Category Archives: Sung And Unsung Songwriters

George Jones—Who’s Gonna Fill YOUR Shoes?

Tonight at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and in honky-tonks and concert halls everywhere, the music of George Jones will echo from the stage. Both friends and admirers will pay tribute to his greatness by singing his songs.

No other singer can serve up a cry in your beer song like he did and I’m home listening to the man himself. My husband was a long time fan and I still have his collection of George Jones records. Bartender Blues is spinning now. He really was the best.

Yesterday’s Wine, Grand Tour, A Drunk Can’t Be A Man and He Stopped Loving Her Today. Who’s gonna sing those songs now George? Who’s gonna fill your shoes?

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Michael McDonald Opens New Season Pop Series With The Nashville Symphony

Resident Conductor Albert-George Schram led the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in an energetic and lively performance tonight, launching this season’s Bank of America Pops Series. The evening began with the orchestra’s lively presentation of Dvorak’s Carnival. The ten minute overture, composed in 1892, includes a stirring march, a peaceful interlude of strings and woodwinds and an overriding movement punctuated by moments of dramatic percussion. The orchestra closed the first hour with a moving rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s Westside Story overture, bringing the audience out of the nineteenth century and into the age of pop music.

Special guest artist, seventies rock icon, Michael McDonald, opened the evenings second hour with “Love Letters,” a 1960 ‘era orchestra ballad. Although McDonald is a five time Grammy winning songwriter, his performance tonight included many tunes composed by other writers. He said the songs he chose are “the ones I can remember where I was when I first heard them.” Not only were the songs meaningful to McDonald, they also showcased his wide range of vocal styles and he easily adapted his soulful baritone to suit the various genres. He romantically crooned Brenda Lee’s “Someday”, powerfully belted out Aretha Franklin’s “Aint No Way” and rocked his way through The Band’s “Rag Mama Rag.” In answer to the crowds resounding cry of encore he delighted the audience with a rocking rendition of Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Following tonight’s performance one fan said that “his voice is as smooth and rich as it ever was.”

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center suffered serious damage during the flood in early May. Repairs on the building are expected to continue through December and the Bank of America Pop Series concerts will be held inside the Allen Arena at David Libscomb University until the Schermerhorn reopens. Upcoming performances of this season eight-part Pop Series include Gershwin “Here to Stay” (October 14-16, 2010), an evening highlighting George Gershwin’s most popular tunes, including his song collaborations with brother Ira; Jewel (November 11-13, 2010), featuring the singer-songwriter performing her pop and country hits of the past two decades; Peter Cetera (January 13-15, 2011), presenting the legendary lead-singer of the group Chicago and successful solo artist; Broadway Rocks! (February 24-26, 2011), a collection of high-energy rock and pop songs originally featured on the Broadway stage; The Sound of Philadelphia (March 31, April 1-2, 2011), featuring the dynamic group Spectrum in a look back at the signature sound of Philadelphia soul as created during the 1970s; Michael Cavanaugh Sings the Music of Bill Joel (May 5-7, 2011), an evening with the GRAMMY-nominated star of Billy Joel’s Broadway musical Movin’ Out; and Lorrie Morgan (May 26-28.

Roots Music At It’s Finest, Cherryholmes With The Nashville Symphony

On April 18th the Grammy award winning Nashville Symphony joined neo-traditional Bluegrass family ensemble, Cherryholmes, inside the Laura Turner Concert Hall closing three nights of informal and lively Roots themed music, part of the Bank Of America Pops Series.

Under the energetic direction of resident Conductor George Schram, the orchestra opened with a selection of European folk influenced music that included an outstanding presentation of Georges Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody. Reminiscent of traditional Gypsy music the piece led the audience on a syncopated journey through Romania’s colorful cultural landscape. Segueing into American folk based music, Shrachm surprised and impressed the audience by delivering a vocal a duet with eleven year old Jake Moor. The contrasting tones of Schram’s mature raspy voice coupled with Moor’s warm and bright timbre gave emotion and depth to their rendition of David Frost’s, “I Love This Land.” When closing the evening’s first half, Shchram offered a playful apology to Vanderbilt’s fans and alumni before exuberantly leading the orchestra in a rousing performance of “Rocky Top.”

Molly Cherryholmes arrival in front of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra announced the beginning of a remarkable and versatile performance by Cherryholmes, a four time Grammy nominated band. Joined by her sister Cia, brothers Skip and B.J. and her parents Sandy and Jere Cherryholmes, Molly took the stage first, giving the audience a preview of her fierce and driving instrumental style and beautiful voice.

First noted for their authentic Bluegrass sound, Cherryholmes is now also known as a group of innovative and able songwriters. With a talent for composing diverse songs that combine the complicated components of Jazz and Celtic music with traditional Appalachian musical elements, the Cherryholmes Band continues to creatively evolve and mature.

Delivering one the evening’s most memorable performances, Cia Cherryholmes sang “Weaver of Lies, ” an original song featured on the band’s upcoming CD, “Common Threads.” Accompanied by her sister Molly on fiddle and symphony cellist Julia Tanner, “Weaver Of Lies,” exemplifies Cia’s outstanding lyrical sophistication and her musical virtuosity.

Following their opening night performance with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra Sandy Cherryholmes stated that performing with Nashville’s prestigious Symphony was a tremendous honor. Noting that the orchestra adds a new and exciting dimension to their music, she also went on to say that “The blending of classical and acoustic, shows that downhome music can also have an artistic, beautiful side.”

On May 6th, 7th and 8th, contemporary 80’s recording artist, Christopher Cross will join the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in the next Bank Of America Pop Series program.
On June 2nd the Cherryholmes Band will release their new CD “Common Threads” at the Loveless Cafe Barn, where they will perform on “Music City Roots” a weekly radio show. The live show will also feature a performance by Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs.

Nashville Selected to Host the National Folk Festival, 2011 – 2013

The National Council for the Traditional Arts announced today with Mayor Karl Dean and Compass Records Group that Nashville has been selected as the host city for the National Folk Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The “National” is the oldest and longest-running multi-ethnic traditional arts festival in the nation. This moveable exposition of traditional music and culture will be presented in downtown Nashville for three consecutive years, with the final year in Nashville marking the Festival’s 75th anniversary. Nashville won this honor in a competitive process involving 40 cities across the nation. “No city in the United States can match the raw talent, creativity, and long history of making music like we have here in Nashville. You combine that with our growing international diversity and growing recognition and appreciation for the arts, and you have a city that is well primed to host the National Folk Festival and to create an event of a caliber worthy of serving as the celebration of its 75th anniversary,” Mayor Dean said.

The National Folk Festival effort in Nashville will involve the entire community and bring together many diverse groups to work toward the common goal of building the festival. An estimated 800 volunteers will work with festival planners, city employees and community leaders, creating an event that will bring the region numerous benefits. The festival is expected to draw upwards of 80,000 attendees in its first year, increasing to over 150,000 by year three and is expected to have an estimated $10-15 million in economic impact per year. The National’s stay is also intended to lay the groundwork for a new annual festival that will continue in Nashville after the National moves on in 2014.

For over 70 years, the National Folk Festival has provided a way for people to embrace the cultural traditions that define us as Americans. This three-day free, public outdoor event celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft, storytelling, food and more. With downtown Nashville as the backdrop, audiences can expect a diverse array of continuous music and dance performances by the finest traditional artists from all parts of the Nation, a Tennessee Folklife Area with craft demonstrations, exhibits and stage presentations focused on the heritage of the region and state, a Family Area, regional and ethnic food courts, and a festival marketplace offering fine handmade regional crafts.

Song For Peter By His Friends Daniel and Steve Posted on You Tube Today

Shortly after my husband Peter passed, our friends Daniel Green and Steve Rupe wrote this song in his memory.

Waylon Jennings
Born June 15, 1947 Died Feburary 13, 2002

Harlon Howard
Born September 8, 1927 Died March 3, 2002

Peter Thorpe (Nashville Fats)
Born November 30, 1952 Died March 4, 2002

Harlon Howard

Nashville Symphony recording of two Ravel works receives GRAMMY nomination for ‘Best Classical Album’


Conductor Alastair Willis

The Nashville Symphony’s Naxos recording of French composer Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) and Shéhérazade has just received a GRAMMY nomination in the category of Best Classical Album. Recorded in 2006 and 2007 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center and released earlier this year, the disc features conductor Alastair Willis leading the orchestra with mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne; members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus and the Chicago Symphony Chorus; and the Chattanooga Boys Choir. The remaining nominations in the Best Classical Album category this year include such other distinguished orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra with conductor James Levine; the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas; and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Marin Alsop. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards is scheduled to air January 31.

Planned and recorded during a time when the orchestra was between music directors, the success of this project was an especially extraordinary achievement. A key challenge, clearly, was finding the right conductor. Alan D. Valentine, President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony, said the choice of Alastair Willis was an inspired one: “We knew he was an excellent musician, and he was highly recommended to us by colleagues in the industry. This GRAMMY nomination proves that we made the right call,” Valentine said. “Such wonderful recognition only reaffirms the orchestra’s high level of artistic achievement as reflected in our previous GRAMMY wins and nominations. I’d like to congratulate our musicians, this organization and its supporters, and our friends at Naxos on this exciting news.”

Since 2000, the Nashville Symphony has enjoyed a wonderfully successful partnership with Naxos of America, the world’s leading classical music label. Nashville Symphony releases on Naxos have now received eight GRAMMY nominations. In 2008, the Symphony’s recording of Joan Tower’s Made in America, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, won three GRAMMY awards, including Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance.

Two other Nashville Symphony recordings on the Naxos label were also recognized yesterday in the GRAMMY nominations. Steve Epstein and Blanton Alspaugh were nominated individually in the category of Producer of the Year, Classical, for their body of work, which includes Nashville Symphony recordings of Corigliano and Menotti, along with the Ravel.

For more information about the Nashville Symphony, please visit NashvilleSymphony.org.