Music City celebrated The First And The Worst from its talented creative community as hit-makers Jessi Alexander, Bobby Braddock and Lee Brice, along with special guest Sandy Knox, performed the very first and worst songs they have ever written, as well as their biggest hits, all to benefit Music Health Alliance. Joining for the sold-out show was Garth Brooks, who stepped in for Chris Stapleton after an unforeseen scheduling conflict. The second annual event raised over $200,000 for the non-profit, representing more than half of its annual budget. Music Health Alliance has secured over $10 million dollars in life-changing healthcare resources and enabled access to doctors, medicine, health insurance and financial assistance for 4,100 music industry entrepreneurs and professionals in only three years.
Highlights from the evening included Garth Brooks’ stirring performance of his quintessential hit, “That Summer,” while Lee Brice delivered a soulful rendition of self-penned “More Than A Memory,” recorded by Brooks. Special collaborations for the evening included Jessi Alexander joined onstage with powerhouse vocalist Trisha Yearwood for “Nothin’ ‘Bout Memphis.” You could hear a pin drop as special guest Jon Randall wowed the crowd with “Whiskey Lullaby” and Alexander and Brice performed “I Drive Your Truck” for the very first time together. Among the more than 500 taking in the epic night were Kix Brooks and Major League Baseball’s Barry Zito.
Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Braddock received the “Crappy” Award for a song he wrote at the ripe old age of four, voted by over 500 audience members, as The First And The Worst’s most memorable song of the night. Last year’s recipient, Wynn Varbel, presented the award. Braddock later received a standing ovation for his iconic song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
“It gives me chills to witness our amazingly talented creative community come together to support the long-term health of our own industry at The First And The Worst,” said Music Health Alliance Founder and 2015 Nashville Healthcare Hero, Tatum Hauck Allsep. “Not only was it an incredibly memorable night of music, the funds raised will allow us to provide access to life-saving medicines, surgeries, treatments and health insurance that is not readily available to the majority of the music industry who are self-employed and part of small businesses.”
The First And The Worst – an evening of really bad songs by really good writers – showcased songwriters Alexander, Braddock, Brice and Brooks as they divulged the stories and the songs that led to their biggest hits. Hosted by esteemed journalist and music historian, Peter Cooper, this unique event allowed the audience to peek inside the brilliant minds of hit songwriters long before they had ever written a chart-topper or had songs recorded by superstar artists, all for a worthy cause. Proceeds from The First And The Worst benefit Music Health Alliance, the music industry’s non-profit healthcare advocate. Funds raised help Music Health Alliance Protect, Direct & Connect music industry professionals with medical and financial solutions.