NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 5, 2012 - Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Kye Fleming will take a seat at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, July 28, as the latest subject of the quarterly programming series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m. in-depth interview and performance, held in the museum's Ford Theater, is included with museum admission and free to museum members. The program will be streamed live at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
The 90-minute program, hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray, will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum's Frist Library and Archive. Seating for the program is limited, and program passes are required for admittance. Immediately following, Fleming will sign limited edition, commemorative Hatch Show Print® posters. (Visit the museum's website for complete admission and signing details.)
As one of the most successful songwriters in country music, Fleming has written songs that reach fans of both traditional and modern country music, including classics such as "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "Smoky Mountain Rain," "Nobody," "Give Me Wings" and "Roll on Mississippi." Her songs have been recorded by Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Barbara Mandrell, Bette Midler, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Wynonna and others.
Kye Fleming was born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1951. Two weeks after her birth, she and her parents moved to Arkansas. A Navy brat, Fleming also lived in California, Hawaii and Texas. Fleming's aunt gave her a guitar in her early teens; she began writing her own songs because she loved poetry and found it easier to compose her own material than to learn someone else's songs.
Fleming frequently performed live shows while attending the University of Arkansas. Jerry Scheff, bass player for Elvis Presley's TCB band, heard her in an Oklahoma club and encouraged her to pursue a music career in California. Fleming accepted a songwriting deal and got her first cut at about age 20: "Falling, Falling Gone" was recorded by pop duo the Williams Brothers, who performed the tune on CBS' Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1972.
Fleming spent nine months in California before returning to Arkansas. After stints in New York and Boston, she moved to Nashville in 1977, once again at the encouragement of Scheff. Fleming met producer Tom Collins and signed a deal with Pi-Gem Music Publishing Co. (Collins' publishing venture with Charley Pride).
Soon after she came to Nashville, Fleming met Dennis Morgan, and the pair wrote together for six years. From the late 1970s to the early '80s, they co-wrote numerous Top Ten hits including the chart toppers "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "Years" and "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" ( Barbara Mandrell); "Smoky Mountain Rain" and "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World" (Ronnie Milsap); "All Roads Lead to You" (Steve Wariner); and "Nobody" (Sylvia).
After parting ways with Pi-Gem and taking a short break from songwriting, Fleming resumed creating hits, with new co-writers. She wrote "Give Me Wings" with Don Schlitz, which Michael Johnson took to #1 in 1987. Amy Grant included Fleming's "What About Love," co-written with Janis Ian, on her Lead Me On album. The song topped the Christian music singles chart in 1988. Fleming and Ian also co-wrote Bette Midler's "Some People's Lives." With Mike Reid, Fleming wrote Willie Nelson's "There You Are"; it reached the Top Ten in 1989.
Fleming has won over 40 BMI awards, including three Songwriter of the Year honors and 10 Million-Air awards. Her works have earned her a host of ACM, CMA, Dove and Grammy nominations. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. Fleming also has achieved success as a song publisher, and she has mentored and developed young country artists, including Edens Edge (Big Machine) and Jana Kramer (Elektra Nashville).
Fleming lives in Nashville and continues to write songs.
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music history. Previous Poets and Prophets honorees include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Wayne Carson, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Sonny Curtis, Dean Dillon, Jerry Foster, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Roger Murrah, Dan Penn, Curly Putman, Mark D. Sanders, Don Schlitz, Whitey Shafer, Jeffrey Steele, Norro Wilson and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
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