady and unrelenting efforts on behalf of songwriters.

Noting that he came to Nashville in 1972 when he was 17, he ruminated, "I was just a kid, and people didn't take kids very seriously."

His has been a case study in why they should.

Several other honors were announced before the four new NSHF members were inducted.

As customary, members of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the hall of fame's sister organization, recognized "The 10 Songs I Wish I'd Written."

The winners were "All Kinds of Kinds" (written by Don Henry, Philip Coleman); "Boys 'Round Here" (Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Craig Wiseman); "Cop Car" (Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Matt Jenkins).

Also "Drink a Beer" (Jim Beavers, Chris Stapleton); "Drunk on a Plane" (Dierks Bentley, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins); "Follow Your Arrow" (Kacey Musgraves, Clark, Shane McAnally); "Give Me Back My Hometown" (Eric Church, Luke Laird).

And "I Hold On" (Bentley, Brett James); "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" (Douglas, Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele) and "Mine Would Be You" (Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Deric Ruttan).

The same NSAI poll picked Jack White as songwriter/artist of the year and Ashley Gorley as songwriter of the year.

"Automatic," recorded by Lambert and written by Lambert, Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby, was named song of the year. After accepting the award, Galyon and Hemby performed the song to warm and sustained applause.

Veteran publisher Pat Higdon was presented the Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award for his work in developing and guiding the careers of generations of songwriters, including those of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members Matraca Berg and Don Schlitz, who presented him the prize.

Sony/ATV/Nashville chief Tomlinson received the Keystone Award for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Hall of Fame.

Dr. Bo Thomas, retiring Hall of Fame Foundation board member, was honored for his distinguished service in that position.