“I am honored to interview a lady I have admired for a very long time, she has done so much, and she has such a meek heart and a meek spirit, her songs will will touch your heart or make you laugh or make you cry … Well, let’s just say Pam Belford is one of the best Lyricists and she lays it in there. She writes concise succinct phrases … Also on our program a LIVE Segment from the Commodore Lounge. Featuring two Amazing Writer’s Rounds, First is Pam Belford, Susie Monick, Bobby Pizazz and then Second, Jim Parker, Colleen Lloy and Ed Beaver, from Debi Champion’s Songwriters’ Night at The Commodore, Nashville TN.
Pam Belford has been in Nashville for over 30 years and has co-written with the best, Dean Dillon, Angela Kaset, Rich McReady, Doug Stone, Kent Blaisey and others, more of a virtual Who’s Who of the Nashville Pantheon. She has had Cuts with George Strait, “If I Know Me”. was #1 on the Billboard chart for 2 weeks; cuts with Karen Taylor Good, Michael Dean Church, Doug Stone.
Pam was 7 or 8 years old when she fantasized about singing and playing, and was into the whole show business thing; Movies stars and singers. She never really thought she would actually do it. Started writing poetry when 8 or 9. At 13 Pam got a guitar for Hanukkah, and found she couldn’t learn to play anyone’s else’s song and started banging out her own. It was easier to bang out a song than to learn one, her first song ever written was “Robin in the Apple Tree”. Pam saw her first publisher at 15. He told her to start writing what she knew, gave her a Billboard Magazine. Setting the bar for song writing at a very young age.
“Don’t Tell Me Not to Cry” was written by Pam, as she was just starting to write for a publisher, Peer Southern, now Peer Music. They really liked it and had it demoed by Reba Rambo-McGuire a Gospel Singer. While Pam was in the control room listening, when the singer hit this one note, Pam said out loud, “Oh my God, I wish Connie Francis was still around to do it.” A few months later, one of the Peer publishers from New York had heard the song, and one of his good friends was Connie Francis’ Father. He said “This is what Connie needs for her comeback.” Connie Francis recorded the song, but she never made a comeback.
1981 her first two cuts came a week apart, Terry Gibbs had recorded a handful of songs, of which Pam’s song was one of them. Right in the middle of it, the label got rid of Terry’s producer and the project was scrapped.
1991, George Strait cut “If I Know Me”. Co-written with Dean Dillon. Pam was in the same publishing company as Dean Dillon, and she really wanted to write with him. After many messages to Dillon, Pam’s song plugger finally gave her a message “Yeah, well, tell her she can have one chance, one shot” Dean Dillon said. Pam had a lyric she had written, that she held for this moment, but that one was never a hit. They wrote 15 to 20 songs over about 5 years. “If I Know Me” was one of the earlier songs that Pam Belford and Dean Dillon co-wrote.
After Pam’s success with George Strait, she continued her day job as a librarian until around 2012. Her vocabulary is amazing, “one succinct word in a song can convey 20 words”.
Photographs by Barbara Potter
Pam Belford shares her experiences living and writing songs in Nashville. “One thing that has not changed is networking and the comradery, you GO to songwriters nights, “You GO, you GO, you GO. You meet other people who are probably at they same level you are, everybody is new to town, so you are not the only new person. Eventually, if your songs are good, people hear about you. As far as actually getting in the doors now, I have no idea, it is really about the artists now. Back in the day maybe and up until about 15 years ago, people were recording other peoples songs. Everybody who came along that was a great singer was not a songwriter and they did not pretend to be. And the writing slots were not given to them. My advice is if you come to town be young and extraordinarily cute!”
Debuting her latest CD on GMAB, Pam Belford newly released CD, “Slow Dancing Cowboys & Strawberry Pie”
With a live performance of “The Horse You Rode In On”, the only Dean Dillon co-write that will never be released. It was written after a failed relationship, and contains the “snotty” line ‘As I watch you ride off on the horse you rode in on, it is hard to tell you apart!’.
“Slow Dance” Is a song Pam wrote herself 30 years ago and has been pitched to everybody in the past, but not recent years. It has been demoed many times, including by Kathy Mattea before she hit, a few years later by Trisha Yearwood, and many male singers.
“Holding My Own” was co-written with Dean Dillon and performed by George Strait, the song was not a single but was the title cut on the album. An album title cut great, but in monetary value it is a fraction of a single cut, big difference.
The only web site the CD is available through is her Facebook page Pam Belford. Write Pam a message and look for the dollar sign icon to purchase “Slow Dancing Cowboys & Strawberry Pie”
Susie Monick ~ Holly Wood And The Extras is an Americana band fronted by Susie Monick. Susie took up banjo at Syracuse University and founded the first all-girl bluegrass band Buffalo Gals in 1970. Her instrumental banjo album “Melting Pots” is hailed as the first jazz-banjo album. While touring Europe with State Of The Heart Band, Susie took up mandolin and button-accordion.
Jim Parker ~ “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” is the exclamation used by BTO, and it is an apt description of “Jim Parker’s Songwriters Series.” Jim is the creator and host of a popular series at the Von Braun Center Playhouse in Huntsville, AL called Jim Parker’s Songwriters Series ™ where he showcases the incredible talent of his hit songwriter friends from Nashville, TN, Muscle Shoals, AL and surrounding areas.
Colleen LLOY has literally played all over the U.S. and abroad and returned from two USO shows in Italy. She is a frequent guest at the nationally known Bluebird Café, has done television and radio broadcasts and has opened up for artists like Billy Dean, Paul Overstreet, John Berry, Lee Greenwood, George Jones, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tanya Tucker, John Anderson and many others.
Ed Beaver is an amazing talent, singer songwriter and luthier here in Nashville Tennessee… Originally from Texas, Ed Beaver has settled in Nashville, TN of late. He has also shared the stage with other known writers, Lisa Carver, Pam Belford, Jonmark Stone and Robert K Wolf. Ed Beaver new CD “Working Tapes” Just recently released, this project was produced by Robert K. Wolf and what a fine job Robert did producing these tracks…
Bobby Pizazz Singer/Songwriter Performing Artist, Host and Producer of GIVE ME A BREAK Radio Show, “I’m very honored to share the stage with some of the Greatest Artists, Singer/Songwriters and Industry leaders on the Planet and with some of the best Up-Coming Artists and Songwriters in the world”
All materials presented on the GMAB radio program are royalty free as agreed to by the owners thereof, and the programming is presented for educational and informational purposes as no artist, writer of publisher are paid for their appearance.
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