Wanna play at the world famous Bluebird Cafe? Tennessee Songwriters Week kicks off this week

An enthralled audience listens as a Nashville songwriter performs recently at the world-famous Blue Bird Café in Nashville. You could perform on that same stage by winning the 4th annual Tennessee Songwriters Week. (Photo courtesy of The Blue Bird Café)

It’s no secret that the storied history of Nashville songwriting and the history of the State of Tennessee go hand-in-hand. After all, they don’t call it Music City for nothing. From Willie Nelson who penned Crazy made famous by Patsy Cline to the reigning ASCAP songwriter of the year Josh Osborne’s who’s written hits for Sam Hunt, Blake Shelton, and Rascal Flatts … songwriters are literally the heartbeat of Tennessee.

It’s a fact celebrated each February during Tennessee Songwriters Week. The fourth annual kickoff starts this week and supports music venues, generates awareness of songwriters’ contributions to Tennessee, paves the way for future artists, and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions, and venues.

Eligible songwriters will be given the opportunity to play their original work at a qualifying round beginning January 30. Qualifying rounds will be hosted by numerous venues throughout the state including three located right here in southern, middle Tennessee. A panel of judges at each of the venues located throughout West Tennessee will choose two songwriters, Middle Tennessee will choose one songwriter per venue to advance while venues located in East Tennessee will choose four songwriters to advance to the Songwriters Week Showcase, for a total of up to eighty songwriters. The finale will be held at the The Bluebird Cafe on March 20.

There will be three locations in the surrounding counties to participate in the qualifying rounds. On February 2, you can qualify at the South Jackson Civic Center in Tullhoma. Click here to access an entry form. On February 6 at 1 p.m., you can perform one original song at Common John Brewery in Manchester located at 210 Woodbury Highway. Click here to submit an entry form. The Oldham Theatre in Winchester will also host a qualifying round. Email the event organizer, Yvonne Stewart ([email protected]) for more details. For a complete list of all the qualifying events being held throughout the state, click here.

After the qualifying round, the Tennessee Songwriters Week Showcase will be hosted at six historic venues in the following cities, Franklin, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Gatlinburg and Johnson City. The eligible songwriters will be given the opportunity to perform their original work. From each of the six locations, hosting up to twenty songwriters each, one songwriter will be selected by a panel of judges to play their original work at The Bluebird Café on March 20, 2022.

To learn more, visit the Tennessee Songwriters Week page on the Tennessee Department of Tourism site. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}