Songwriters Josh Kear and Tenille Townes perform live and talk about the stories behind their songs during this 2018 program, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Songwriter Sessions series.
Canadian-born Townes reminisces about attending Songwriter Sessions at the Museum when she first moved to Nashville, often touring the galleries afterwards. She performs “Where You Are” (which would later appear on her 2020 album, “The Lemonade Stand,” produced by Jay Joyce).
Kear talks about working as a songwriter in Nashville for ten years before having any success. He credits Carrie Underwood recording “Before He Cheats,” which he co-wrote with Chris Tompkins, with changing his life, and performs the Grammy-winning song.
Before sharing an emotional performance of “Jersey on the Wall,” a song she co-wrote with Tina Parol and Gordie Sampson, Tenille Townes remembers the experience that inspired it: seeing the jersey of a high school student who was killed in a car accident hanging on a gymnasium wall. Kear likens “Jersey on the Wall” to “Most People are Good,” a Luke Bryan cut he co-wrote with David Frasier and Ed Hill. Both were written because they needed to be, Kear says, not necessarily for their commercial potential.
Townes remembers shopping with her mom in Nashville, and feeling deeply affected by a woman with a cardboard sign standing on a street corner. The experience led her to write “Somebody’s Daughter” (later the leadoff single from “The Lemonade Stand”) with Barry Dean and Luke Laird, which she performs.
Kear talks about writing songs with Dierks Bentley, including “Drunk on a Plane” and “Woman, Amen,” which he performs and dedicates to his wife.
Townes recalls her first writing session with Kear, which resulted in the song “The Most Beautiful Things.” She performs the song, which was also co-written with Gordie Sampson.
Kear describes the typical co-writing process when working with recording artists and recounts how “Need You Now” was written with Lady A. He closes the show with a performance of the song.
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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