The Story of the Song: Our Roots Run Deep


The Story of the Song

July 18, 2017
5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

$48 per person

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An authentic heritage music experience, offered exclusively for the group tour market. Hear the story behind the song in this intimate musical experience. Grammy Award Winners and Nashville Hall of Fame songwriters will share their stories and play their chart-topping country songs while you enjoy a dinner of authentic Appalachian cuisine. Ticket includes opening act, an evening with award-winning songwriters, and an authentic Appalachian dinner.

Starring Richard Leigh and Friends


Grammy Award-winning songwriter Richard Leigh.

He’s the man behind some of the most beloved country music hits to come out of Nashville.  Richard Leigh’s songs have been recorded by  Ray Charles, Connie Francis, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Crystal Gayle, Don Williams, Tammy Wynette, Anne Murray, and even Mr. Perry Como, to name a few. He is a Grammy Award winner, a three-time Grammy nominee, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame since 1994.

In this very special evening, he’s joined on stage by fellow Hall of Fame songwriters for an intimate evening of stories, songs, laughter and memories.

Number 1 singles written or co-written by Richard Leigh:  

  • “I’ll Get Over You” Crystal Gayle;
  • “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” Crystal Gayle;
  • “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” Reba McEntire;
  • “That’s Thing About Love” Don Williams;
  • “Life’s Highway“ Steve Wariner;
  • “Somewhere In My Broken Heart” Billy Dean;
  • “Only Here For A Little While” Billy Dean;
  • “Put Your Dreams Away” Mickey Gilley;
  • “Come From The Heart” Kathy Mattea

Also Starring Even Stevens

Nashville songwriter Even Stevens

Legendary songwriter Even Stevens joins Richard Leigh for Story of the Song.

Even’s songwriting career spans many years and stylistic borders with multi-platinum international hits. He has accumulated an unprecedented 53 BMI Awards, which include: 14 Pop Awards and 26 Country Awards. The Grammy nominated composer has written ASCAP’s Most Played Song of the Year and won BMI’s Robert J Burton Award, Song of the Year earning him the distinction as a BMI “Songwriter of the Century”. He received New York’s prestigious Big Apple Advertising Award for writing a series of national Miller Beer TV & Radio commercials, the CMA Triple Play Award (for having three #1 hits in one year) and has had #1 songs in numerous motion pictures and television productions. Even is in the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame

Top hits written or co-written by Richard Leigh:  

  • “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman”
  • “I Love A Rainy Night” Eddie Rabbitt
  • “Love Will Turn You Around” Kenny Rogers
  • “Crazy In Love” Conway Twitty
  • “Black Coffee“ Lacy J Dalton
  • “Suspicions” Eddie Rabbitt
  • “Step By Step” Eddie Rabbitt
  • “Lovin ‘ Only Me” Ricky Skaggs
  • “Drivin’ My Life Away” Eddie Rabbit

Opening Act: The Loose Strings Band

The Loose Strings Band

The Loose Strings Band, an all-girl band from Galax, VA in the heart of Appalachia.

Opening the evening is the all girls band from Galax, Virginia, Loose Strings.  They’re known in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and beyond for a blend of tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms. With gospel, bluegrass, country and more it is sure to have something pleasing to every ear in the audience.


Your Exclusive Dinner & a Show: Appalachian Treats for Your Ears and Tastebuds

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center

The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, the venue for Story of the Song

While they listen to the notes of authentic bluegrass and country music, guests will enjoy an authentic Appalachian meal.

Make it a multi-day experience: create your itinerary

Heartwood-Crooked-Road-944x550Monday July 17, 2016
Music from The Crooked Road
at Heartwood, SW Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
Special offering to motorcoach groups. Includes dinner and live musical entertainment from old-time and bluegrass musicians. The Crooked Road is Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.
Contact: L. Nunley 276-492-2423   or

Sunday July 16 OR Wednesday July 19, 2017
at Barter Theatre, the state theatre of Virginia
A musical based on the movie! When Ren McCormack moves to a small
town that has banned dancing and rock music, he leads his classmates to
embrace a love of dance and have a real senior prom. Matinee or evening performance.
Contact: Group Sales 276.619.5406  or

bristol-signOpen Tuesday—Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Bristol TN/VA
This museum tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, and how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music. The Carter Family, Jimmie Rogers and more…their far-reaching influence comes alive through interactive displays.
Contact: Carey Kidd 423-573-1927 or

Flexible dates and times
Explore the arts, culture and history of Abingdon
Downtown Abingdon, VA

Contact the Abingdon CVB for more great itinerary ideas.   The beautiful brick sidewalks of Abingdon offer art, crafts, history and unique shopping and dining. Let our staff make personalized recommendations for your group.
Contact: Monica Hall (276) 676-2282


The following lodging partners are offering special group rates for The Story of the Song.  Contact each property directly to reserve rooms.
Country Inn & Suites
Rate discounted for multi-night stay
$110+ tax, one night stay,
$105+ tax, two night stay,
$99+ tax, three night stay.
Includes hot breakfast served on china plates.
Contact Ashley Sword 276-676-2829
Comfort Inn
Rate: $89, up to 3 people per room
Hot buffet breakfast
Contact: Kate Michel 276-698-3040
Comfort Suites
Rate: $114 up to 3 people per room
Hot buffet breakfast
Contact Kate Michel 276-698-3040
Martha Washington Inn & Spa
Rate: Double $175 King $195
Includes continental breakfast, complimentary
valet and bellman service and port toast at the front desk.
Contact Mallory Web 276-619-5263
Quality Inn & Suites
Rate: $96 Standard Room /$110 Suite
Rooms based on Double Occupancy and includes a full southern hot breakfast.
Contact Cindy Cregger 276-676-9090
 America’s Best Value Inn
Rate: $59.95 Double Occupancy ($49.95 Single)
Includes breakfast waffles, biscuits & gravy,
muffins/cinnamon rolls,Yogurt, boiled eggs, cereal, grits, fruit, coffee, milk and tea.
Contact Christin Hayton 276-628-7131
Fairfield Marriott
Rate: Standard Room $120
Contact ACVB Monica Hall 276-492-2235
New property opening February 2017

Let us make it easy for you!

We can help plan your group’s visit and we offer the following complimentary services:

  • Browse one of our group itineraries, or contact us for a customized itinerary. Regional itinerary planning available for some groups (call to see if you qualify).
  • Schedule a free hop-on tour guide to welcome your group to Abingdon and make your visit run smoothly.
  • Send us your lodging needs; we’ll distribute an RFP to our lodging partners and give you several options for the best fit. Click here for a full list of hotels. 
  • Arrange an advance site visit or familiarity tour and let us introduce you to our lodging, dining, and attraction partners
  • Request consumer brochures, maps, dining and shopping guides, and information about bus parking locations
  • Create one of a kind experiences for your guests, like private tours, live demonstrations, music or tastings

For personal assistance, contact Monica Hall, Group Sales Manager at (276) 492-2235 or