Mike Curb Family Foundation, Belmont University and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundatio
September 20 2007
Pictured (left to right): Belmont University President, Bob Fisher, Dolly Parton, Mike Curb, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman, Roger Murrah. (Photo credit: J. Michael Krouskop)
The Mike Curb Family Foundation, Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation announced a major new partnership designed to create visibility and understanding for the foundation of the music industry – songwriting. Through the generosity of the Curb Family Foundation and its commitment to preserve the history of the music industry in Nashville, a new songwriting major in the Curb College and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame both have a permanent home on Music Row.
Located in the historic building at 34 Music Square East, former home of the Quonset Hut, Columbia Studio A, Columbia and Epic Records and Sony Music Nashville, songwriting students at Belmont will have front row seats to the thriving music industry of today, as well as its history. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will become the first organization honoring songwriters to emerge from a virtual entity to one with a physical location, also making its home at 34 Music Square East.
“We are excited that this site offers a further extension of the Curb College throughout Music Row, starting with Ocean Way, which provides students access to the finest recording studio in the country, extending to RCA Studio B, the historic home of great hit records by Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings,” Mike Curb said. “Belmont students can now further enrich their education of this industry’s history in Nashville in the historic Columbia Records Building and the historic Quonset Hut Recording Studio, the first recording studio on Music Row where great artists such as Marty Robbins, Sonny James, Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee recorded numerous hit records. This new Music Row extension of the Curb College will provide students with an incredible opportunity to learn about the history of music through the new history professorship, songwriting through the new songwriting major and many other aspects of the music business.”
Dolly Parton, who counts membership in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame among her highest accolades, was present for the announcement. “I’m just a poor wayfaring songwriter proud to finally have a home,” Parton said. “I’m very excited about the new Hall of Fame.”
Belmont University is one of the first accredited universities in the nation to offer a major in songwriting. Made possible in part by collaboration between Belmont and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, the major’s first semester introductory courses in August 2007 were filled to capacity with 50 student songwriters registering. Award-winning Nashville songwriting veterans Tom Schuyler and Bob Regan teach the classes, joining an impressive roster of faculty members in the Curb College, including Mark Volman, founding member of the Turtles, and Dove Award-winning songwriter James I. Elliott, coordinator of the songwriting major at Belmont.
The mission of the songwriting major in the Curb College is to help students develop artistic crafts while gaining a practical understanding of the business aspects of a songwriting career. Students in the songwriting program take courses in songwriting, music theory and ear training, music publishing and studio production. Student songwriters will also be required to complete mentorships with professional songwriters.
“Belmont has a distinguished reputation for educating students working in Nashville’s music industry,” Belmont President Bob Fisher said. “We are honored to be a member of this partnership with the Curb Family Foundation and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation to advance the cause of songwriting and contribute to the continued success of the art by educating the next generation of songwriters in our esteemed Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business.”
Students majoring in songwriting at Belmont will not need to look far for mentors and inspiration. With the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame also housed in the 34 Music Square East building, students will have close proximity to the hall and its resources, as well as invaluable opportunities to learn from its members. Induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, established in 1970, is considered the highest honor that can be bestowed on a songwriter with connections to the Nashville music community.
“The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is honored and excited about this partnership and the synergies it presents,” said Roger Murrah, the foundation’s chairman and a 2005 inductee of the Hall of Fame. “We helped design the curriculum for the songwriting major, and our members are willing and available to share our experiences with aspiring writers. We hope we’re also a source of inspiration for them. This partnership gives us a chance to give back.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame currently boasts 162 members, including songwriting luminaries such as Bill Anderson, Gary Burr, Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Sonny Curtis, Bob Dylan, Don & Phil Everly, Vince Gill, Harlan Howard, Bob McDill, Roger Miller, Bill Monroe, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Jimmie Rodgers, Cindy Walker, Jimmy Webb and Hank Williams, Sr. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit foundation that owns and operates the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The NaSHOF’s principal purposes are to educate, archive, celebrate and honor the legacy of songwriting that is uniquely associated with the Nashville music community.
The Mike Curb Family Foundation is dedicated to music education and preservation of historic music sites such as RCA Studio B, The Quonset Hut, Elvis Presley’s first home, The Johnny Cash Museum and the Talley House at Fisk University.