Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Surprises Class of 82

A scene from the Whitley County High School senior prom April 24, 1982 as they danced to their class song, Through The Years written by Steve Dorff and recorded by Kenny Rogers.

“It just seemed like that song was custom written for our class.” – Tami Cox Mason

In 1982 the Whitley County High School Senior Class made up of seventeen and eighteen year olds was tasked with choosing a class song. While the class song is generally just a song to base prom decorations around, this class put a bit more thought into it. Among the contenders were, “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, “The Best of Times” by Styx and “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon, the class ultimately decided on “Through the Years” a song made popular by Kenny Rogers. Whether by an exceptionally prolific class or dumb luck, the song would become as class member Tami Cox Mason said, “a song that seemed to be custom written for our class.”

Fast forward to 2022 and the 40 year Reunion of that same Class of 82. No longer are they seventeen and eighteen year olds but parents and grandparents. Many are retired or very close to it and all with different life experiences but shared ones as well. As the planning Committee set out to decide on the date and location, they had no idea of the huge surprise they would receive.

Class member Cat Rhoden Goguen is a podcaster and co-hosts the podcast Backstory Sessions along with Matt Rifenburg. On one of their episodes, a guest had metioned songwriter Steve Dorff. Upon listening to the episode, class member Nat Hyde who now lives in Oklahoma, told Cat that she should see if she could get Steve Dorff to be a guest on the podcast because he was a great songwriter and had among thousands of others also written Through The Years. Cat knew it was a longshot but she set out to find Steve Dorff. “I couldn’t believe it when he responded that he would be a guest and tell us the backstory of the song that’s meant so much to us for 40 years. What an amazing gift to us to have a songwriter of the magnitude of Steve Dorff make time to just tell us the backstory of our class song. That’s really special.” She then recruited seven class members who all appear on the special podcast episode with Steve to discuss how the song has impacted their lives through the years.

Hear from Gary Bryant, Jim Wilson, Nat Hyde, Angie Wilson, Judith Streetman Sherman, Tami Cox Mason and Teresa Rountree

The episode will air on October 1st at 9:00 pm. This is the day after the WCHS Class of 82 assembles at Cumberland Falls to celebrate “the best class to graduate from Whitley County High School”….or so it was said on the podcast. You can hear the backstory of the song and what the class members had to say by tuning in to any major podcast platform.

You can read more about Steve Dorff at http://www.stevedorff.com or purchase his book, I Wrote That One, Too at https://www.amazon.com/Wrote-That-One-Too-Songwriting/dp/1495077292

You can purchase tickets for this special evening by contacting City Winery Nashville.

BMI Presents An Evening of Songs and the Stories Behind Them with Steve Dorff and

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — (September 12, 2022) – City Winery Nashville has announced an upcoming show on Tuesday Oct. 4 at 7:30 pm CST billed as BMI Presents An Evening of Songs and the Stories Behind Them with Steve Dorff and Friends. The one-of-a-kind evening of music and stories will be hosted by Steve Dorff, a 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and long-time award-winning BMI writer. The performances will showcase an evening of hits he co-wrote with his guests and others that became some of the biggest songs of the last four decades. Featured guests include Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson, BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year and Nashville Songwriters Association’s Songwriter of the Year Jeffrey Steele, BMI “Million-Air” award winner Leslie Satcher with more to be announced. Ticket purchases include a portion of sales going to the Andrew Marshall Dorff Memorial Fund to continue his legacy to uplift a new generation of music lovers.  Tickets can be purchased here.  

“Playing the City Winery with some of the most incredible talented friends is always a blast. I can’t wait. Thanks to my longtime partner, BMI, for always supporting my musical endeavors,” shared Steve Dorff.
 
“Steve Dorff is a hall of fame songwriter, and his live performance is a master class in storytelling,” says Clay Bradley, VP, Creative, BMI Nashville. “We are blessed to have him as a part of the BMI family and are so grateful he calls Nashville his home.”

About Steve Dorff:
Inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, Steve Dorff’s career as a songwriter spans five decades and includes more than forty BMI awards, twenty Top 10 hits, twelve No. 1 hits, and an American Music Award. The Grammy and Emmy-nominated songwriter and composer has had songs recorded by more than four hundred artists from all genres of music, as well as twenty-eight movie scores and countless theme songs and placements on TV series. He has had #1 Records across 4 decades. Steve’s songs have been recorded by iconic artists such as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield and countless others. A few chart hits include Rogers’ “Through the Years,” Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again,” Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way But Loose”—the title track from Clint Eastwood’s 1978 film. Dorff has composed TV music for shows such as Murphy Brown, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Reba, Spenser: For Hire, Just the Ten of Us, and The Singing Bee. His film contributions include songs and scores for Pure Country, Bronco Billy, Rocky IV, Tin Cup and Honky Tonk Man. Branching into stage productions, he wrote the music for the theatre production, Josephine. Steve published his critically acclaimed 2017 memoir, I Wrote That One Too…A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney, and enjoys performing his best-loved songs at venues across the country. Follow Steve Dorff for current updates on his website at www.stevedorff.com/ 

About Bill Anderson:
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry titan Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, “City Lights,” was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958.  The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to signing with BMI and Tree Publishing. Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed “City Lights” with country standards like “Tips Of My Fingers,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Once A Day,” “Saginaw, Michigan,” “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome,” “I Missed Me,” “Cold Hard Facts Of Life,” which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, “Mama Sang A Song,” the crossover smash, “Still,” and countless others. He was voted country Songwriter of the Year six times during his first decade in Music City. His success continued into the 1970’s with award-winning hits like “Slippin’ Away,” “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,” “I May Never Get To Heaven,” and the disco-flavored, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer.” The 1980’s saw Anderson’s chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the 1990’s he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like “Wish You Were Here,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Two Teardrops,” “A Lot Of Things Different,” for Kenny Chesney, “Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn),” for Vince Gill and two CMA Song Of The Year trophies for “Whiskey Lullaby,” with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Strait’s “Give It Away,” in 2005 and 2007 respectfully.  He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s “Dying To See Her.” For more information, visit BillAnderson.com.

About Leslie Thatcher:
No other female Nashville singer-songwriter is more respected or more revered than the stunning talent that is Leslie Satcher. At the age of 26, the native Texan made the move to Nashville in pursuit of a singing career and was quickly recognized for her gift with lyric and melody. After being mentored at a smaller publisher by many of the music industry’s most legendary songwriters, she made the move to Sony Music Publishing where she would stay for nearly 15 years. During this time, she was also signed as an artist at Warner Brothers. While recording her critically acclaimed debut album, “Love Letters”, her songs were growing in demand. Though Leslie is primarily known as a country singer and songwriter, her talents cross all genres. She has written or co-written songs that have been recorded by everyone from Willie Nelson to Ariana Grande; Vince Gill to Sheila E.; George Strait to Sheryl Crow; Martina McBride to Keb’Mo; Blake Shelton to Bonnie Raitt and many, many more. She has received multiple BMI “Million-Air” awards recognizing a song’s one millionth airplay and her incomparable vocals contribute to an astounding number of Grammy, CMA & ACM award winning projects. Aside from writing hit songs for some of music’s most iconic artists; Leslie is in high demand as a performer known for her angelic voice, funny stories, the unique playing style and sound of her guitar; but mostly, her uncanny ability to connect with audiences of any size or demographic. Her typical year will include more than 150 songwriting sessions and 65 live performances all over the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

About Jeffrey Steele:
Jeffrey Steele was born in Burbank, CA, into a musical family. He was raised in North Hollywood. He made his stage debut at age 8 as a guest vocalist in his brother’s band at a church dance. By age 17, he was playing in rock clubs on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, as well as in the country bars of the San Fernando Valley. The multi-instrumentalist also toured as a country sideman. From 1990-1996, he was the lead singer and bass player for the country band Boy Howdy. The group scored several hits with Steele’s songs, notably 1993’s pop-crossover success “She’d Give Anything” / “I’d Give Anything.” Steele moved to Nashville in 1994. After Boy Howdy disbanded, he embarked on a career as a solo artist and a Music Row songwriter. Among his biggest hits have been “Unbelievable” by Diamond Rio, “The Cowboy In Me” by Tim McGraw, “My Town” by Montgomery Gentry, “These Days” by Rascal Flatts, “Something To Be Proud Of” by Montgomery Gentry, “Brand New Girlfriend” by Steve Holy, “Me And My Gang” by Rascal Flatts, “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts and “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band & Jimmy Buffett. Steele’s co-written “What Hurts The Most,” recorded by Rascal Flatts, was BMI’s 2007 Country Song of the Year. Jeffrey Steele was named BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 2003 and 2007. He was the Nashville Songwriters Association’s Songwriter of the Year in 2003, 2005 and 2006. The songwriter was a judge on NBC-TV’s Nashville Star in 2008, and he has also appeared on CMT’s Gone Country series and GAC’s reality series The Hitmen of Music Row. He has released several solo albums. Jeffrey Steele has had more than 500 recordings of his songs and been responsible for 95 singles and sales of 50 million units. He founded the Jeffrey Steele Songwriting Boot Camp to mentor aspiring writers. Follow Jeffrey Steel on his website at http://jeffreysteele.com

About the Andrew Dorff Memorial Fund: 
The Andrew Marshall Dorff Memorial Fund will continue his legacy to uplift a new generation of music lovers. Donations made to the fund will support two initiatives: to help create an endowed scholarship at Belmont University in Andrew’s name that will assist students pursuing a career in songwriting, and to support Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with its pediatric oncology initiatives.
Andrew Dorff was known in the music world for penning five No. 1 songs for country stars Blake Shelton (“My Eyes” and “Neon Lights”), Kenny Chesney (“Save it for a Rainy Day”), Hunter Hayes (“Somebody’s Heartbreak”), and Rascal Flatts (“Yours if You Want It”). He had other notable chart successes with artists such as Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Old Dominion, and Ronnie Dunn. With over 1,800 songs in his catalog, he left a legacy of many hits to come. Contributions can be made to the Andrew Marshall Dorff Memorial Fund through The Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. 
Donations can also be made on The Community Foundation website at www.cfmt.org/giving-and-investing/become-a-donor/give-to-a-fund/andrew-marshall-dorff-memorial-fund/.

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JEANNIE SEELY TO CELEBRATE 55TH GRAND OLE OPRY ANNIVERSARY AFTER-PARTY HOSTING WORLD FAMOUS ‘MIDNITE JAMBOREE’

Special guests slated to perform include Mark Wills, Sunny Sweeney, Dallas Wayne, Diane Berry & Joe Wade Smith, Moore & Moore and special guests 
Jeannie Seely and Ernest Tubb
Photo: Artist Submitted
JEANNIE SEELY TO CELEBRATE 55TH GRAND OLE OPRY ANNIVERSARY AFTER-PARTY HOSTING WORLD FAMOUS ‘MIDNITE JAMBOREE’

First Midnite Jamboree Show from the Troubadour Since May of 2021 

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (September 13, 2022) GRAMMY®-winning artist, Jeannie Seely, has been announced as the host for the return of the world-famous Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree on Saturday, September 17 at the Troubadour in Nashville, TN. The event will also be an after-party celebration for fans, friends and industry members to honor Jeannie for her milestone as a 55-year member of the Grand Ole Opry. This event has become a tradition for Seely who has hosted the Midnite Jamboree after milestone Opry celebrations including her 40th, 45th and 50th anniversaries. 

Listeners can tune in and hear the Midnite Jamboree on WSM AM 650 and online at midnight with Jeff Hoag brought to you by Springer Mountain Farms.

Special guests slated to perform include Mark Wills, Sunny Sweeney, Dallas Wayne, Diane Berry & Joe Wade Smith, Moore & Moore, along with Jeannie Seely and the promise of some special guests.

Jeannie Seely has performed on the Midnite Jamboree for several decades, from the time it was broadcast downtown from the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Broadway and her association with Ernest Tubb holds a special place in her heart. Tubb recorded “Sometimes I Do” written by Seely, she was part of the weekly The Ernest Tubb Show syndicated on television and she fondly remembers and to this day follows the valuable advice he offered her.

“So very glad the Midnite Jamboree is coming back!! I’m so thrilled to not only serve as host for this historic return, but also to be celebrating my Opry Anniversary here again.  My mind goes back to the first time Ernest Tubb introduced me on the Jamboree and back announced that ‘the future of country music is in the hands of this young lady,” reflects Jeannie Seely. “Hopefully he is smiling down and proud that we are carrying on his tradition. For my part, I’m hoping it shows my appreciation for the helping hand he so generously extended to me.” 

“It is hard to put into words just how excited I truly am to have The Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree back at the Troubadour starting this Saturday Night!” Exclaimed Troubador owner – Rodney Collins. “With the great Jeannie Seely hosting and celebrating her 55th year as a Grand Ole Opry member, history is being made this Saturday! We hope you will come and be a part of our special night.”

“We are very excited to bring the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree back to the Country music community. With the historical significance and the pedigree of the show, we could not be happier to have Jeannie Seely help us get this in motion,” stated Ernest Dale Tubb III Gives me the feeling that ET is applauding from above!”

Stay in touch with Jeannie Seely on her website and all of her social media platforms Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree:
The Midnite Jamboree was a radio program aired from May 3, 1947 through May 7, 2022 on WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. It was launched by country musician Ernest Tubb. The program was recorded from Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tennessee each Saturday. Through a brokered programming arrangement with Ernest Tubb Record Shop, the Jamboree aired following the Grand Ole Opry; as the program’s name implied, it aired at midnight Central Time. In its later years, the Midnite Jamboree was billed as “the second longest running radio show in history.” On March 11, 2022, the owners of Ernest Tubb Record Shop announced that it would be going out of business in the spring, ending the program. A special broadcast was recorded on the program’s 75th anniversary on May 3, 2021 and broadcast on WSM the following Saturday; that would be the final new episode, as the store closed that week.

About Jeannie Seely:
Jeannie Seely’s deep, moving vocals earned her the nickname of “Miss Country Soul,” a title that’s still used today. An esteemed singer, songwriter, producer, actress, author and on-air personality, Seely added another title, “Doctor,” to her resume when she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Lincoln Memorial University in 2019. The third female country artist to win a GRAMMY® is also among a select group of country artists who have scored No. 1 hits as a solo artist, duet partner and songwriter. On September 16, 1967, Seely fulfilled her lifelong dream of joining the Grand Ole Opry®, becoming the first Pennsylvania native to do so. 55 years later, Seely makes clear that it’s still a thrill and an honor each time she performs on the world-famous stage. From her 1966 Top 10 Billboard album, The Seely Style, which featured “Don’t Touch Me,” to her self-produced album, Written in Song, consisting entirely of songs she’s written and recorded for more than 10 Country Music Hall of Fame® members, Seely’s recordings have spanned seven decades. Seely first appeared on the Billboard charts in 1966, continued to score entries for 13 consecutive years on various Billboard charts, and as recently as 2022, has had a presence on the MusicRow charts. Seely also garnered a No. 1 on the Record World Country Singles chart in 1971 as well as a No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today chart in 2019. In his 2003 book, Finding Her Voice: The Saga of Women in Country Music, music critic Robert K. Oermann wrote, “With her chin-out, tough/tender, heart-of-gold manner, Jeannie Seely remains one of Country’s most completely modern female personalities,” and that statement still holds true. With a strong social media following and over four million views on her YouTube channel, Seely continues to expand her international presence as music sales and messages from fans worldwide pour in. She appeared in Willie Nelson’s movie Honeysuckle Rose and sang on the film’s RIAA® platinum-certified soundtrack, and for the past four years, Seely has hosted her own show, Sundays with Seely on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse. She also served as a disc jockey on her own Armed Forces Network Show, which launched after her tour abroad for the troops. Seely continues to receive letters of appreciation from American soldiers for her support. She is also a fierce advocate for musicians’ rights and takes much pride in her involvement and support for the cause. Nelson, along with Rhonda Vincent, Bill Anderson, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Stevens and many more of her friends, joined Seely for her current project on Curb Records, An American Classic, which has seen rave reviews and three radio releases. Most recently, Seely won the Song of the Year Award at the Arkansas Country Music Awards. Keep up with all things Jeannie Seely at www.jeannieseely.com.
  

May I Have Your Attention, Please? All Adult Cast

The Lyric Theatre of Lexington, KY produced this version of May I Have Your Attention, Please?

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