Karen Staley was born in Weirton, WV and was raised in nearby rural Hookstown, PA in the Tri-State area of WV/PA & OH. She is a 30 year veteran of the Nashville music industry & has been involved in virtually every facet of the business from songwriting & performing to touring, recording & producing.
Karen’s #1 songs have been played on radio over 12 million times & counting. Those songs have collectively sold more than 20 million albums, singles, and downloads.
Karen is one of the original mainstays at the Bluebird Café, the now iconic listening room popularized by the ABC TV show Nashville. She is also one of the pioneers of the “In The Round” format for shows.
Her songs have not only been recorded by modern stars like Faith Hill, Reba, Trick Pony, Terri Clark & Tracy Byrd but also by icons & legends such as George Jones, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty & Brenda Lee. As a guitar player & background singer Karen has toured with Faith, Reba, Patty Loveless, Terri Clark & Russ Taft. Karen is also a sought after studio session singer as well as demo producer.
Karen’s songs have been nominated for Dove, Grammy, & International Bluegrass Awards & Karen won the ACM Song of The Year award with Tracy Byrd’s classic Keeper of the Stars which was also featured on CMT’s 100 Greatest Country Love Songs of All Time TV special.
With his simple yet poignant way of capturing universal feelings, Cole Taylor has quickly become an in-demand country songwriter. Nine months after moving from Cuthbert, Georgia, to Music City, Taylor signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Nashville in November 2013. He had set a goal of landing a deal within a year, and he achieved his dream with three months to the day. Since then, he has been a Sirius XM “Highway Find” with his song “Cold Beer,” released two of his own EPʼs and had two songs reach #1 on the country music charts; “Sippinʼ On Fire” by Florida Georgia Line and “Home Alone Tonight” by Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, as well as a top 30 song, “Stay Downtown” by Cole Swindell. Cole has also had other songs recorded by Jason Aldean, Chase Rice, Jake Owen, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Rodney Atkins, and Travis Denning.
We want to thank our clients, partners, friends, supporters, and songwriter advocates for making it an incredible 2016 for Songwriter City. Many of Nashville’s elite songwriters gave the authentic music experience for conferences, dinners, lunches, closing ceremonies, conventions, corporate events, private parties, and more! Small groups, large groups, and everything in between. We are beyond excited for what 2017 holds as we bring tailor-made songwriter shows to more groups wanting a special one-of-a-kind experience. All of us with Songwriter City wish you the best of everything in 2017!
“As a meeting planner, I am always looking for the perfect event. Well, I found it – and it was because of my friends at Songwriter City! I was so blown away by the performance by Casey, Bob and Chris. They are truly an inspiration to listen to and my clients have not stopped talking about them since. If you are looking to WOW your clients, this is definitely the way to go! Thank you Songwriter City for helping me look like a rockstar!”
Jennifer Muller – Associate Director, McVeigh Associates, New York City, NY
“I have been blessed to be invited to 20 Chairman’s Council dinners. Nashville was THE BEST I have ever been to by about 10,000%. I was literally blown away with the talent, sound, heart and soul The Warren Brothers, Jessi, and Josh. The music was just plain awesome. This was so very different than watching entertainers put on a show. It was more like being with friends who are sharing something deeply personal and transparent. This was a profoundly special evening.”
Malcolm Makin – President, New England Professional Planning Group, Westerly, RI
“Your songwriter show was the perfect ending to our multi-day conference. The guys blew away our attendees with many long term members commenting it was the greatest event they have EVER attended.”
Wade Koehler – CAE, Owner 520 Management (FCSI), Springfield, IL
“One of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had. Hearing the stories behind the songs and then hearing the actual creator sing it added to the experience. Outstanding night!”
Bryan Sweet – Raymond James Financial, Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN
“Over the years, I’ve attended the Bluebird Café sessions – which have been outstanding. I never believed that the songwriter sessions at the Bluebird Café could ever be topped! The Songwriter City show Tuesday night was one of the best shows I’ve had the opportunity to attend not only in Nashville – but in the U.S.! Absolutely breathtaking & outstanding! Thank you for the experience!”
Van Pearcy – Raymond James Financial, Midland, TX
“Each of the songwriters was a terrific performer. Learning about the songwriting process and how each song was written was fascinating. Whenever I hear those hits from Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton or Carrie Underwood, I think of the songwriters that performed — and the story behind each song. Thanks for a great show Songwriter City!”
Amy Peterson – Raymond James Financial
Thank you for the exceptional job you did producing the event for the Raymond James Chairman’s Council event. This crowd of the top advisors in the country have travelled the world and have seen some great entertainment, so the bar was set very high. However, Songwriter City put together an incredible team of extremely talented songwriters and performers. This group was blown away by the experience and commented that it was the best event that they have ever been exposed to in the past 20 years. I heard from the conference organizers how professional and easy you were to work with and how grateful they were to utilize your services. Thanks again for the wonderful experience!”
Jeff Dobyns – President, Southwestern Investment Group, Nashville, TN
“We hear the songs on the radio but rarely hear the stories. Having the writers perform their hits makes the songs more meaningful. I highly recommend this intimate experience.”
Jon Wax – CFP® President & CEO, Waller & Wax Advisors, Inc., Tampa, FL
“I am not much of a country music fan (until now). The songwriter’s stories were as fascinating and compelling as the music was incredible. I was truly overwhelmed by it. Jessi Alexander has an incredible voice; it’s amazing she is not a household name. The same with Josh Kear. The Warren Brothers feel like someone I’ve known for years. I enjoyed every song.”
Paul Tully – Eagle Wealth Financial, Philadelphia, PA
“I am not a country music fan. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my evening. The singer-songwriters were talented and the format was a lot of fun. I liked the music and the pace of the event. Several of us said it was the best Chairman’s Council dinner we have ever had.”
Carl Stuart – President, Carl Stuart Investment Advisor, Inc., Austin, TX
After more than 20 years working at various companies in the music business, I have been getting asked the question in recent months, “Why did you decide to launch Songwriter City?” It sounds like an innocuous question, but it’s also profound.
Anyone in the process of starting a business should be asking themselves the question of “why?” Mine is wrapped up in my fundamental design and desires. It begins with the “why” I moved to Nashville, which was to be a part of the music industry because I had an intentional desire to work with talented artists and to help them be successful. It started in radio, went deeper with record labels, and then moved into other various forms of business. But my work with companies came to a point where it was more about the business and less about the artist. More about ego and power and less about the music. In an effort to get back on course, the opportunity came to take the helm into my own hands. I’m a big believer in “do what you love.” So what was it I loved most about the music industry? Songwriters. The foundation of everything artistic and creative. The fabric of talent that holds it all together. And my favorite form of entertainment are songwriter rounds. Those events when gifted songwriters gather together on stage to tell their stories of how their songs came to life, and perform those original songs in an intimate setting. Songs that may have been huge hits for other recording artists. It’s an authentic time of music and storytelling, and with the right combination of songwriters, a profound experience that is unmatched in any form of entertainment.
Time and time again I’ve seen people walk away from those type of shows saying it was one of the best music experiences they have ever been a part of and how special it was getting a glimpse behind the scenes. Songwriter City was born to bring those magical songwriter shows to as many people as possible and provide songwriters more opportunities through private, corporate, and select public shows. That gets me fired up.
So the simpler answer? Because I’m passionate about it. Because songwriters need to be lifted up and celebrated. A new mission has formed from the original desire, but it’s not about me or a business. It’s about songs, music, and true artists. Again. – Mike