Celebrating Creation of the Song
BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS — To celebrate the creation of music, The I’ll Fly Away Foundation has announced plans to bring songwriters from around the world to Bentonville, Arkansas for the first ever Power of Music Festival Presented by Coca-Cola.
Scheduled for April 27 — 29, 2017, such respected artists and songwriters as Steve Poltz, Richard Leigh, Roger Cook, Dennis Morgan, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Glen Phillips(pictured right) and more, will gather to celebrate the craft of songwriting. Tickets go on sale in January for more information visit www.pomfestival.org.
Shelley McMillon, wife of Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, stated, “Doug and I are excited to see what the I’ll Fly Away Foundation has in store for our community through music.” “We are elated to have some incredible songwriters already committed to appearing at the festival,” said Betsy Brumley of The I’ll Fly Away Foundation. “These writers are often not as famous as the songs they’ve created so it’s a wonderful opportunity to have them at our maiden festival.”
“For example, Dennis Morgan has written songs for everyone from Aretha Franklin to Eric Clapton, and standards like ‘I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool’ for Barbara Mandrell and ‘Smoky Mountain Rain’ for Ronnie Milsap. Steve Poltz (pictured left) co-wrote the Jewel hit, ‘You Were Meant For Me.’ And, it’s very nice that we have Roger Cook who wrote ‘Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress’ for The Hollies as well as the song that became a famous Coca-Cola theme, ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing.’” “Coca-Cola is thrilled to partner with the I’ll Fly Away Foundation for this unique look into the creation of music.” said Coca-Cola’s Sr. Shopper Marketing Manager, Andi Pratt.
The Power of Music Festival will include both free and paid concerts at several venues in downtown Bentonville. “The idea is for the songwriters, who are the ones who create the music that we love in the first place, to not only perform their songs, but also tell the stories behind those songs,” Brumley added.
Hosting the event in Northwest Arkansas makes perfect sense, she continued. Brumley’s grandfather, Albert E. Brumley, was the legendary writer of the most recorded song in history, “I’ll Fly Away.” Mr. Brumley called the region home, writing some 800 songs in the Ozark hills. His impact on American music can be heard in the Americana, Country, Gospel and Folk Music genres that influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Mumford & Sons and more.
“The focus is the artistry of music and the very creation of a song,” said Betsy Brumley of The I’ll Fly Away Foundation. “We are also celebrating what this region — the Northwest Corner of Arkansas — has sewn into the musical quilt of America.”
In addition to the performances, the festival will feature Music Industry professionals who will participate in panels to discuss the craft and business of songwriting. “Aspiring songwriters and those interested in the birth of a song can learn so much from the industry leaders who will be on hand,” Brumley said. “It’s a great opportunity for learning as well as just plain old being entertained.”
I’ll Fly Away Foundation, located in nearby Bella Vista, Arkansas, is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 by Betsy Brumley and her husband Kevin Bernier with a mission to “Improve lives through music”. The Foundation’s ‘You Can Fly Songwriting Program’ is conducted at the elementary level teaching the fundamentals of songwriting such as rhyme and rhythm, as well as all the aspects of writing, while creating non-traditional approaches to learning. For more information on the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, visit http://illflyawayfoundation.org/. More information can also be found at www.facebook.com/supportIFAF/ and www.facebook.com/POMFestival
Lance Cowan / LCMedia