Behind the music: Hit songwriters take center stage for fund raiser

Behind the music: Hit songwriters take center stage for fund raiser
They have written for country music legends George Jones, George Strait, Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.
They have also penned tunes for Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Eli Young Band, Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann.
“They” are Lee Brice, Rob Hatch and Lance Miller, three highly-successful Nashville songwriters who will be taking part in an upcoming event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee.
Club board member Portis Tanner, who worked at Curb Records in Nashville before returning to Union City, called on some of his talented friends in the music business to bring their music and their stories to an event slated for 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Union City.
Headlining that group is Brice, a Curb recording artist who has written for a who’s-who in country music, including Brooks, McGraw, Chesney, Shelton, Aldean and Eli Young Band.
As a solo artist, he released the song, “Love Like Crazy,” which climbed to No. 3 and stayed on the Billboard Country Music Charts for a record 57 weeks, making it the most-heard song of 2010 and his first certified “Gold Single.”
Joining him locally will be Hatch, who co-wrote Justin Moore’s No. 1 song, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” A writer for Magic Mustang Music in Nashville, he has also penned tunes for Jones, Johnson, Niemann, Gretchen Wilson and Jake Owens.
Miller, the third member of the trio scheduled to perform, is a former Nashville Star finalist who co-wrote Brice’s song, “Beautiful Every Time,” along with Brice and Hatch. He currently writes for StyleSonic, which is Tim McGraw’s publishing company, and has had his songs recorded by McGraw, Niemann, Randy Travis, Clay Walker, Tracy Lawrence and Restless Heart.
“We view this as a win-win situation for everyone,” Tanner said. “Area residents will be able to support an excellent local cause in the Boys and Girls Club while enjoying an event they would normally have to go to Nashville to be a part of.
“These guys have written No. 1 songs and travel all over the world to perform their music, so it’s very special to have them coming to Union City to share their music and their stories.”
Brice, a South Carolina native, boasts two No. 1 hits among his songwriting credits, including “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band and “More Than A Memory” by Garth Brooks. The latter of those debuted in the top spot on Billboards Country Music Chart.
Other songs co-written by Brice include McGraw’s “Still,” “I Love You” by Eli Young Band, “You’ll Always Be Beautiful” by Blake Shelton, “Not Every Man Lives” by Jason Aldean, “Baby Blue Eyes” by Josh Kelley and “Sorry Don’t Matter” by Jason Michael Carroll. Upcoming cuts include “Seven Days” by Kenny Chesney and a pair of other tunes on Niemann’s soon-to-be-released CD.
Tanner said he is excited about the songwriters’ visit to the area and the opportunity to hear current hits, as well as be among the first to hear songs that will very likely be hits in the future.
“This is a great chance for area music lovers to hear the behind-the-scenes development of songs from the actual songwriters themselves,” he said, noting the songwriters are excited about sharing the stories and music locally. “And it will give them a greater appreciation when they hear some of the songs in the future on the radio or in videos.”
It’s also for a great cause.
Tanner said one of the biggest challenges on the Boys and Girls Club board of directors is how to continue to best serve the children in the community.
“The answer is not always a fiscal solution; however, without operational cash flow, we know that not one child can be served,” he said.
“Through much coordination with Masquerade Theatre — and with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to our Boys and Girls Club — this event will go a long way in ensuring the children continue to be served.”
He added there is plenty of credit to go around for putting together what promises to be a first-class event in Obion County.
“As with any event, it just does not happen with one person,” said Tanner, who lauded the Masquerade Theatre board members, especially Brad Thompson, the former president and board chairman of the Boys and Girls Club and current board member of the Masquerade Theatre. “While everyone has been helpful, Brad has been very instrumental in the event-planning process of what is shaping up to be a very successful fund raiser.
“I couldn’t have done it without Brad and the other board members.”
A cash bar will be set up at the event.
To reserve tickets, which range from $25 to $50, contact Lanzer Printing  and Office Supply Co. in downtown Union City (731) 885-0651.
Published in The Messenger 12.21.11

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