Nashville Ear awards the Best of the Best honor to the songwriter that we feel stood out with exceptional songwriting and performances. Please join us in congratulating this years award winner Chris Gantry.
Chris Gantry (Christopher Cedzich) began his career as a singer/songwriter at age fourteen when he signed a recording contract with Paramount Records. Chris went on to record five albums for Monument and ABC Dot Records. As a songwriter, he has written over 1,000 songs, some of those as collaborations with Nashville's best - including Kris Kristofferson, Mel Tillis, Shel Silverstein, and Eddie Rabbit. Over 100 of his songs have been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, kd lang, Robert Goulet, Wayne Newton and others.
Gantry penned the American classic, Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife by Glen Campbell, which won three BMI honors including the Millionaire's Award for over two million performances. Gantry has written for Sony Music, Warner Chapel Music, Faverett Music Group. He currently writes for Cool Vibe Publishing.
In addition to songwriting, Chris is a prolific writer of prose, novels, and poetry. He won the Tennessee Williams Playwriting Contest with a collection of one-act plays entitled Teeth and Nails. Gantry has written several books including Father Duck Tales, a collection of short stories. His recent autobiography, Gypsy Dreamers In The Alley, explores his life in the Nashville music business from his arrival to modern day. The book received glowing reviews from both the Tennessean and USA Today. Chris is published by Taylor and Seale Publishing.
Chris Gantry continues writing music with some of today's brightest stars and living the life of a Gypsy Dreamer. Chris is available for performances and motivational engagements for youth organizations and churches.
From The thoughts of Chris
The first year I came to Nashville in September 1963, was stepping out of the Iron Dome of New York City into the lap of Wonderland. I was 19, insanely energetic, hormonally and creatively driven, and wild eyed with wonderment. I had finally arrived in the place I'd dreamed about for four long years living in a military Academy on long island. I had no social skills, had a thick New York accent (still do), I knew a few cords on the guitar and had written two songs, " HEADIN DOWN THE TRACKS", and "GOTTA RAMBLE ON ". which were demo'd in 1964 by Buddy Killen at Tree Pub Co. All the great old time country stars we're still doing it at the Ryman downtown, and I WOULD SNEAK IN BACK STAGE EVERY Friday and Saturday night and hang out in the dressing rooms listening to all these country greats warming up getting ready to do their show..I was in Wonderland and experiencing the " DOWNPOUR " of innocence. I had no expectations, no appointments, no thoughts of fame, glory, or money, I was just languishing in the aura of Hillbilly Heaven at it's finest..I met everybody and they we're all kind and gracious,. DEL WOOD, STRINGBEAN, GRANDPA JONES, RAY PILLOW, BILL MONROE, FLATT AND SCRUGGS, JIM AND JESSE, THE OSBORNE BROTHERS, SKEETER DAVIS, CONWAY TWITTY, WEB PIERCE, FARON YOUNG, JOHNNY DARRELL, KITTY WELLS, THE CARTER FAMILY, EARNEST TUBB, LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS, EARNIE ASHWORTH, THE BROWNS, STONEWALL JACKSON, CHET ATKINS ( GOOD FRIEND), FERLIN HUSKY, WILMA LEE AND STONEY COOPER, THE JORDANAIRES, THE WILBURN BROTHERS, THE LOUVIN BROTHERS, JUSTIN TUBB, SONNY JAMES, MARTY ROBBINS, JIM REEVES, RAY PRICE, JIMMY NEWMAN, GEORGE MORGAN, BILLY GRAMMER , THE GLASER BROTHERS,,ON AND ON AND On and on. These we're the angels of the Hoe Down,.the Barn Stormers of Twang, The beat billy's with barn yard elegance,.THE REAL FREAKIN DEAL PILGRIMS, AND ME,.. little Chris from Queens New York,. got to hang, meet and gather wisdom from these surreal jazz bo daddy's of cool when I was just a punk with a wild hairdo and balls,.For the first year or two I sucked up " REAL COUNTRY " LIKE A BLOTTER UNTIL I got it, lived it, breathed it, and even though I'm a transplant from the north raised on classical and show music, babies, I'm 100 % rarefied dang doodle straw sucking " COUNTRY ", and I, like them, no matter what anybody says, like them, I'm the real deal...I got soaked, drenched in the Downpour of Country Innocence..
More thoughts on the Music Business by Chris Gantry:
I have been calling out the establishment for having let something that was once so great , so valiant a melodic and lyric revolution to erode to the point that it's indistinguishable from garbage tossed in dumpsters..Not only has the architecture of the city of Nashville been decimated to the insidious high rise look of endless streets and Boulevards, big square boxes offering balconies that midgets would have difficulty squeezing onto overlooking dismal trashy streets, but everything that authenticated its vast musical heritage has been eradicated,.The structures that housed the old songwriters who wrote songs out of blood on 16th ave south have been bulldozed and toppled , replaced by Sesac, Ballsac, and Shitsac...huge monuments to nothing..The music of messages and love have been replaced by screaming pubescent yodel boobs with over produced records that are so unmemorable you couldn't whistle them if your life depended on it..Songwriters !! Get real,.lets hear what you and you alone have to say,.lets hear your story,.not Yours, Pauls and Jill's cramped into a room all stroking some inane idea that's adds little to the landscape of life,.lets hear the stories of your fears, your obsessions, your passions, loves, disillusionments, your addictions, jealousies, and criminal tendencies,.your views on freedom, tyrants, injustice, stifling religiosity and outlaws,.your undying commitments to a loved one, ones that cave and twist and bleed and scream but remain intact and true, your over eating and night sweats, your hopes for peace , happiness, and fulfillment, your admission that you know nothing, understand little, comprehend zip, but keep struggling anyway to make sense of the things that deprecate life,.demean it, undermine it, cheat it out of glory and beauty, Can you write some things like this Songwriters,.Lets see!! Lets see how serious you are about your Art,.The ghost of music Row is sick of insensitivity, .. The Ghost has a credo, "Real Makes Real". How's about we make some
Thoughts on Songwriting:
The GANTRY RANT IS ALWAYS THE SAME,.When you stop thinking your this awesome songwriter,.when you completely let go of the idea it's YOU who writes the songs,.then maybe,.just maybe the spirit of all things creative might use you as a conduit to impart a piece of wisdom to the world that could and in most cases changes things for the better,.Then, it becomes a different dynamic,.You now become a treasured consecrated energy force field that is in liaison with the workings of creation and how things truly come into being that becomes true works of art,..It's no longer YOU YOU YOU as the equation,.Songwriting now becomes unimaginable and unknowable,.it becomes a pristine adventure,.an inner expansion knowing no boundaries,.limitless wonder. !!! Try it.
There is a great secret among songwriters,.kind of like hyroglyphics inscribbed on walls of deep under water caverns,.. even the most pragmatic dictatorial anal- retentive formularistic hack songwriter will ascribe to what I'm going to say,..There is not a songwriter alive who can profess to know how they write a song,.we can't point to anything except that "IT HAPPENS",.it just happens,.we don't know how or even why songs get written,.they just do,.THE BIGGER AND BROADER the song, the less one can say how it came to be,.Powerful songs that have stood the test of time and popularity, songs that are still holding up after many many decades, I can assure you that the writers of those wonderful creations IF ASKED HOW THEY WROTE SUCH AMAZING WORKS, couldn't give you even the faintest clue how they we're birthed..It's magic !! Songwriters are people who create magic, but have no idea how the magic is done.,,we just believe in the magic,.believing in the magic is the only prerequisite a man or woman needs to do "anything"...Life is magical,.it is the only true magical reality.,.We are spirits living in fleshly bodies, looking out from behind our eyes trying to make sense of what it is we see, feel, hear, and touch,.we give these things names and they are what we call our "life"..Truth is, nobody knows whats really happening,.things just happen,.but what it is thats happening we don't know,.there are those who think they know,.but they don't have a clue,..Songwriters understand this truth. I can truthfully say as time goes on that I know little or less as to why or how so many songs pass through me,.I can only honestly say, "I dont know"... Its magic. !!