Songwriters’ Showcase spotlights Teddy Gentry of ‘Alabama’

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Teddy Gentry’s group “Alabama” has 43 #1 hits; Marty Raybon’s “Shenandoah” has 13 #1 hits and Linda Davis’ duet with Reba McEntire was a #1 hit. Among the three artists coming to the Troy Arts Council’s “The Heart Behind the Music – A Songwriters’ Showcase” Saturday night at the Claudia Crosby Theater, they have an incredible 57 #1 hits.

“Amazing,” said Joel Williams, TAC president. “The event is a unique, a rare opportunity. Just think: three Grammy Award winners – Teddy Gentry, Marty Raybon and Linda Davis – will all be on one stage at one time. And they will be talking about the songs they wrote and why they wrote them and they will perform many of those songs.”

Williams said what is so remarkable about “The Heart Behind the Music” is that it brings the creativity of these performers into sharp focus.

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“These three singer/songwriters don’t only sing songs, they write them,” Williams said. “It will be fascinating to hear the stories behind the songs.”

The audience at the “The Heart Behind the Music Songwriter’s Showcase” Saturday night will have the opportunity to hear a member of one of the most popular country music bands to ever sing a note talk about the songs he wrote.

Teddy Gentry has been with Alabama since the band formed in 1969. The cousins, Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Gentry, have sold 73 million albums, have a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and have their own life-size bronze statues in their hometown Fort Payne.

As a member of Alabama, Gentry has experienced his share of fame.

But as much as he enjoys being on stage, it’s songwriting – the heart behind the music –that he prefers.

Williams said those who attend the Songwriters’ Showcase Saturday night will hear the stories behind Gentry’s music. He might tell how he was inspired to write “Ride the Train” by his grandpa’s stories of hopping a train to Chattanooga. Or he might tell of overhearing a group of ladies who were out celebrating their friend’s divorce and how that motivated him to write, “She’s a Lady Down on Love.” A conversation between Gentry and his son while fishing was the inspiration for “Pass It on Down.”

“When you know the story behind the songs, that makes them more meaningful,” Williams said. “The Troy Arts Council encourages everyone who enjoys country and Southern rock music to attend ‘The Heart Behind the Music – Songwriters Showcase’ at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.”

Tickets are $30 and will be available at the door. One hundred plus tickets will be available for students with an ID. Additional student tickets are $8.