Influencing four decades of country music, Restless Heart continues today with original members—John Dittrich, Paul Gregg, Dave Innis, Greg Jennings and Larry Stewart. Numerous singles have charted on the Billboard country charts, with six reaching Number One and leading to certified Gold albums. “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “The Bluest Eyes in Texas” and “Wheels” are just a few of their many hits. Crossing into the Adult Contemporary format, the hits continue—most notably— “Tell Me What You Dream” and “When She Cries.” Awards and accolades have continued through the years with four GRAMMY®, four ACM and seven CMA nominations, winning ACM Group of the Year in 1990. Restless Heart is honored to be a driving force in tonight’s presentation in support of Nashville Rescue Mission.
Led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and President and CEO Alan D. Valentine, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 19 recordings on Naxos, which have received 14 GRAMMY® nominations and seven GRAMMY® Awards, making NSO one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. With more than 140 performances annually, the 85-member orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops, jazz and children’s concerts.
Amy Grant’s career spans over 25 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. Grant has sold more than 30 million albums, including one Quintuple Platinum album, one Triple Platinum and one Double Platinum album, as well as four Platinum and six Gold albums. She has won six GRAMMY® Awards in multiple categories, and 25 GMA Dove Awards, including four-time Artist of the Year awards. She also has six Number One hits, including “Baby, Baby” and “Every Heartbeat,” and is one of only two Christian artists to be awarded a star on the legendary Walk of Fame in Hollywood. In 2003 she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Her first new studio album in three years, How Mercy Looks From Here was released in 2013.
Tracy Lawrence is one of the most recognizable voices in country music with songs such as “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Alibis” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” The entertainer has enjoyed 22 songs on the Billboard Top 10 chart with 18 Number One singles, selling over 13 million albums. The Arkansas native burst on the scene in 1991 with the Platinum-selling album Sticks and Stones. It sold more than two million copies and spawned four consecutive Number One hits. Tracy was Billboard’s Top New Male Vocalist in 1992. The following year, Performance named him New Country Artist of the Year and the Academy of Country Music honored him as Top New Male Vocalist. Country Weekly gave him top awards in 1995 and 1996, and both the CMA and ACM gave him 2007 statuettes for his Number One smash “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” His latest album Headlights, Taillights and Radios released in August 2013 and features some of his most progressive music to date.
Known for co-writing the Christmas song “Mary, Did You Know?” Buddy brings a wide variety of southern Americana influences to his music to create a unique musical hybrid of country, bluegrass, folk, gospel and traditional blues. In addition to his solid reputation as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Buddy has established himself as one of Nashville’s finest harmonica stylists. His live concerts are equal parts hymn sing, jam session, church house revival and journey through his own musical history. Buddy and his wife, Vicki, live in Brentwood and have two daughters.
There are numerous super-session musicians in Nashville, but very few with the longevity of Charlie McCoy. In addition to being a fixture in Nashville studios for 48 years, he also has his own recording career going full tilt. (He has recorded 35 solo albums.) He served as the music director for 18 years for the syndicated television series, Hee Haw. While Charlie is predominately known as a harmonica player, his musical prowess encompasses other instruments including guitar, bass, mallet percussion, (vibes, marimba, bells, etc.), keyboards and various wind instruments. In 2009 Charlie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Best known for singing tenor in the Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps has undoubtedly made a strong name in the gospel world. Phelps has one of the most electrifying voices ever to enter the world of gospel music—proof positive as four-time Dove Award winner, two-time GRAMMY® Award winner and more than 13 Gold and 15 Platinum-selling projects. As a soloist, he received Dove Award nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and Long Form Video for his Christmas DVD, O Holy Night in 2009. His much-anticipated solo album Classic, released in 2012 and includes 13 arias, classical anthems and newly arranged pop songs with original compositions. This project reflects upon a lifetime of achievement and exemplifies his powerhouse tenor vocal prowess.
Melinda Doolittle became a household name in 2006 on America’s most watched stage, American Idol. Though she sustained a successful career as a backup singer prior to Idol, Melinda captivated millions of viewers week after week with her indelible vocals and assured them she was a standout soloist. Doolittle released her debut album Coming Back To You in 2009, to rave reviews from critics, including The New York Times which hailed Melinda as one of the most “phenomenally gifted” in years. In 2010, she published her inspirational autobiography Beyond Me. This holiday season, Melinda will be featured on The Boston Pops newest Christmas album and is currently working on her much anticipated, full-scale studio album; the first since her debut in 2009.
As the eldest daughter of Orlando Magic Founder and Sr. Vice President Pat Williams, Karyn’s family includes 19 children, 14 of whom are adopted from all over the world. She moved to Nashville in 2007, pursuing a ministry in music and signed with Inpop Records in 2011. Her debut album, Only You released in 2012, and her first radio single “Rest In Hope” rode the charts for 30 weeks. In 2012 Karyn was chosen as one of Billboard’s “Best Bets.” She’s had a Number One song in 2013 with “He’s Already There,” recorded by Darin & Brook Aldridge. Williams is an artist partner with Holt International, the adoption agency through which eight of her brothers and sisters joined her family. She lives in Nashville with her award winning songwriter/producer husband, Brian White.
A member of the group Herman’s Hermits, Peter Noone has sold over 50 million records, at times eclipsing even the Beatles themselves in sales. He also charted in Britain as a solo act, recording a David Bowie tune with Bowie appearing with him on the U.K. show Top of the Pops. He has appeared with such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. He also starred in ABC’s musical version of The Canterville Ghost, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s presentation of the classic Pinocchio (in which he played the title role) and three highly successful feature films for M-G-M: Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, Hold On! and When The Boys Meet The Girls. Accompanied by his band, Herman’s Hermits, Noone consistently plays to sold-out venues the world over. He has a legion of faithful fans (known as “Noonatics”) whose loyalty is unparalleled.
Country singer and songwriter, Randy Houser’s love of music was apparent even as a young child. He started fronting bands when he was 13 years old and continued playing through high school. Houser moved to Nashville in 2002 to focus on songwriting. One of his first hits was “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” which he co-wrote with Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson. Trace Adkins recorded it on his 2005 album Songs About Me, and it was a Top 5 single. In 2008, Houser charted the single “Anything Goes.” It was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard country singles chart and the title track to his debut album, which also produced his first Top 10 hit, “Boots On.” His second album, They Call Me Cadillac, included the #31 single “Whistlin’ Dixie.” In 2012, he moved to Broken Bow Records where he reached Number One with “How Country Feels,” the title track to his third album, and with “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” in 2013.
Big Daddy Weave
Big Daddy Weave’s hit song “Redeemed,” which spent 11 weeks at Number One, took home top honors for Song of the Year at the 2013 K-LOVE Fan Awards and received a nomination for Christian Song of the Year at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. The band, comprised of Mike Weaver, Jay Weaver, Jeremy Redmon and Joe Shirk, formed while the guys were attending the University of Mobile. In 2002 the band stepped into the spotlight with the release of their second album, One and Only, which debuted on SoundScan’s Christian Top 5 and earned them a Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year. In 2010 Big Daddy Weave took home the Dove Award for Christmas Album of the Year for Christ Is Come. They are currently nominated for four Dove Awards and are one of the ten most played artists on Christian radio over the past decade.
Jim Gray, a freelance arranger, conductor, orchestrator and producer has worked with an impressive array of artists and groups including: New York Metropolitan Opera star Jeffrey Wells; R&B legends Patti LaBelle and Jonathan Butler; Gospel sensations Israel Houghton and Bill Gaither; pop artists Ben Folds, Joan Osborne and The Flaming Lips; bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs; and the Nashville Symphony. His compositions and orchestrations are featured in several films and TV commercials. Additionally, he has written many of the arrangements for the Nashville Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Chattanooga Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony.
Master of Ceremonies
Bill Cody’s nationally and internationally known voice has been heard over the airwaves for over 40 years. Inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 2008, Bill is in his 19th year as the morning show host on WSM. Bill also hosts GAC TV’s The Master Series and is a co-host of Tennessee’s Wildside on PBS. In his spare time, Bill has done voiceover work that includes: Bill Cody’s Classic Country Weekend, Cracker Barrel, the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Roadhouse on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. His voice is heard on United Airlines in-flight country programming which is also heard aboard Air Force One.
Master of Ceremonies
Demetria Kalodimos is an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter for WSMV-TV. She can be seen on the weeknight broadcasts at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m., and is the longest continuously serving evening news anchor at WSMV. She’s won some of journalism’s most prestigious awards including 15 regional Emmys, two National Headliners and two Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards. In 2000, Demetria established Genuine Human Productions—writing, directing, shooting and editing true stories about real people…genuine humans. Her films have screened at various film festivals and have drawn rave reviews from audiences and critics.