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Live to the point of tears.
— Albert Camus

A Season of High Hopes

Thu, Dec 15, 2016 7:00 pm

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  • Price: $50.00

Ever wished you could spend an evening at the historic Franklin Theatre during the holidays with a few of your closest friends, while some of the most talented country artists share some of their favorite stories and songs of the Christmas season? How about wrapping up the evening up with good ol’ fashioned Christmas carols? Well, now’s your chance and it’s all for a great cause!

Join acclaimed artists Lee Greenwood, Tim Nichols, Billy Dean and Bradley Walker in an intimate setting in celebration of the life-changing work of High Hopes Development Center. This special night at the Franklin Theatre will not only fill your heart with the holiday spirit while helping children with special needs and their families, but promises to be a not-to-miss Franklin Christmas tradition.


Few artists have ever written a song that has become more a part of America’s cultural landscape than Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” If he’d never written or recorded another hit, Greenwood would have secured his place in music history with that powerful, inspiring ballad.

“God Bless the USA” has been voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America, taking the top honor over “God Bless America” and the “National Anthem,” but it is only one of the many hits that have propelled Greenwood’s successful career. With his distinctive voice, insightful songwriting and unparalleled showmanship, Greenwood has been captivating audiences for decades.

Along the way, he has won numerous accolades including two Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association and the CMA Song of the Year honor in 1985 for “God Bless the USA.” He has won the Top Male Vocal Performance in 1983 for “I.O.U.” His lengthy string of hits includes such classics as “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands,” “It Turns Me Inside Out,” “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “I Don’t Mind the Thorns (If You’re the Rose)” and “Dixie Road.”

Never one to rest, Greenwood continues to write and record with the same passion and integrity that has always fueled his stellar career. “I want my family to see what I do and not just what I did,” he says of sharing his passion for music with his wife Kim and their two sons, Dalton and Parker. “I like the artistry of it. I could have been a carpenter or a farmer, but I love the spirit of music. That love still flows and I’m writing much more than I have in previous years. I want to create something new.”

Competitive and driven as an entertainer, Lee Greenwood is also a loving family man and a savvy businessman who has learned to effectively balance all facets of his busy life. And yes, he could sit back and enjoy the success of his career but that’s not Lee Greenwood. He’s always moving forward, ready to conquer the next challenge.


With nearly two dozen smash hits, multiple BMI songwriting awards, a Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as Song of the Year honors from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, Tim Nichols has earned his place among Nashville's most elite and respected tunesmiths.

In 2004, along with Craig Wiseman, Nichols wrote Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying," which stayed at #1 for ten consecutive weeks. In addition to breaking a 30 year record, "Live Like You Were Dying" won the Grammy award for Best Country Song in 2005. It also won the Song of the Year award from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, BMI Country Awards, ASCAP Country Awards, Billboard and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. It is the only song to have been awarded every major industry song award for country music.

Nichols' tunes have helped launch the careers of Jo Dee Messina, with her debut smash, "Heads Carolina, Tails California," Chris Young with "The Man I Want to Be," as well as newcomer Dustin Lynch, who along with Nichols and famed record producer Josh Leo, wrote his first top 5 single, "Cowboys and Angels." Most recently, Nichols collaborated with his THiS Music publishing company partner, Connie Harrington and Jamie Lynn Spears to pen the current Jana Kramer single, “I Got the Boy.”

Feeling the importance of giving back to the community and the industry, Nichols has served on the Boards of the Country Music Association, the Nashville Songwriter Association International, and the High Hopes Preschool and Pediatric Therapy Clinic, which serves children with special needs in Nashville and surrounding counties of middle Tennessee. “High Hopes is an amazing place, it has my heart, and that’s why I’ve been involved with it for nearly 20 years!”


After Billy Dean made the finals of the Wrangler Country Star Search in 1982 and then became a male vocalist champ on Ed McMahon's Star Search in 1988, Billy earned a Top 5 hit in 1990 with his debut country single, "Only Here For A Little While." His second single, "Somewhere In My Broken Heart," also went Top 5, as did follow-up singles "You Don't Count The Cost," "Only The Wind" and "Billy The Kid."

Throughout his career in country music, Billy Dean has sold over six million records and thirteen of his songs landed in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Charts including the poignant “Let Them Be Little,” “Billy the Kid,” “Somewhere In My Broken Heart” and “Only Here for a Little White.” In 1992, he was crowned “Top New Male Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music (ACM). In 2000, Billy Dean and Alison Krauss sang harmony vocals on Kenny Rogers rendition of “Buy Me a Rose.” Billy Dean noted that touring with Kenny Rogers was one of his most precious times in his country music career. “Touring with Kenny was very special for me,” Dean said.

Billy charted so quickly and so often that he released a Greatest Hits collection as his fourth album. That project included "If There Hadn't Been You," "We Just Disagree" and "Once in a While," which Billy wrote and recorded for the soundtrack to the 1994 film 8 Seconds. Three of his albums were certified gold and his self-titled 1991 effort earned platinum status. Billy called his 2012 album A Man of Good Fortune. “Music has deeply enriched my life," says Billy. "It's because of my fans and their support that I've spent most of my life on a musical journey and that's why I truly feel like 'A Man of Good Fortune.'"


Country music is at its best when it’s anchored in tradition, rooted in faith and family values and delivered with heartfelt passion that resonates with authenticity. On his Gaither Music Group debut, “Call Me Old-Fashioned,” Bradley Walker checks all those boxes and more. An unabashed traditionalist, Walker serves up a collection that would make his heroes proud, yet infuses each song with a youthful enthusiasm that puts a fresh spin on a classic style.

In listening to his debut, it is obvious Walker learned from the best, yet he’s distinctly his own artist. “Haggard had that tone and Jones could make five syllables out of one,” Walker says with a smile. “Each singer had something that was just unique about them. I’ve always tried to take the best of all of that and form that into my own sound.”

“Call Me Old-Fashioned” reflects Walker’s love of tradition while “Sinners Only” is an intriguing reminder we are all just sinners saved by grace. Another of the highlights of the album is “In the Time That You Gave Me,” a poignant duet between Walker and Rory’s late wife, Joey, who lost her battle with cancer in March. “I’d known that song for probably a couple years before they ever recorded it. Shawn Camp is a writer on that song and a dear friend of mine,” Walker says. Rory took Joey’s vocal from their recording and combined it with Bradley’s for the duet. “To be able to record that with Joey’s voice, it was very hard to get through that when we tracked it in the studio. It’s tough to listen to, but it’s such an honor for me and not only just to have a song on here with Joey, but to have that song. It’s special.”

High Hopes Development Center is a 32-year non-profit organization that loves, nurtures, and educates children with two integrated programs helping each child reach their maximum potential. Children ages 6 weeks to Pre-K, with and without special needs, are educated together in inclusive preschool classrooms by a team of experienced teachers supporting the individual needs of each child.

High Hopes is the only inclusive preschool in Williamson County with an on-site pediatric therapy clinic, allowing children to receive therapy services during their preschool day. High Hopes is truly unique in the way that children with and without special needs such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other developmental delays play, learn, and grow together every day. The outpatient pediatric therapy clinic provides children from birth to 21 years multiple therapies in one location: occupational, speech, physical, and feeding therapies. High Hopes gives children of all intellectual, physical and mental abilities the opportunity to learn and grow together in an environment that provides a strong foundation for future academic and social success.

419 Main Street
Franlin, TN 37064

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