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John Jarrard concert brings songwriters to stage at Brenau
0922John Jarrard
Gainesville native John Jarrard was a successful singer-songwriter in Nashville before diabetes took his sight, and later his life. He is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

The masterminds behind the lyrics will be on stage this weekend at the 16th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert. 

Four singer/songwriters will present a number of songs from their combined 30 No. 1 hits.

The show begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Brenau University’s Front Lawn, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the main show starting at 7:15 p.m.

Gainesville native John Jarrard was a successful songwriter before he died in 2001.

Singer/songwriters that will play in his memory this year include Bob Dipiero, Wyatt Durrette, Tony Lane and Johnny Bulford.

John Jarrard Foundation Concert

When: 5-11 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Brenau University Front Lawn, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville

How much: $20

“We promise to have a great show,” Executive Director Jody Jackson said. “It is fun to have writers that knew John (Jarrard), and they not only tell stories about him but also are able to tell everyone the stories behind the hit songs they wrote.”  

DiPiero, a Nashville Hall Of Fame Songwriter, has more than 1,000 songs recorded by various artists, an astounding 15 No. 1 songs including Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice,” George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky,” which he wrote with Jarrard, and The Oak Ridge Boys’s “American Made.”

Durrette met Zac Brown in Atlanta about 10 years ago and went on to co-write several hits including “Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” “Colder Weather” and “Sweet Annie.”

Lane, a native Texan, is one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville, Tennessee. He has written several hit songs including “A Little Past Little Rock” for Lee Ann Womack, George Strait’s “Run” and the Grammy-nominated duet “I Need You” from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Bulford, originally from Florida won The National Colgate Country Showdown of 50,000 entries in 2008. He later wrote the No. 1 song “A Woman Like You” for Lee Brice and the hit “Lonely Eyes” for Chris Young.

“This event is really unique in that it features the songwriters, while also raising money for local charities,” Jackson said.

Established in 2000, originally the Bruce Burch & Friends Honor John Jarrard Concert was named in memory of  Georgia Music Hall of Fame member Jarrard, who wrote hit songs for performers such as Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait and Tracy Lawrence. He battled diabetes before his death in 2001.

The annual event was created to raise money for charities in North Georgia. 

“It is growing every year. We are expecting close to 1,000 people at the event since the weather is back to good again and we have great songwriters this year,” Jackson said. “It is a great time and proceeds go toward great causes.”

For 15 years, the John Jarrard Foundation has grown from an annual concert to a regionally recognized nonprofit organization supporting songwriters and a number of causes, raising more than $1.5 million to support the Good News Clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier, Georgia Mountain Food Bank, Sisu and Good News at Noon shelter.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at For sponsorships and tables, call 770-710-9191.

Regional events