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2 days of music pay tribute to native son
John Jarrard concerts raise funds for local charities in namesakes honor
Singer-songwriter Phillip White is among the headline performers at the annual John Jarrard Foundation concert.

John Jarrard Foundation concerts

Friday: 7 p.m. free concert, Gainesville downtown

Saturday: Songwriters in the Round Show, 6 p.m. on Brenau University front lawn

Tickets: $30 Saturday

More info: 770-710-9191,

A weekend of music to celebrate a unique Gainesville artist is back and bigger than ever.

The 11th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert Songwriters in the Round Show is set for Saturday, Sept. 15, on Brenau University’s Front Lawn. The concert will feature singers/songwriters with more than 20 No. 1 hit songs between them.

Tickets are $30 each, and table sponsorships are available by calling 770-710-9191. Tickets can be purchased online at

Songwriters Walt Aldridge, Tony Arata, Steve Bogard, Fred Knobloch and Phillip White headline the annual show honoring songwriter John Jarrard.

“This group of songwriters has penned more than 20 No. 1 songs, and country music fans will certainly recognize these hits,” said Jody Jackson, John Jarrard Foundation Executive Director. “We are expecting another great show to honor John Jarrard and raise money for the John Jarrard Foundation and the non-profit groups it supports.”

Jarrard, a Gainesville native and Nashville songwriter, was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He wrote songs for performers such as Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait, Diamond Rio and Tracy Lawrence. He died in 2001 after a long battle with diabetes.

In its first decade, the annual event raised more than $1 million to support local charities including Good News at Noon Clinics, Good News at Noon, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County.

The two-day event begins at 7 p.m. Friday with a free concert on the downtown Gainesville square during the annual Art on the Square festival, featuring Riverstreet Again and the Jeffrey Steele Band.

Saturday’s full day of activities begins with a songwriters workshop from 10 a.m. to noon on the square. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Foundation features performances on the John Jarrard Songwriter Stage at the art festival. The Songwriters in the Round concert activities start at 6 p.m. at Brenau.

Aldridge, a songwriter, singer, musician, engineer and producer, has written more than 50 Top 40 songs. Billboard magazine named Aldridge one of the Top 10 Country Songwriters of the Year twice.

Arata, a Georgia native, has written seven songs for Garth Brooks including “The Dance,” named Song of the Year by The Academy of Country Music and received both a Country Music Association and a Grammy nomination. He also had No. 1 records for Patty Loveless, Lee Roy Parnell and Clay Walker.

Bogard has written nine No. 1 country songs among 18 award-winners, including George Strait’s, “Carried Away” and “Carrying Your Love with Me,” and Rascal Flatts’ career breaker, “Prayin’ For Daylight,” and has two Grammy nominations.

White has been writing hits for artists like George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery since the mid ’90s.

Knobloch has worked with a wide array of artists including Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Faith Hill, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Delbert McClinton, Keb Mo, The Dirt Band, Gregg Allman, Ruth Brown, John Anderson, Etta James and Levon Helm.