ARTICLE: Bluebird 25th Anniversary Celebration

Bluebird Cafe's 25th Anniversary Party at BMI Nashville

by Bev Moser
A beautiful Spring evening atop BMI, one of Nashville's icons on Music Row honored another historic icon in the music industry and the woman who is responsible for entertaining fans and tourists and giving a home to aspiring writers, artists and long time industry favorites. The rooftop party held at sunset brought Nashville's finest together for an evening of music, laughter and a social gathering to celebrate 25 years for The Bluebird Cafe. A token "shhhhhhhh" fan was handed to each guest upon arrival, not to indicate that quiet was the expectation at this event, but as a souvenier and reminder of the intimate and quiet atmosphere that The Bluebird Cafe represents. The Jay Patten Band played while the crowd mingled until Jody Williams, BMI, held up a very large sign with the same "Shhhhhhhhh" wording to get the attention of the crowd gathered for the evening. Jodi gave a heartwarming welcome along with some words of appreciation for the opportunity to honor Amy Kurland, owner of The Bluebird Cafe, before turning the microphone over to Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell and then, famed music row writer and frequent guest at The Bluebird Cafe, Thom Schuyler, who both honored Kurland with accolades for her continued success with the Bluebird Cafe, which opened in 1982. Presented to Kurland was an oversized poster which had been personally autographed by the artitsts and writers in attendance at the party.Amy Kurland beamed with pride as she accepted the mic herself and was asked to say a few words. The list of thank you's was too long to name every writer and artist who has made The Bluebird Cafe a must see for those visiting Nashville and for those who's dreams of becoming the next big artist or hitmaker as they sit among the writers in the round and share the stories behind the song and give a personal touch to the music.

Among some of the names Kurland did mention, were her parents who were in attendance at the party that evening, her business partner Bob White aka Roberto Bianco, Sandra Bullock and the late River Phoenix for the movie The Thing Called Love in which The Bluebird Cafe was a main event and focal point during the movie, Kathy Mattea who put The Bluebird Cafe on the map when she did a national televised interview from The Bluebird Cafe on ABC's "Good Morning America", Garth Brooks who was discovered at a writers night on stage at The Bluebird Cafe, as well as hit songwriters Jonell Mosser, Don Schiltz, Gary Burr, Hal Ketchum and many many others.

The last person Amy recognized and said a very heartfelt and special thank you to was the man she described as having "good hands", her husband Kelly, and then went on to explain that it was because he was always there for her in the middle of the night when the bathrooms were backed up, light bulbs needed changed or any one of the the other things it takes to keep The Bluebird going.Some of the guests attending were singers , Hal Ketchum, Michael Johnson, Danny Flowers, Jonell Mosser, Crystal Gayle and Mark McGuinn along with songwriters Jim Photoglo ("Fishin' in the Dark"), Alex Call ("8675309 / Jenny"), Don Henry ("Where've You Been"), Kent Blazy ("If Tomorrow Never Comes"), Dave Berg ("If You're Going Through Hell"), James Slater ("In My Daughters Eyes"), Becky Hobbs ("I Want to Know You Before We Make Love"), Benita Hill ("Two Pina Coladas"), Victoria Shaw ("The River"), Gary Burr ("What Mattered Most"), and Fred Knobloch ("Baby's Got A New Baby"). In typical Bluebird Fashion, as the evening sky turned to dusk, some of the songwriters took to the stage and sang special songs dedicated to Amy Kurland and The Bluebird Cafe, bringing the special event to an appropriate and very personal close.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

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