By Karen Le Van

The billboard read "All American dream available here," as a contingent of Louisville songwriters went to Nashville, the city of dreams and dreamers, hoping to make theirs come true. The opportunity to perform at Diamond 'n' the Ruff before Nashville music industry people on a special showcase of Louisville songwriters July 20 had the butterflies churning in the tummies of the fifteen singer-songwriters scheduled to fill the four- and one-half hour showcase.

This writer, who coordinated and emceed the event, introduced Doc and Mary Dockery, who opened with "Daddy Played Those Jimmie Rodgers Blues." The sound was crisp and clean as Doc and Mary captured the audience with their fine harmonies and Doc's excellent pickin'. The mood was" set and the audience attentive and enthusiastic as each artist took the stage.

Up next, Papa Gene Adams sang his 1990 Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative's contest $1,000 winner, "Ship Soon to Sail," as one of his four selections.

Alan Morris followed and quickly gained the crowd's approval with his catchy songs and great vocals. Alan was joined by Doc on harmonies and lead guitar.

Ron Gambrell's set included feudin' and fightin' and touchin' songs.

Ray Burden followed, with his "Fiddling Luther" and. "Oh How that Woman Can Ride" among his selections.

Susanne Wood had the room in the palm of her hand with her dramatic and dynamic vocals, including, with her own originals, the Bill Ede song "I've Seen Too Many Good Things Slip Away" and Karen Le Van's "Last Night I Had Too Much to Dream.".

When Doc and Mary returned, Doc took his time, saying he wanted to give the audience time to recover from Susanne's smokin' set. The husband-and-wife duo performed "1-800-I LUV YOU," co-written with Craig Panther and a Roscoe Bland song, "Let's Be Lovers Tonight," as well as Doc's "The Boy Had Nashville (Written All Over His Face)," which described several of the evening's participants.

Larry Standiford kept the pace moving with his song "Relationships" and his moving "Where Do Daddies Go?"

Time to lighten up the show with a bit of humor - time for Tim Lynch. Tim opened with "Scoot Over, Rover, I'm In the Dog House Tonight," and also sang "It's Not How Deep You fish, It's How You Wiggle the Worm," which he co-wrote with Gardner Barger. Hit bound, no doubt; the audience loved him.

Hugh Hill settled things down again with his pure country songs, including "The Message," co-written with Vince Emmett and "The Old Man From Bakersfield."

Donna Beck Michael, from Lexington, N.C., was on hand to sing among her selections a Diana Black song "Every Goodbye Ain't Gone."

Marc Hardin, with his neat voice and good songs, got the audience into the act, clapping along on "Give Me Back My Heart."

Blues man Will Perryman brought along Eddie Hysinger to accompany him on harmonica. They performed "Mad At Me" as one of their selections.

Tim Probst, who was very instrumental in lining up the showcase at Diamond's, was up next. His excellent vocals and story songs rounded out the evening with his salute to Kentucky, called "Oh Kentucky." Tim also performed a song he had written about a Nashville street singer, "The Jewel of Broadway." Tim invited Jewel to the stage, providing for the Louisvillians a first-hand look at what can and can't happen when you take that step and move to Nashville. Jewel and his dog have lived in his van on the streets of Nashville for seven years, pitching his songs and living on tips. Recently, he finally got a cut by Tom T. Hall. Jewel sang "The Minstrel," which will be on the next Tom T. album.

Tim then introduced a special guest, "Folly Pardon," a.k.a. Karen Le Van. who had donned her extra wigs to perform her parody "Five to Nine (And they Call It Hanky Panky)."

It was an evening filled with excitement and fun that ended with everyone getting to sign the Wall of Fame.

Following the showcase, the folks at Days Inn Central were kind enough to allow the group of music makers to have a poolside party where they all enjoyed jammin' by the jacuzzi.

David Biggs of Diamond in the Ruff invited the Louisville bunch back to be showcased again Wednesday, September 18. This showcase will be from 6:30 until 9 p.m., with Doc Dockery and his band being featured from 9 until midnight.

Many industry professionals should be in attendance, so, who knows, maybe someone will hear hit-song potential from one of our Louisville songwriters.

Video and audio cassettes of the showcase are available through Karen Le Van and the "All American Dream" is available in Nashville, Tenn.