Writing Songs

March 19, 2013

Odie Blackmon

I remember the first time I tried to write a song. I was thirteen and decided to put my own lyrics to a couple of melodies that I knew from the radio. I didn’t play an instrument but had been curiously drawn to music at an early age. Somewhere around the age of seven, I received a box of old 45’s my grandmother had kept from my mother and uncle’s teen years in the 1960’s. I spent hours listening to the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, and some of my Granddad’s records like Johnny Cash. Because of the small town world that I grew up in, I thought that my dream job was to become a Disc Jockey at one of the two local radio stations in El Dorado, Arkansas. I interviewed one of the local Program Directors for “career week in my 9th grade civics class. When I was sixteen I got my first job on Sunday mornings at KDMS. From there I spent the rest of high school and part of my college years spinning records at several pop, country, and golden oldies stations.

After a while, I figured out that I was really in radio because I loved the music. Later on, I would realize that all of those hours sitting alone in a radio station were my education into the world of songwriting. Without even knowing it, I was learning song structure, melody, lyrics, rhyme, and record production. I bought a guitar just before graduating high school and never looked back.

I formed my first band after a year of learning guitar and soon after started trying to write songs. I had met a friend at the local music store that was originally from Detroit. He told me that in the city people played their own songs and that people came out to hear their original music. I had really never thought past playing cover songs at the bar in the Holiday Inn of my hometown.

That is how I came to the passion of my life. Years later, after living in Nashville and getting to know many songwriters, I learned that most had similar stories. Music City is the place where dreamers come from all over the country… and world. Some started out in radio, some sang in church, some played in family bands, and some are just natural poets. But the ones that wound up here were just half crazy enough to leave behind everything they’d ever known for the pursuit of a song. That’s what this blog is about. I want to share my journey and more importantly the people I cross paths with while traveling. Together we’ll learn a little more about the craft, the stories behind the songs, and the loveable folks that were put on this earth to create.

Thanks for reading this,

Odie