They're the talented people behind the music the whole world knows and yet, very few people know their names. A weekend festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is celebrating songwriters.
The Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival runs through August 23 at various sites in and around the city.
"We have 25 hit writers that are going to be here," said festival founder Cyndy Reeves. "We also have over a hundred aspiring writers or pros that have cuts as well. There will be workshops, there's a song competition."
Songwriter Bobby Tomberlin, who wrote the Diamond Rio hit One More Day, is impressed with how much the festival has grown in three short years.
"I don't come just for the festival. I come all through the year," said Tomberlin. "I was here a few weeks ago and actually started a song that I'm so excited about that Mo Pitney and I just finished. My publisher is so excited over. I get a lot of inspiration when I come her and I come here probably seven or eight times a year."
Tomberlin teamed up with fellow songwriter, Steve Dorff (Kenny Rogers' Through the Years, Eddie Rabbitt's Every Which Way but Loose" as well as the theme to Growing Pains) to write a song recently recorded by Barbra Streisand and Blake Shelton that will be released in September 2014.
Music producer and songwriter Shayne Fair just finished working with Bill Medley and the late Phil Everly. He's also written music with Hilary Wiliams (Daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.), this is his second time to attend the festival.
"I did it by myself (write music) for years and then got used to the Nashville way of doing things with a group of people and another person and I really enjoy that," said Fair. "I really enjoy the camaraderie and everything that it is to create these things (music) from nothing."
The songwriter festival will also bring in one of the most iconic names in country music, "Whispering" Bill Anderson.
"He's a TV icon," said Tomberlin. "He's had over 50 hits as a solo act. It's going to be a very intimate show. You're going to hear stories behind the songs, it's like a historic evening with a legend."
Anderson will perform at a special concert at 8pm on August 23 at the Quality Inn Creekside. Tomberlin will join Anderson on stage along Dorff. Tickets are $25 and are on sale at the Gatlinburg Inn until it is sold out.
In addition to workshops and lessons there will be all kinds of music performed at several venues all over the Gatlinburg area. For a complete list visit www.smswf.com.
Festival founder and director Cyndy Reeves hopes that festival attendees will walk away inspired, rejuvenated and bit by the "songwriters' bug".
"This festival is about bringing awareness that the song gets started with the writer," said Reeves. "He doesn't make the money that the artist does but he's written that song and that song's from their hearts, their soul and all they want is someone to say 'hey, man that song touched me'."