For Immediate Release



Songwriters, CMA staffers, Bluebird: The Movie production team gather prior to the CMA Awards Song of the Year Show at the Bluebird Cafe.

(Nashville, Tennessee...) - November 22, 2017 - Sixteen powerhouse songwriters gathered recently at The Bluebird Cafe to celebrate 35 years of the Country Music Association's Song of the Year award and raise awareness for the Bluebird: The Movie
fundraising campaign. The special show was filled with stories and songs, all centered around the CMA Song of the Year Award nominees and winners throughout the 35-year history of The Bluebird Cafe. CMT Hot 20 Countdown's Katie Cook hosted the event, which was captured for the documentary and was streamed on Facebook Live. 
Bluebird Cafe founder Amy Kurland (l.) shares a moment with current General Manager Erika Wollam Nichols (c.) and CMT Hot 20 Countdown co-host Katie Cook (r.).

The four rounds represented hit songwriters performing CMA Song of the Year Award nominees or winners in each decade since The Bluebird Cafe's opening in 1982.

(l. to r.) - Jon Vezner, Mark Irwin, Don Henry, Thom Schuyler

Round One:
Thom Schulyer - "16th Avenue" (nominee, 1983)
Don Henry & Jon Vezner - "Where've You Been" (winner, 1990)
Mark Irwin - "Here In The Real World" (nominee, 1991)
(l. to r.) - Matraca Berg, Beth Nielson Chapman, Dickie Lee, Karen Staley

Round Two:
Karen Staley & Dickey Lee - "Keeper of the Stars" (nominee, 1996) 
Matraca Berg - "Strawberry Wine" (winner, 1997)
Beth Neilsen Chapman - "This Kiss" (winner, 1999)
(l. to r.) Marcus Hummon, Jeff Hanna, Tim Nichols, Doug Johnson

Round Three:
Doug Johnson - "Three Wooden Crosses" (winner, 2003)
Tim Nichols - "Live Like You Were Dying" (winner, 2004)
Marcus Hummon & Jeff Hanna - "Bless The Broken Road" (nominee, 2005)

(l. to r.) Ashley Gorley, Rhett Akins, Steven Lee Olsen

(l. to r.) - Tom Douglas, Rhett Akins, Steven Lee Olsen

Round Four:
Tom Douglas - "The House That Built Me" (winner, 2010) 
Rhett Akins & Ashley Gorley - "Dirt On My Boots" (nominee, 2017)
Steven Lee Olsen - "Blue Ain't Your Color" (nominee, 2017)
The Bluebird Cafe opened in June of 1982 and is in the midst of an ambitious Indiegogo campaign to fund Bluebird: The Movie, an in depth documentary about the influence the tiny 90-seat venue has had on singers, songwriters and popular music in general. The campaign is currently online, and fans can contribute here.
About the CMA Awards: 
The first "CMA Awards Banquet and Show" was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time - making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA's other two television properties, "CMA Fest" and "CMA Country Christmas," through 2021. The CMA Awards air in 43 countries.
For additional information on The Bluebird Cafe and the various events celebrating the 35th anniversary, visit
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For additional information on the Bluebird Cafe contact:
Craig Campbell,, 615-210-3602
Jaime Scorby,, 615-383-5308