April 14, 2015 Country Music Association Songwriters to Perform at Library of Congress

Bill Anderson, Mac Davis, Mo Pitney and Pam Tillis To Perform April 21

Press Contact: Erin Allen, Library of Congress (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Jay Jones, CMA (615) 244-2840
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov

Singer/songwriters Bill Anderson, Mac Davis, Mo Pitney and Pam Tillis will headline an intimate evening of country music at the Library of Congress’ Coolidge Auditorium on Tuesday, April 21 at 8 p.m. The auditorium is in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First St. S.E., in Washington, D.C.

The concert, presented jointly with the Country Music Association, is part of the Concerts from the Library of Congress series, which presents a broad range of music at the nation’s library, including classical, country, jazz, pop, folk and world music performances.

All Library of Congress concerts are presented free of charge, but tickets are required to reserve seating. They are available through Ticketmaster, online at Ticketmaster.com External or (202) 397-7328, (410) 547-7328, and (703) 573-7328. Each ticket carries a nominal Ticketmaster service charge, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6 p.m. on concert nights to wait in the standby line for no-show tickets. For more details, visit www.loc.gov/concerts/.

“We are thrilled to have the Country Music Association bringing these major country artists to the Library,” said Susan H. Vita, chief of the Library’s Music Division. “This is the fourth concert in our collaboration with CMA, which enables us to feature the nation’s most popular musical form, and to present some of the nation’s most notable songwriters and performers.”

“We value our ongoing partnership with the Library of Congress,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “Country Music, and our heritage of strong storytelling, is perfectly suited to the Library’s mission of acquiring, preserving, and providing access to America’s culture and stories through song” and underscores the importance of protecting songwriters’ intellectual property, “the very foundation of the format.”

The CMA Songwriters Series since 2005 has presented songwriters as performers, who also tell the stories behind the songs.

“Whisperin’” Bill Anderson has had many No. 1 hits and played the Grand Ole Opry (1961), the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1975), and the Country Music Hall of Fame (2001). BMI named Anderson the performance rights organization’s first country music songwriter icon in 2002 alongside R&B legends Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and James Brown. At 19, Anderson composed the classic “City Lights” and later wrote “Whiskey Lullaby,” named 2005 CMA Song of the Year (performed by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss); “Give It Away,” the 2007 CMA Song of the Year (performed by George Strait); “A Lot Of Things Different” (performed by Kenny Chesney) and “Too Country,” named the 2001 CMA Vocal Event of the Year (performed by Brad Paisley, Anderson, Buck Owens, and George Jones).

Mac Davis has made his name not only as a singer and songwriter but also as a film and stage actor and television and radio personality. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Davis started performing in local rock groups while he was a teenager. He scored a No. 1 pop hit with “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” which reached the Country Top 20 and continued with crossover success with singles like the 1974 hit “Stop and Smell the Roses” and “Burnin’ Thing” and “Forever Lovers” in 1975. A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame since 2006, he wrote “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry, Daddy” for Elvis Presley and “White Limozeen” with Dolly Parton. Davis is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Mo Pitney, born and raised in Cherry Valley, Illinois, began his career in music at 12 and taught himself to play the banjo, bass, and drums. His influences include bluegrass artists Tony Rice and J.D. Crowe, while vocally he was inspired by Keith Whitley, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis and Buck Owens. He writes about love, faith, family, friends, and his passion for the outdoors. Pitney lives and breathes the lifestyle he represents.

“Everything I sing about is very connected to me personally; it means something to me personally,” he says. “When I sit down and write a song, what comes out, I’ve never heard it called anything else but country music.”

Pam Tillis, the daughter of country music giant Mel Tillis, found her own voice as a singer/songwriter and has earned a reputation as one of the most gifted vocal stylists of her generation. Her breakthrough single, in 1991, was “Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” released the same year “One of Those Things” and “Maybe It Was Memphis” reached the Top 10. She had her first No. 1 hit in 1994 with “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life).” Other songs she has written or recorded include “Hearts Breakin’ All Over Town,” (recorded by Conway Twitty), “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial,” “It’s Lonely Out There,” “Spilled Perfume,” (each recorded by Tillis) and “Someone Else’s Trouble Now” (recorded by Highway 101). She was named CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1994 and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Past CMA Songwriters Series shows at the Library have featured Jim Beavers, Kix Brooks, Bob DiPiero, Brett James, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan, John Rich, and Victoria Shaw.

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a genre of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with country music’s highest honor. More than 6,000 music-industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of country music around the world. For more information about CMA and the association’s awards and initiatives, visit the official website at CMAworld.com External.

Country music and its roots are well-represented in Library of Congress music collections, including rare gems such as "The Wreck of the Old ‘97" sung by Fred Lewey and recorded by Robert W. Gordon in Concord, North Carolina (1925); the first recording of "Tom Dooley," sung by Frank Proffitt in Beech Mountain, N.C. (1940); copyright deposits of handwritten lead sheets by country-music greats before they became famous, such as "I Fall to Pieces" by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard (1960), "Crazy" by Willie Nelson (1961), "Okie from Muskogee" by Merle Haggard and Roy Ward Burris (1969), and "You’re Lookin’ at Country" by Loretta Lynn (1970). Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 15-062
2015-04-14
ISSN 0731-3527