Nashville Songwriters Christen Fontanel With Flood Benefit
Jim Weatherly, Dickey Lee and Mike Reid are among the Songwriters Hall of Fame members who will perform at Songwriters Sing for Nashville, a benefit concert for Nashville flood victims held at the newly-opened Fontanel Mansion and Farm. The July 17 event will be the debut concert for the new amphitheatre, the Woods at Fontanel, which seats 2,500 people.
Other Hall of Fame songwriters already scheduled to perform include Matraca Berg, Dallas Frazier, Hugh Prestwood, Mark D. Sanders, Don Wayne and Dennis Morgan. Organizers of the event promise more writers and perhaps a few unannounced celebrities will drop by to help raise money.
The event is truly a who's-who of Nashville's most successful songwriters. Matraca has written a laundry list of big hits including 'Wrong Side of Memphis' for Trisha Yearwood and 'Wild Angels' for Martina McBride. Dickey wrote 'Let's Fall to Pieces Together' for George Strait and 'She Thinks I Still Care' for George Jones. Hugh penned 'The Song Remembers When' for Trisha and 'Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart' by Randy Travis. Mark's hits include 'I Hope You Dance' for Lee Ann Womack and 'Blue Clear Sky' for George Strait. Dennis wrote the Barbara Mandrell hit, 'I Was Country When Country Wan't Cool,' and 'All Roads Lead to You' by Steve Wariner. Mike's 'Stranger in my House' was a hit for Ronnie Milsap, and Bonnie Raitt recorded his now classic tune, 'I Can't Make You Love Me.'
Fontanel is the former home of Barbara Mandrell, whose husband built the log home in 1988 for their family. They lived there for almost two decades, raising three children on the glorious Fontanel grounds. The 27,000 square foot home is now open to the public for tours. It has been the site of several television shoots, including John Rich's 'Gone Country' on CMT. Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow shot scenes from their upcoming movie, 'Love Don't Let Me Down,' at the mansion. The site of the mansion also has much historical significance: Frank and Jesse James hid out at a house that was on the property after they committed the ill-fated bank robbery in Northfield, Minn., and Confederate Soldiers assembled on the land during the Battle of Nashville in the Civil War.
Songwriters Sing for Nashville tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster. "We wanted to make them affordable," said Roger Murrah, songwriter and Board Chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. "This way the entire family can come out and enjoy an evening of great songs. We also encourage folks to come early to walk the trails here, or to eat at the new Farm House Restaurant on the property."
After the announcement was made about the concert, representatives from Anchor Trailways & Tours presented Roger with a check for $10,000 to get the fund for flood relief underway.