28th Year and Still Going Strong

28 years ago I had an opportunity to be part of a life changing event for songwriters.  As the first festival director of a brand new event for the Nashville Songwriters Association, I was fortunate to be a part of what would become a benchmark event and tribute to songwriters.

As one of the five founders of the remarkable Tin Pan South Songwriting Festival, I helped make history. Not only was I one the five original people who created the festival for NSAI I named the festival, which would become the brand.  Yes I named TIN PAN SOUTH. 

How did that happen?  I was a mom of two young kids and was frantically driving to a meeting about the festival after dropping them off at the sitter. We had to have a name and I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something that was catchy and would clearly state what the festival was all about.  Today we call it branding.

I kept thinking to myself, ” well it’s about songwriting, it’s kinda a festival like the New Orlean JazzFest where there are lots of shows over several days.” Being from New York I thought “it’s like Tin Pan Alley but it’s in the south”.

BOOM! The god given lightbulb went off.  “It’s TIN PAN SOUTH!!!” That’s what it has to be called. !!”

I excitedly jumped out of the car at the NSAI office and burst into our meeting saying, “I”ve got it I’ve got it!! It has to be called TIN PAN SOUTH!  We’re like the Tin Pan Alley  of the South and we’re having a songwriter festival like JazzFest.”

Fred Knobloch, Richard Leigh, Deanie Anton and Pat Rogers all agreed. So the five of us, the original creators of TIN PAN SOUTH, launched the festival. I packaged over 200 shows of the best songwriters in Nashville and from around the country and it was a hit. Now in it’s 28th year, it is the gold standard.

Today it attracts thousands of fans to Nashville each year. It has inspired a new genre of events, ‘the songwriter festival’ around the country, and around the world.  But TIN PAN SOUTH is still the biggest and the best.

Other than my Grammy nomination, creating that brand and being a part of its inception is one of my proudest professional accomplishments.

If you love songwriting and songwriters you really ought to check it out.  Here is the latest from MusicRow Magazine about this year’s event:

The 28th annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival has announced some details for this year’s festival, taking place March 24-28. This year, Tin Pan South week will not only include five nights of back-to-back shows in 10 venues, but daytime programming at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Thursday – Saturday, an NSAI open house, a Whiskey Jam takeover, the first annual Member Awards presented by Regions Bank, and one of NSAI’s premier educational events, the Tin Pan South Songwriting Seminar.

This year’s full lineup and schedule will be revealed on tinpansouth.com Tuesday, Feb. 25 when Fast Access Passes go on sale. For a sneak peek at the line-up, download the festival app to see the performer list on Friday, Feb. 21.


March 23 – Tin Pan South will kick off the 2020 festival with a Whiskey Jam takeover, giving attendees a taste of what to expect for the upcoming week.
March 23-24  – Tin Pan South Songwriting Seminar offering an opportunity to learn from over a dozen industry professionals (including several songwriters who will be performing later in the week during the festival)
March 25 -NSAI will host an Open House at its location on Music Row from 2 PM to 5 PM
March 26 – In an invitation-only event, NSAI will hold its first Member Awards (presented by Regions Bank). First-year honors include awards voted by NSAI’s global membership and select honorees recognized by NSAI staff members.
March 26-28 – Afternoon programming at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum beginning at 2 PM each day.

If you really want to jumpstart your songwriting by doing things the right way, check out Better Songwriting 101. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the process and give you tools to get going. In addition, we give you a view of what the world of songwriting really looks like, not some reality show version

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Why not start now?  The world is waiting for your voice!