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Ford Center Hosts "Nashville Songwriters Night" Tonight

The Ford Center at Sunset. Courtesy of UM Communications. Photo by Kevin Bain.

The Music City is coming to Oxford tonight for the Ford Center’s season opener titled “Nashville Songwriters Night.” Three of Nashville’s most successful singer/songwriters will grace the Ford center stage to sing songs that they have written, many of which have made their way to #1. Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members Dickey Lee and Pat Alger along with Grammy-nominated songwriter Roxie Dean have written songs for the likes of Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, Dolly Parton, George Jones and countless others. 
Ole Miss alum and Oxford resident Steve Vassallo organized the event, and having grown up in Nashville; he hopes that the event will bring a renewed relationship between musical acts from the Music City and the city of Oxford.
“Nashville is only four short hours from Oxford, so It’s a great match. Nashville is one of our largest alumni associations,” Vassallo said. “The greatest entertainers in the world come out of Nashville, and if this event goes over well, we can hopefully expect to bring more acts from Nashville to Ole Miss.”
The three songwriters will take turns singing their songs, and the experience will go far beyond a traditional concert.
“It will be fun, informative, and interesting,” Vassallo said. “They won’t just be singing the songs, but they’ll be telling the stories behind what makes these songs so special.”
Pat Alger. Photo courtesy of nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com

Pat Alger has written eight songs that have reached #1, including “Thunder Rolls” and “Unanswered Prayers” for Garth Brooks. In addition to his songwriting, Alger also toured with the Everly Brothers in the 1990’s. Alger was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.
Dickey Lee

Dickey Lee, a longtime friend of Vassallo’s, first broke onto the scene after writing the hit song “She Thinks I Still Care” sung by George Jones. Other hit songs that he wrote include “I Saw Linda Yesterday” “9,999,999 Tears” and “The Keeper of the Stars” which was covered by Reba McEntire, George Strait, and Charley Pride. Lee was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995.
Roxie Dean

An LSU grad, Roxie Dean was nominated for a Grammy in 2001 for co-writing “When I Think About Angels” with Jamie O’Neal when the two lived together in Nashville. Dean also co-wrote the song “Why They Call It Fallin’’” with Don Schlitz. The song was named in Nashville Songwriters Association International “Top 10 Songs That You Wish You’d Written.” Dean also released her own album in 2005.
Tickets for the event can be found at the UM Box Office. Songwriter’s Night will begin at 7:30 p.m. and by the end Vassallo is sure that those in attendance will be left wanting more.
I guarantee that there will be a standing ovation,” Vassallo said. “Anybody who comes that night will be glad they were there.”
Interviews with all three performers:
Pat Alger
Roxie Dean 
Dickey Lee 

Watch performances by the headliners below:

Pat Alger Sings “Unanswered Prayers”

Dickey Lee sings “Patches”

Roxie Dean sings “When I Think About Angels”

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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