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Jarrard concert to honor a Hall of Fame legend
Gainesville singer-songwriters career, life, community work remembered with a night of music
0916GETOUTJohn Jarrard
Gainesville native John Jarrard was a successful singer-songwriter in Nashville even after diabetes left him blind. He died in 2001 of complications from the disease. Saturday night, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Bruce Burch and Friends Concert Honoring John Jarrard

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 23

Where: Brenau University Front Lawn

Tickets: $30 each, $25 each in blocks of five or more

Where to buy them: Online or at The Times, WDUN, the North Georgia Community Foundation, and BB&T's Brown's Bridge Road office

Contact: 770-710-9191

Thursday's concert to honor Gainesville singer-songwriter John Jarrard will mark a first in the event's nine-year history.

When six performers and local music fans gather on the lawn at Brenau University for the Bruce Burch and Friends Concert Honoring John Jarrard, they will be honoring a Georgia Music Hall of Famer.

Jarrard, who died at age 47 in 2001 from complications of diabetes, was so honored last Saturday night at the Hall's induction ceremony in Atlanta. His daughter, Amanda Jarrard, accepted on his behalf.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Performers include Deanna Bryant, Brice Long, Cody McCarver, Billy Dean, Richard Leigh and Monty Holmes.

Jarrard, born and raised in Gainesville, and graduated from the University of Georgia. After moving to Nashville in 1977 to pursue a music career, his career took off after his first hit song, Don Williams' "Nobody But You," which reached the top of the country charts.

He wrote 11 No. 1 songs overall for such performers as Alabama, George Strait, Diamond Rio, John Anderson, Reba McEntire and Tracy Lawrence, even as diabetes took his sight and his health declined.

But not only does Jarrard's music live on, so does his charitable efforts. In his lifetime, he raised more than $100,000 for diabetes research.

Since his death, the John Jarrard Foundation has donated another $700,000 to local charities including Good News at Noon Clinics, Good News at Noon, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Georgia Chapter and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

Thursday's concert also benefits the foundation. Tickets are $30 each (blocks of five are $120), and can be purchased at The Times, WDUN, the North Georgia Community Foundation, BB&T's Brown's Bridge Road office, or online at

Thursday's performers follow in Jarrard's footsteps as singer-songwriters in the Nashville tradition.

Bryant's songs have been recorded by Reba McEntire, whose "Forever Love," rose to No. 1, and Clay Davidson's CMA-nominated Song of the Year "Unconditional," with other top hits recorded by Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Trisha Yearwood and Randy Travis.

Long had a No. 1 hit in Gary Allan's 2004 single, "Nothing On but the Radio."

McCarver had his own No. 1 video in 2008 with "Red Flag" and a Top 20 single, "Through God's Eyes," which earned him Music Row's Independent Artist and Music Row's Independent Breakout Artist of the year.

Dean had a top five hit in 1990, "Only Here for A Little While." He won the Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year with "Somewhere in My Broken Heart" in 1991.

Leigh, a frequent partner of Dean's, was inducted into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been nominated for Grammy Awards in both the Pop and Country Best Song categories with numerous top 10 hits and eight No. 1 singles, including the classic "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle.

Holmes, has been writing songs for 25 years, and wrote songs for George Strait, including the 2008 hit "Troubadour."