Tony Ramey at Dallas Songwriters Association

| January 17, 2014 | Reply

Reprinted with permission:

Tony at Stagecoach Ballroom with Johnny Rodriguez

Tony at Stagecoach Ballroom with Johnny Rodriguez

Future speakers at DSA 2nd Tuesdays have a tough bar to clear. Tony Ramey ( set it sky high in January with a program that will be hard to surpass.  In sports terms, Ramey’s a triple threat. He writes great songs. He tells great stories. And he gives gentle but helpful criticism. He’s a good singer and picker as well, as the full room at The Center for Community Cooperation can attest.Ramey can drop some names, but they fall easily from his lips because he’s not trying to impress. He’s been writing songs for almost 20 years, most of that time in Nashville, so he’s met and worked with some of the big talents. He wrote for George Strait’s publishing house, Muy Bueno, for 8-plus years. Here’s Strait’s version of the Ramey co-write ‘Hot Grease and Zydeco’:

Craig Morgan, Trisha Yearwood, Doug Stone, Alabama, Johnny Lee, and the late Ray Price are among others who’ve sung his tunes. Last night, Ramey played the heartfelt but unreleased ‘The Bible, the Bottle and the Gun,’ on which Willie Nelson will sing a verse. (I hope I got that title right.) Most recently, he has a Texas music hit with Aaron Watson, ‘Summertime Girl’:

In fact, Ramey’s written something like 1,600 songs. Almost all are in full or demo production.  “And no one’s going to pitch them unless I pitch them,” he said with a laugh.

Don’t take things too seriously. That was the theme of the night. Don’t take yourself, your work or your ambitions too seriously.  Hold things loosely. Live your life loving what you do.  (Nice hook there.)

Ramey loves to write and perform. He says he was able to write 150 songs a year partly because his brain is always humming. He writes lyrics and melody at the same time. When he hears a clever phrase, he immediately begins to explore it with melodies. He says you can’t wait for inspiration if you’re hoping to be a professional songwriter. Writing becomes a discipline.

Ramey, who once pursued a PhD in literature at Middle Tennessee State University, now lives and works in the Dallas area, where he helped start Dig It Deep Publishing, Catch him most Tuesday’s at Love & War, Plano. He’ll also open Feb. 7 for Mark Chesnut at Hank’s in McKinney.


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