Thursday January 18th, 2018 10:25PM

Early start to John Jarrard concert

By Staff
  Contact Editor
GAINESVILLE - This year's John Jarrard Foundation Concert gets off to an early (and free) start Friday night in downtown Gainesville.

The 11th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert Songwriters in the Round Show Saturday on Brenau University s Front Lawn will feature singer/songwriters with more than 20 No. 1 hit songs between them.

Friday night's freebie starts at 7:00 and will feature Riverstreet Again and the Jeffrey Steele Band. Steele is a performing songwriter who has written a long list of hit songs for such group and individuals as Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown. This is the second year in a row that the concert has been a two-day affair.

Songwriters Walt Aldridge, Tony Arata, Steve Bogard, Fred Knobloch and Phillip White headline the annual show honoring Gainesville native and songwriter John Jarrard.

This group of songwriters has penned more than 20 No. 1 songs, and country music fans will certainly recognize these hits, John Jarrard Foundation Executive Director Jody Jackson said.  We are expecting another great show to honor John Jarrard and raise money for the John Jarrard Foundation and the non-profit groups it supports.

Jarrard was a Gainesville native and Nashville songwriter who was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He wrote songs for performers such as Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait, Diamond Rio and Tracy Lawrence. Jarrard battled diabetes before his death in 2001.

In its first 10 years, the John Jarrard Concert raised more than $1 million to support some of Jarrard s favorite charities including Good News at Noon Clinics, Good News at Noon, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County.

There is a full day of activities on Sept 15, beginning with a John Jarrard Foundation Songwriters Workshop featuring a panel of Nashville songwriters from 10 a.m. to noon on the Gainesville Square. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the John Jarrard Foundation joins with Art In The Square featuring performances on the John Jarrard Songwriter Stage. The Songwriters in the Round concert activities start at 6 p.m. on the Brenau Front Lawn.

Aldridge, a songwriter, singer, musician, engineer and producer, has been involved in the music industry more than 30 years. During that time he has written more than 50 Top 40 songs. Billboard magazine named Aldridge one of the Top 10 Country Songwriters of the Year twice based on the strength of his chart activity. His song  No Getting Over Me was named one of ASCAP s most performed country songs.  Holding Her and Loving You was named Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International. His work spans a wide spectrum of music, including artists as diverse as Lou Reed, Peter Cetera and Blessid Union of Souls, while traditional country acts from Conway Twitty to Reba McEntire have also found success with Aldridge s songs. He produced and co-wrote  I Loved Her First, a chart topper for Lofton Creek Records act Heartland.

Arata, a Georgia native, has written seven songs for Garth Brooks including  The Dance which was named Song of the Year by The Academy of Country Music and received both a Country Music Association and a Grammy nomination, as well as a most performed song in Radio and Records Magazine. He has also had No. 1 records with Here I Am for Patty Loveless,  I m Holding My On for Lee Roy Parnell, and Dreaming With My Eyes Open for Clay Walker.

Bogard has written nine No. 1 country songs among eighteen ASCAP or BMI award winners including George Strait's, "Carried Away and  Carrying Your Love with Me," and Rascal Flatts' career breaker, "Prayin' For Daylight." Total sales of albums containing Bogard songs are more than seventy million units. He has had two Grammy nominations for Best Country Song and has produced nine major-label album projects for Arista, Virgin, Lyric Street and Sony.

White started hanging out with legendary songwriter Spooner Oldham, and it was through Oldham s mentoring and getting to be around Oldham's writing friends such as Donnie Fritts and Mark Narmore, that White says he learned how to approach writing as a profession. White moved to Nashville in 1994 and has since been writing hits for artists like George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. Among his hits are the 2002 ACM and NSAI song of the year "I'm Movin' On, recorded by Rascal Flatts. He wrote the theme song for the hit television show Reba, "I'm A Survivor." McCreery s "The Trouble With Girls" has been climbing the charts. White also just teamed up with buddy and country superstar Jake Owen to write a song for the "Act Of Valor" soundtrack.

Knobloch has worked with a wide array of artists including Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Faith Hill, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Delbert McClinton, Keb Mo, The Dirt Band, Gregg Allman, Ruth Brown, John Anderson, Etta James and Levon Helms. Knobloch has been involved with more than 1,500 recordings as a songwriter, musician and singer by artists whose styles range from Country to R&B to Jazz and Pop with several of his tunes appearing in movies and on television. His most recent chart successes were Faith Hill's "If My Heart Had Wings" and George Strait's "Meanwhile."

Along with Don Schlitz and Thom Schuyler, Knobloch originated the 'In The Round' format at the world famous Bluebird Café in Nashville. This has become the standard presentation for songwriter nights all across the country throughout the past two decades, and it s the same format that will be used for the Saturday night John Jarrard concert.

Tickets are $30 each, and table sponsorships are available by calling 770-710-9191. Tickets can be purchased online at
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.