By CATHI AYCOCK
Stevie Wonder wrote and recorded music for one of his best albums, Songs in the Key of Life, using his own childhood and love life as a template for many of the songs.
For Nashville businessman Paul Anderson, it was a wedding (or two) that offered a template for a new business venture that combines music with making memories. Anderson can’t promise Grammy nominations, he can promise a song written especially for you. His new business, Lyrical Memories, connect individuals with a professional songwriter to create a personalized, professionally written song.
In addition to giving customers a unique, personal gift for an engagement, wedding, birthday, even retirement, the business also expands opportunities for professional songwriters.
“This offers a chance to get paid immediately versus rolling the dice on song that even if it gets cut produces so little revenue these days with streaming and basic piracy,” Anderson said.
When Anderson’s two daughters were getting married, he reached out to local songwriters to write an original song for each daughter’s wedding. After seeing the reaction to the songs, he started Lyrical Memories, a company that allows you to work with a songwriter in creating a one-of-a-kind song for weddings, anniversaries or any celebration.
“I moved to Nashville in 1978 and just slowly got to know songwriters through one connection to the next,” Anderson said. “I became a huge fan of places like Bluebird Cafe, back when you could get in the place, and their talent and personalities were always much more interesting than my insurance peers. But insurance provided me and my family a very good living. Besides, I personally had no musical talent. I retired 4 years ago and after two weddings of daughters where this idea worked so well, I saw an opportunity. While I have spent about a year getting website, legal documentation, and basic research into this idea, I officially launched in April.
“I started with songwriters I knew, some very good songwriters including a Hall of Fame writer, to get a sense of available talent, their price, their interest, and so on. There was a lot of interest.”
After a songwriter pens a tune based on your event or idea, a demo is made so you can offer feedback on the song. Then, the song is professionally recorded in a studio and a CD and an MP3 are created.
Lyrical Memories contracts with a variety of songwriters in multiple formats, from rock to country to Christian, so your taste in music is reflected in your personalized song.
“I have plenty of available writers,” Anderson said. “I actually want to keep a rather small stable for now so I can keep them busy and interested. Thus far, it has been fairly easy to find writers even for odd requests in music.”
For brides who think the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” ditty is dated, a custom, personalized song might hit just the right note.
“This has been great fun and the reaction and impact at each event has been amazing,” Anderson said.