NASHVILLE by Ronaye (Shandler) Hudyma
“Songwriters are a special breed of individuals, a whole different species that come to Nashville in droves from everywhere in the country. They are a dedicated bunch, often broke and lonely, willing to sacrifice everything for a chance to make it in the music business. I was one of them.”
That’s what Ronaye (Shandler) Hudyma says about the song. She further adds,
“My lifelong career had been in the entertainment business, beginning at The Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto where I studied classical piano and voice; continuing as a solo performer in the medium of stage, television, and nightclubs across North America, the Orient and beyond—no matter where it was, what it was, or what it paid—anywhere that would keep me from having to get a day job. But the glitter and glitz never endure. I started writing songs and was booked as an opening act at The Palomino in Los Angeles. As luck would have it, the production company for Barbara Mandrel was in the audience and requested demos for three of my songs. Not only were they encouraging but suggested I come to Nashville, which they called a “writer’s town” where the only prerequisite was to have the heart of a poet and the skin of a rhinoceros. Before they could hang up the phone, I was packed and ready to go, hitching a trailer to an old ’66 Dodge Dart, which ran on a prayer, and on my way.
Like every other writer, I made the rounds of publishers who hid behind barricaded doors in administrative structures, then finally, finally, landing those sought after exclusive staff writer publishing “deals”. There’s a saying in Nashville—if holds were gold—near hits and misses, and I had them, with holds on my songs from Kenny Rogers, Lori Morgan, Michael Bolton, “cuts” with up and coming artists that faded into obscurity, an offer of a record deal from a small label, which my then publisher turned down. This kept me going for years until my luck ran out and I was left with no other options but to leave the same way I came in, which the song “Nashville” truthfully describes. If it sounds scratchy and old, it’s because it is. I rescued it from an old cassette tape onto an mp3.
Someone like Dolly Parton, who is very pro songwriter, would do a fabulous job singing it.”