Earl's Pearls
By Earl Meyers

Have you ever missed the boat? Did you think at some time in your life that you should have become a teacher instead of a tree surgeon, but you had no intention of sitting in a college classroom for four years while there were trees ready to be cut and you could sell the wood for a profit? That was, of course, before body fatigue and tendonitis set in.

Singer/musician/songwriter Bret Quinn didn't miss the boat (actually a station wagon) when it left Friday, March 15, for Nashville's NSAI Songwriter Symposium (basically, a meeting of the minds for music professionals and a workshop learning experience for fledgling songwriters). Bret found out about the symposium at his first Louisville NSAI workshop meeting just four days earlier, but decided to borrow enough money to go to the three-day annual event – a bargain, since not too many schools are available for songwriters.

New York songwriter Julie Gold, who wrote "From A Distance," flew in to sing on the songwriter showcase and attend the awards banquet. She didn't miss this happening – what else could be more important for a songwriter? Why would Lisa Morrow come all the way from England, Donna Fant from Florida, Sid Crosswhite from Virginia, or Melinda Bailey from Oklahoma? This was some fantastic occasion and none of these folks missed out on the fun/work weekend.

A ship this size only comes around town once every 52 weeks. There are many smaller songwriter seminars going on at other times during the year; NSAI has a one-day seminar in Nashville the third week of July. Many of Nashville's professional songwriters at one time attended symposiums as an amateur.

They were on course, learning a profession.