An unassuming, 100-seat venue that became one of the premier songwriter clubs in the country, the Bluebird Cafe is a legend in the music business. Many of today's most popular songs and songwriters started here, including Garth Brooks.
Amy Kurland, who started the little restaurant in 1982, began showcasing songwriters as a way to help them gain exposure for their work. Kathy Mattea became a regular performer on her way to many hit songs and awards. A regular songwriter's night followed, and the songwriter-in-the-round format started in 1984 with Thom Schuyler (“16th Avenue” and “Old Yellow Car”), Fred Knobloch (“Used to Blue” and “Meanwhile”), multiple Grammy winner Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet, who has charted 16 singles onthe Billboard country charts.
Among the stars who showcased their early work at the Bluebird were Taylor Swift, the Indigo Girls, Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley.
On January 1, 2008, Kurland transferred ownership of the Bluebird to the Nashville Songwriters Association International, (NSAI) in support of the group's mission to “educate, elevate and celebrate songwriters.”
The Bluebird has been featured in interviews with Barbara Walters and Katie Couric and, on October 10, 2012, made its primetime debut on the ABC drama Nashville. The Bluebird is a key factor in the show’s plotline. In the meantime, nightly songwriter shows, featuring some of the best up and coming and successful artists, continue.
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