From his first pop hit, Loves Been a Little Bit Hard On Me by Juice Newton (1982) to his induction into the Country Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 Gary Burr has been one of the most successful and honored songwriters in history.
32 top forty hits, 24 top tens, 14 number ones, Garys career has spanned pop, country even Latin hits such as Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s smash duet Nobody Wants To Be Lonely.
Gary has been honored with Songwriter of the Year awards by Billboard Magazine, ASCAP, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
One of the rare breed who writes hits alone as well as co-writing, Gary is a favorite collaborator of a collection of writing icons such as Carole King, Richard Marx, Don Schlitz, Victoria Shaw, Kenny Loggings... even Ringo Starr!
Over the years Gary has kept his joy of music alive by keeping his hand in as many musical adventures as he can lead singer in the seminal country-rock group Pure Prairie League, guitarist/bassist for Carole King on her widely-acclaimed Living Room Tour, guitarist/vocalist in Ringo Starr’s band, The Roundheads and thousands of other projects.
For me the next song is never far from my mind. Every day I believe that THIS could be the day I hear or say the phrase or hum the melody that will be the best song I’ve ever written!
Gary has topped the charts in three decades and his melodic command and lyrical mastery continue to amaze and touch the hearts of fans all over the world.
Georgia Middleman’s love affair with music is evident in every song she sings. Her songs blend passion and insight into the human condition with powerful melodies in a combination that hearkens to the timelessness of classic American popular music.
One of Nashville’s most accomplished singer/songwriters, Georgia has had songs recorded by Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, Joe Nichols, Maia Sharp and Sheila E., among many others. In 2010, Keith Urban took “I’m In,” which she co-wrote with Radney Foster, to the top of the country charts. Those who have seen her live, though, can attest that there is real magic in her own renditions of her songs as, she wraps one of music’s most expressive voices around lovingly crafted glimpses into life and love at their most compelling.
Born and raised in Texas, Georgia earned a degree in acting from NYU and played the city’s clubs until a visit to Nashville. “That’s when everything changed,” she says. “I fell in love with this town because it was a community of writers.”
She earned a publishing deal with Polygram and then a record deal with Giant Records. Her solo records include“Endless Possibilities” on Giant Records and the independent “Unchanged” and “Things I Didn’t Know I Knew.” Georgia is currently in the studio working on her fourth solo record.
When not performing solo, Georgia is one third of the trio, Blue Sky Riders, along with Gary Burr and Kenny Loggins. Blue Sky Riders released their debut CD, “Finally Home,” in January of 2013 and are currently working on their follow-up CD, due for release in 2017.
Georgia is also one half of the husband & wife duo, Middleman Burr.
2015 guests included:
Producers: Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Crowded House, Randy Newman), Howard Benson (Elektra), Ken Caillat (Sleeping Giant Music Group) , Richard Harris (Peer), Kevin Casey
Publishers: Monica Benson (BOK), Jerome Spence (Peer), Ryan Gaines (Platform Music Group), Steve Bloch (Southern Cow Music), Jason Brawner (Hillary Duff), Josh Young (Atrium), Steve McClintock, Antoinette Olesen (Parthenon Music Group), Suzan Koc (Hit & Run Music), Nick Phillips (Concord Music Group)
Songwriters: George Merrill (Whitney Houston), Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket), Shelly Peiken (Christina Aguillara, Meredith Brooks), Jeff Campbell (indie artist), Megan Slankard (indie artist), The Silvershers (Disney, Muppets), Brent Borgeous (Michael W. Smith), Andre Pessis (Mr. Big, Huey Lewis), Kevin Fisher (Rascal Flatts, Sarah Evans),
Execs: Jocelyn Kane, Executive Director, San Francisco Entertainment Commission, Stefan Franz (IDC), Suzan Koc (Hit & Run Music), Todd & Jeff Brabec, Ned Hearn (Entertainment Attorney), Fred Barnes (The Chapel), Deborah Jackman (Mezzanine), Matt Shapiro (Elbo Room), Steve Horowitz, James Leach (SESAC), Justin Seiser (BMI)
GLEN PHILLIPS: is an American songwriter, lyricist, singer and guitarist. He is best known as the singer and songwriter of 1990s alternative rock group Toad the Wet Sprocket. Glen Phillips started Toad The Wet Sprocket in Santa Barbara at age 15. It was that group's third album -- the jangling, orchestral Fear -- that truly broke the group, garnering heavy radio play with the singles "All I Want" and "Walk on the Ocean." After three years away from the recording studio, Toad returned to the mainstream with Dulcinea, which again found one of its singles, "Fall Down," in heavy radio rotation. After six albums and a substantial string of hits, the group disbanded in 1998. Phillips began touring as a solo act after Toad the Wet Sprocket's demise, and has released 5 solo records and two EPs, collaborated on two projects (Mutual Admiration Society and Works Progress Administration), released an EP with Plover (with Neilson Hubbard and Garrison Starr) and an album as RemoteTreeChildren (with Portland's John Askew).
In 2006, while supporting the Mr. Lemons album, he also toured North American with a reunited Toad the Wet Sprocket. Toad has toured off and on since that time, and in 2011 played 70 shows and decided to begin writing for a new album, which was released in 2013.
SHELLY PEIKEN: Grammy-nominated songwriter Shelly Peiken has been a prolific, behind-the-scenes force in the music business for more than two decades. Her songs have sold in excess of 50 million records. She is best known for penning culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit, “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’ smash, “Bitch.”
Shelly’s experiences, accomplishments and the circles in which she has traveled give her a unique perspective on the music business: that of a professional woman who fought her way into a highly competitive industry, found a way to succeed, balanced a thriving career and a family, and who has witnessed firsthand the changes that have turned that industry upside down. All the while, Shelly has stayed true to her first true love: the often elusive but always immensely satisfying act of writing a great song.
Shelly’s first book, Confessions Of A Serial Songwriteris a humorous pop culture memoir about her journey: from young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to working professional, writing hits of her own. It’s about growing up, the creative process, the highs and the lows, the conflicts that arise between motherhood and career success, the divas and the celebrity egos, but also the remarkable people she’s found along the way. www.ShellyPeiken.com
KEVIN FISHER is a multi-platinum selling songwriter. Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Uncle Kracker and many others have recorded his songs. His song Crazy Life hit the Billboard top 40 for Tim Rushlow and is now the title track of the debut record of Home Free, the winners of NBC’s The Sing Off. Danics Dora, winner of the Hungarian X Factor, released his song Jelenido as a single in 2014. Singles in Germany and Canada are coming this summer, 2015. TV shows like True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, Brotherhood, and America’s Funniest Home Videos have featured his music. His songs are in movies like Angriest Man In Brooklyn, Dear Dumb Diary and Frozen Ground. He’s written two touring musicals and a number of cartoons. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
SUZAN KOC, Music Publisher: Suzan started her career at Warner Chappell in Paris, France, where she signed the Swedish pop band Ace of Base. In 1996 Suzan was hired by the prestigious English boutique company Hit&Run Music, to work in their New York office. In 1997 she was transferred to Los Angeles as VP of Creative and was instrumental in developing the career of songwriter Shelly Peiken.
As VP of Writer Development at BMG Music Publishing she introduced songwriters Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry who are now the production team WAX ltd, a few years later, she introduced them a 16 year old Zella Day, who is currently climbing the charts. During her first year as VP of Creative at the newly formed BMG Rights Management, she worked with songwriters busbee , David Gamson , Jean Baptiste, Alex Geringas, who all benefited from her detailed and articulate feedback on their songs.
Throughout the years she has set many co-writes that led to songs such as “Stronger” and “Dark Side” both recorded by Kelly Clarkson, “Dance The Pain Away” Benny Benassi featuring John Legend, and successfully pitched songs “Try” Pink, “Almost Doesn’t Count” Brandy as well as Mark Wills in Nashville, “I’m Not Your Girl” Reba, "Hostage" (È l'amore che conta) recorded by Italian artist Giorgia....
In 2008, Suzan started workshops series, “Songwriters Rendezvous”, where she mentors up and coming songwriters as well as more seasoned songwriters helping them to stay current. She is also one of Hollywood Musician’s Institute’s Music Business Program instructor where she teaches Music Publishing. Her international background allows her to address the different aspects of the business as well as craft of songwriting. She is fluent in English, French and Turkish.
RICHARD HARRIS: Now in his seventh year as a published writer/producer with Peer Music LA, Richard has had cuts with Katharine McPhee (Billboard Top 40), two #1 single’s with South Africa’s Idol winner Elvis Blue off his double plati- num selling and SAMA award winning record, a Billboard Top 10 with EMI Latin multi-million selling artist Anahi, a top ten single for Universal New Zealand art- ist Boh Runga, top ten single with EMI Holland Artist Sabrina Starke and Atlantic band Camera Can’t Lie. A top 20 single with EMI artist Shawn Hook in Canada and a top ten record in Japan with boy band Lead. In the EDM world Richard has been killing it with a #1 Billboard hit “Lie To Me” with Cole Plante on Hol- lywood Records, an iTunes top ten single “Young Love” with Felix Cartal and a top 40 iTunes dance hit with Greg Cerrone on Ultra Records. This year is set to continue positively with two major label single releases for artists in Canada and Portugal, and 5 new EDM single releases scheduled for this summer. Co-write credits include Grammy award winning and multi million selling writers including Lazonate Franklin, Justin Gray, Erika Nuri, Mark Hudson, Pam Sheyne, Victoria Shaw, Gary Burr, Keith Follese, Jeff Franzel and Boots Ottestad.
GEORGE MERRILL is an American songwriter whose work mostly dates from the mid to late 1980s. He wrote "How Will I Know," which was a hit for Whitney Houston in 1986, as well as Houston's 1987 hit "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."From the mid- to late-1980s to the present day, Merrill has been one half of vocal duo Boy Meets Girl, who are best remembered for the late 1988 hit "Waiting For a Star to Fall".He wrote the song and had initially offered it to Whitney Houston, but she rejected it and Merrill decided to sing it himself and feature it on the next Boy Meets Girl album.