Songwriter Gretchen Peters shares live songs and stories from her award-winning career during this January 2015 program at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, part of the ongoing Poets and Prophets series, which spotlights songwriters who’ve made significant contributions to the country music canon.
Among the songs Gretchen Peters performs here: the title track of her 1996 solo debut, "The Secret of Life"; "The Matador," a track from 2012’s "Hello Cruel World" that Trisha Yearwood later included on her 2019 album "Every Girl"; "When All You've Got is a Hammer," from Peters’s 2015 album, "Blackbirds"; "Independence Day," a Top Twenty song for Martina McBride; and "On a Bus to St. Cloud," a single that Trisha Yearwood released and included on her 1995 album, "Thinkin’ About You."
Peters also shares memories that trace back to her early years, growing up in a well-to-do home in suburban New York. She reminisces about picking up the guitar by age seven, and how the World War II experiences of her father, William Peters—an accomplished TV broadcast journalist—inspired her to write "The Aviator Song.” Peters talks about how she began writing songs and performing in clubs and bars in her late teens, and how, after moving to Nashville in 1987, she experienced an epiphany hearing songwriter Don Schlitz perform "The Gambler." "I got immediately what I had to do," she says.
The songwriter digs deeper into her big break—George Strait taking her song "The Chill of an Early Fall" to #1 in 1991—and the struggles she experienced writing "Independence Day," which would become her signature song. For the aspiring songwriters in the theater and watching online, Gretchen Peters also shares advice she gives in workshops.
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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