I spent this week in Nashville, Tennessee. I went to an NSAI (Nashville Songwriting Association International) event. The event is called Tin Pan South. On Monday and Tuesday I attended a workshop at the Maxwell House Millennium Hotel. The main speaker was Tom Douglas. Tom is a great songwriter. He played two of his biggest hits for us. He played a keyboard and sang his own songs. The first song that he performed was Little Rock. Little Rock was his first song that became a number one hit. This happened in 1994. Do you remember the song? Here are some of the lyrics to the chorus to help refresh your memory.
I think I'm on a roll , here in Little rock
I'm solid as a stone, wait and see
I got just one small problem
Here in Little Rock
Without you, Baby I'm not me
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.
I love that song. He also, performed another song that he wrote. The house that built me. This is a number one hit that was sung by Miranda Lambert. Tom wrote this song with his friend Allen Shamblin. Tom and Allen wrote this song and did not get it finished. Something about the song was not right. Seven years later they finally found the correct direction to take the song and it became a hit. That is a long time to have a song and to come back to it. I would struggle to fine the lyrics and the demo after that long.
Tom did something in his speech that I thought was great. He told that it can be very discouraging being a songwriter. He has been there. He said, "If there is anyone here who is ready to quit, I want to encourage you to not quit. I want you to write down my phone number and call me. He then proceeded to tell his phone number to three hundred songwriters. I was so shocked. In today world, who would give out their phone number to a room full of strangers? This is the time frame in life where we try to protect our identity and our personal life from others. This simple act of kindness and his caring attitude was the most impactful thing about the entire conference.
Tom did ask all of us to make a commitment. The commitment was to write two song a month from April until December. In December he wanted us to take our five best songs and make a CD and give it away to our family and friends. So many times songwriters will write songs and they will live in notebooks or may be get burned to a cd and never listened to.
I decided I might do something a little different. I thought I could take advantage of my website. I have songs that I have written and only a handful of people have every heard them. I decided that I will share them. The first song that I decided to share is Puddles of Pain. I recorded this song in Nashville at a Pitch Perfect recording studio. Originally I had this song sung by a professional demo singer and he sounded great. I always wanted to hear what one of my songs would sound like if I went to a professional studio and if they used auto tune to make my vocals sound better. The professional singer is so much better but I wanted to try this. You can download a copy of this if you want to.