Without the Bluebird Café – a small, tucked-away Nashville nightspot - the American music scene wouldn't be the same.
If you’re in doubt, just ask Faith Hill or Garth Brooks. They – along with many other artists – got their first big breaks while performing on the Bluebird’s stage.
“The Bluebird is songwriter heaven,” affirms Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). “Something happens within the walls of the Bluebird that simply doesn’t happen anywhere else. It’s magic.”
Bluebird Café History
When the Bluebird opened in a Green Hills strip mall in 1982, owner Amy Kurland envisioned a casual gourmet restaurant that served up a little live music on the side. In short order, customers were filing into the Bluebird as often for the performances as for a good meal.
“I didn’t start out to create what the Bluebird is today, but I ended up with a place that I feel is special and an important part of the whole music business,” Kurland says.
In 2007, Kurland announced her decision to pass along the care and feeding of the Bluebird to NSAI.
NSAI and the Bluebird Café
“One thing I took into consideration was the continuation of the mission,” Kurland says. “I knew if I sold to a private entity or to big business, the owners would have to do something I never had to do – chase the money. I didn’t want to see it turned into a sports bar or a place for karaoke.”
Under the new ownership agreement, the Bluebird continues many of the traditions established by Kurland, such as Open Mic sessions and Sunday Writers Nights, where fledgling songwriters have the chance to introduce their work to appreciative audiences.
“By donating the Bluebird to NSAI, Amy is helping fund the important advocacy work we do on behalf of songwriters,” Herbison says.