Seats remain for Nashville Hitmakers

June 28, The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin is to host Nashville Hitmakers, a country concert by eight award-winning songwriters. The Sandusky River Watershed Coalition is bringing in the performers for a 7 p.m. show to share their music and stories.

Tickets are $25 for senior citizens and students, $50 general admission, and $100 for a dinner/concert combo. Proceeds from the concert are to be used for projects in the watershed’s 12 counties.

Cindy Brookes, watershed specialist at SRWC, said about 20 corporate sponsors will be able to meet the artists at a reception Friday evening. The corporate sponsors and $100 ticketholders are invited to a dinner at Heidelberg Saturday before the show. The buffet is to open at 4:30 p.m. with chicken, vegetarian lasagna, potatoes, glazed carrots and angel food cake with fresh berries. The $100 tickets, which include preferred seating, must be purchased at the Ritz by 5 p.m. Friday.

The songwriters who are to be

performing their works:

Beth Nielsen Chapman is most famous for “This Kiss,” performed by Faith Hill. Other artists who have recorded her songs include Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Roberta Flack, Amy Grant and Willie Nelson. Movie soundtracks and television shows also have featured her work.

Early in his career, Scotty Emerick wrote “Round Here” and other hits for Sawyer Brown and several cuts for George Strait and Ronnie Milsap. In 1997, he met Toby Keith and collaborated with him on five albums, with tunes such as “I Love This Bar” and “Beer For My Horses.” Emerick has performed on numerous tours with Keith and on USO tours to U.S. military bases abroad.

Richard Leigh broke into the songwriting business in 1976 when Crystal Gayle recorded his song, “I’ll Get Over You” and took it to the top of the country chart. Two years later, he was awarded Song of the Year for “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” In 1994, Leigh was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Artists who have recorded his songs include Anne Murray, Martina McBride, George Jones, BJ Thomas, Tammy Wynette, Ricky Skaggs, Marie Osmond and Ray Charles.

Guitarist Mike Loudermilk has written, performed and recorded with Crystal Gayle, John Schneider and a host of other artists.

Paul Overstreet has written No. 1 singles for Randy Travis, The Judds, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton and Keith Whitley. He also has received several awards for his Christian country songs and was named to the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2003.

A native of Paris, Texas, Leslie Satcher grew up singing in church with her younger sister. She moved to Nashville in 1989, where a member of the Gaither Vocal Band and Naomi Judd took notice and helped her make connections with publishing companies. Her compositions were recorded by Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis and Willie Nelson, among others.

A founder of the Nashville Hitmakers show, Even Stevens, has too many awards to list in a small space. His hit songs include “I Love a Rainy Night,” “When You’re In Love With a Beautiful Woman,” “Love Will Turn You Around” and “Suspicions.” His music also has been incorporated into television shows and movies. Hundreds of singers have recorded his work, including Tim McGraw, Engelbert Humperdinck, Mac Davis, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, Glen Campbell, Eddie Rabbit, Dr. Hook and Julio Iglesias.

Wynn Varble started playing guitar as a teen, influenced by Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers. In the 1980s, he wrote with David Gibson. By 1994, he had a writing contract with a major music company in Nashville. Kellie Pickler, Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack, Brad Paisley, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and Tracy Byrd are some of the artists who have recorded Varble’s songs.