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  • Writer's pictureRobin Pearl

Episode Two: Crafting a Community

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Billy’s radio show mirrored his live shows and his eclectic taste in music. Growing up, he and his siblings followed their mother as she gypsied her way from one city to another, often bouncing between Houston and Los Angeles. Those two cities and the broad range of music he heard in residence had a huge impact on his future. Uprooting on an annual basis no doubt influenced his later need to create a community—a global band of troubadours—still a community.

When interviewed about Billy Block, Peter Cooper, writer-editor at the Country Music Hall of Fame and author (latest book: Johnny’s Cash & Charlie’s Pride), said of the music industry, “There’s a misguided but prevalent attitude of elbows out—don’t try to get into what I’m doing. But Billy didn’t have any of that. He was inclusive, he was about celebrating people. In whatever town he was in.”

When Billy and Jill first arrived in Nashville, having moved from LA in 1995, Billy started hosting front porch guitar pulls. Songwriters would get out their acoustics and share their newest songs. He quickly moved on to hosting a show at The Sutler, where those who became the great Americana artists and musicians we celebrate today, gathered every week to play. Or hang out and listen to one another. Just another front porch guitar pull. On a much larger scale.

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