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  • Writer's pictureDoak Turner

Third Sunday at 3:00 a Legendary Event in the Nashville Music Community

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Want to be involved in your music community and build it? – That happens with building relationships with the songwriters, musicians and others that live in your area.

March 2003 – July 2012, 112 months in a row, I hosted the 3rd Sunday at 3:00 at my house in Nashville called, “The 3rd Sunday at 3:00”. Sunday Dinner With Your Songwriting Family is another name for it. Friends are made and songs are played!

The event grew to about 100 songwriters and musicians coming to the house each month – bringing food, beverages, networking and playing songs in four different rooms, outside on the deck, driveway and yard.

The idea started in about February 2003 as someone came to my house, talked about a man in Greenwich Village in NYC who hosted a Monday night dinner that he cooked spaghetti and you had to sing a song you wrote for your plate!

I did not want to cook every Monday, so came up with the idea to invite 30 people that were new to Nashville over for a potluck and to play songs. It happened to be on a 3rd Sunday, so to make the event easy to remember the 3rd Sunday at 3:00 was born.  Those 30 turned into about 100 songwriters each month.

The 3rd Sunday of each month,  songwriters would come to the house, eat, network and play their original songs, all levels of songwriters, those new to town or visiting Nashville and many hit songwriters also would also stop by and join the circles to play their songs.

The networking – relationships grew, songwriters would co-write after meeting at the house. One bass player told me last year that he met someone 9 years ago (one of the first events) that was an artist. Those two got together and a couple years later they were in England at Peter Gabriel’s studio and the bass player thanked me for that event and he is now on the road with a very successful artist.

Hit Songwriters, #1 Songwriters, Hall of Fame Songwriters,  and artists too many to mention attended these events every month along with people working their way up in the business. Years later - several hit writers and artists that attended these events are now  huge success stories in the industry. Many of those songwriters and artists met - at the 3rd Sunday at 3:00. 

Preparing the house – I used my garage to keep the food, had a restaurant sponsor, Bojangles Chicken who donated 60 pieces of chicken, fixins, and sweet tea for every event. Everyone was asked to bring food or beverages to contribute to the event. Songwriters have cut each other’s songs from hearing them at 3rd Sunday at 3:00.

The event takes a lot of effort – setting up the house and yard with tables and chairs, trash cans, paper plates along with plastic spoons and forks, cups, napkins, coolers and plenty of plastic garbage bags and trash cans.  I also put a time for the event 3:00-8:00 as people would stay till midnight if you let them!

Parking in your neighborhood is essential. I was blessed with a church across the street that let the songwriters use their parking lot and had a cell tower behind my house with a big area for parking.

Something to consider – liability – make sure you have your insurance policy that would protect you in case someone would fall up or down your stairs, over or through your deck or any accident that may happen at the event.

I do not host these events anymore as I moved from the former house and do not have the facilities to host big events in the community.

Start a monthly event in your home or in your community – new friendships and a songwriting family will happen!

3rd Sunday at 3:00 also hosted the annual Guitar BQ for seven years - which brought up to 600 people to the house for Bar BQ, Songs and Networking. 100 pounds of BBQ, asking attendees to bring side items or beverages and whew - lots of songs and people. 

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