Universal Music Publishing Group has dedicated a writer’s room in its Nashville office to country music legend Mel Tillis following his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The room features a vintage guitar on the hearth, Tillis show posters, a framed copy of his handwritten lyrics to “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” his portrait, BMI awards for songs he wrote or co-wrote, and his advice to writers who will work in the room: “Your first thought is your best.”
The publisher recently held a reception for the room dedication, gathering its staff, songwriters and Tillis’ friends and family.
“What an honor it is to know that it will always be there and will hopefully inspire other songwriters and artists,” Tillis said.
Tillis’ songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, Allison Kraus and Robert Plant.
“Not only has Mel made a significant contribution to our industry as a performer, but he has also shaped the careers of many artists and songwriters with his songs,” said Pat Higdon, executive VP/GM of UMPG Nashville.
After the dedication, Tillis and others performed at the Stage in Nashville for an event organized by UMPG and BMI. Toby Keith made a surprise performance. Other artists who joined in the show to pay homage to Tillis included Jamey Johnson, Jason Michael Carroll, Ira Dean, Radney Foster, Sarah Johns, Blaine Larson, Jimmy Stewart, Heidi Newfield, Kenyon Lockry, Sonny Tillis and Pam Tillis.
“It is fitting that the first time that Universal Music Publishing Group dedicates a room, in any of our offices, that it be to an artist and songwriter of the caliber of Mel Tillis,” said David Renzer, UMPG chairman/CEO.