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A good time and a song

Madison’s Jim Parker is a local singer-songwriter who hosts the popular and hugely successful Songwriter Series at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

By BOB LABBE

There is no one person more ingrained into the local music scene than Jim Parker. He is the soul connection to music…for all of us.

For the past 14 years, Parker host hosted the incredibly talent-filled and successful Songwriter Series held almost monthly at the Von Braun Center.

Named after its host, Jim Parker’s Songwriter Series features a bevy of songwriters, many of which have had numerous No.1 hits to their credit, who not only sing their songs, but tell of the songs’ beginnings, the writing process and the meanings behind many of the most popular tunes to be heard on this planet. Each of the Series is held at the Playhouse of the VBC with an intimate setting of the performers who are just feet away on a small stage and attending crowds in comfortable seats enjoying the marvelous venue acoustics which propel the talents of those performers into our senses of enjoyment.

“The Songwriter Series is a dream come true for me as being a songwriter myself, I understand many times songwriters don’t receive proper respect as the fans don’t know the songwriters, they just know the artists of their favorite songs,” said Parker. “It is most important to me to let other songwriters expose their songs and history to those music fans.”

Parker, who has lived in Madison since 1985 and has a fulltime job as an award winning realtor for Averbuch Reality, began his music endeavor in the 1960s when he started playing music at age 18 and soon helped form a band called The Kitchen Cinq that was based in the Southwest portion of the U.S. including Texas and New Mexico. He soon made the trek to the City of Angels of Los Angeles where Parker played for several well-known performers including Sonny and Cher. He moved to Nashville in 1975.

“I was living in the York Hotel on Eighth Avenue in Nashville and I could see Acuff Row and I met singer-songwriter John Anderson through my barber and we began writing country songs together,” said Parker. “I wasn’t writing country music at the time, but I soon took a job in the mailroom at the Country Music Association. The passion to write songs really began soon afterwards.”

In the Music City, he met his wife, Lysa, and began writing songs in the world of country music. Some of those songs became instant classics, especially the hit for Anderson titled “Chicken Truck.” Even after his move to Madison, Parker continued to write songs and his desire to share those songs with anyone that were willing to listen led him to begin hosting music events at the Bandito Burrito in Madison. He hosted similar songwriters’ gatherings at different locations for more than three years before moving to the VBC behind the support of VBC’s director Steve Maples.

Considered one of the best musical events and best entertainment values in the Huntsville area, the Songwriter Series allows top-notch songwriters to be on stage and showcase their talents that are many times better than the artists that took those songs to the top of the charts. Parker added, “When fans attend the Songwriter Series, we want them to laugh, cry, think and feel good about where they have been. We want those fans to be moved by emotion. It’s important to me that I’ve done that.”

The schedule and more details for the Songwriter Series are available at www.jimparkermusic.com.

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