MTSU songwriters can find more ‘income streams’ with course

MTSU recording industry students have another career-expanding option with a new course on “jingle writing” this fall that relies on a renowned Nashville musician’s expertise in commercials, television and film.

Jerry Kimbrough

Jerry Kimbrough

Jerry Kimbrough’s guitar skills have kept him in constant demand for more than two decades as a studio and session musician for artists ranging from Ray Stevens to Point of Grace. Now he’s adding the new class to his ongoing guitar course in the Commercial Songwriting Program.

“We wanted to give our student songwriters other opportunities for income streams,” explains program director Odie Blackmon. “This course can give somebody a career or put food on the table while they’re waiting for that big ‘No. 1’ hit.”

Kimbrough’s jingle clients include Coca-Cola, Cartoon Network and CBS Sports. He’s played on thousands of albums for all the major record labels, and his commercial music helps sell “cars, beers, soaps, cereals, restaurants, antacids, tacos, tires, clothes, stores, banks (and) insurance,” he jokes on his website.

He’s one of the right-hand men at Warner-Chappell Production Music, a special division of the Warner Music Group that creates custom music for TV shows, movies and commercials.

Odie Blackmon

Odie Blackmon

Searching “Kimbrough” at the WCPM site turns up hundreds of examples of his work in all genres.

“You can turn on the radio any day, anywhere, and hear Jerry Kimbrough,” Blackmon says, “and since he already teaches guitar for us, we thought it’d be a great fit and a great opportunity for our students.”

Blackmon, himself a Grammy-nominated MTSU alumnus, says word’s already gotten around the industry about MTSU’s new course offering.

“The ones we’ve talked to know that it’s a big thing to be able to use your talents in more than one way to provide yourself with an income. Jerry does that, and our students can do it, and the reaction’s been positive to it.”

A couple of spots are still open in this fall’s jingle-writing course for MTSU students who contact Blackmon immediately at Odie.Blackmon@mtsu.edu, odieblackmon@me.com or 615-898-5030.

Students who can fit the course into their spring 2016 schedule are welcome to contact him, too.

To learn more about Kimbrough, visit his website, http://ProGuitarTracks.com.

For more information about MTSU’s Commercial Songwriting Program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/commercial-songwriting. More details on the Department of Recording Industry are available at www.mtsu.edu/recording-industry.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)