Song Suffragettes Celebrate 10th Anniversary

NASHVILLE, Tennessee– In a historic event at Belmont’s Fisher Center, the female collective known as the Song Suffragettes celebrated its tenth anniversary to a packed-out crowd last week

Each year, they celebrate their March anniversary, and they honor a significant female singer and/or songwriter. This year’s Yellow Rose of Inspiration award fittingly went to Wynonna Judd, an acclaimed singer/songwriter and long-time promoter of women in country music. Past Yellow Rose of Inspiration award winners include Laura Veltz, Ashley McBryde, Natalie Hemby, and Kelsea Ballerini.

Ten years ago, the creator of the Song Suffragettes, Todd Cassetty, was well aware of the underrepresentation of females in music, specifically in country music. So, he set out to find the most talented women he could in Nashville and allow them to play their original music at the Listening Room on Monday nights.

Since then, more than 450 talented women have graced the door of the Listening Room. Women who were initially given the chance to perform with the Song Suffragettes include Kelsea Ballerini, Brittney Spencer, Carly Pearce, Megan Moroney, and Laney Wilson, to name a few.

To help celebrate the exciting evening, performances were given by singer/songwriters Maddie and Tae, Tenille Arts, Chapel Hart, The Isaacs, Hannah Ellis, and Runaway June’s Stevie Woodward.

Award-winning songwriters Liz Rose, Laura Veltz, and Trannie Anderson were also on hand to sing hit songs they had written for other female artists.

Long-time Cajon player, Mia Morris performed and was given an award for having more than 270 performances since she began with Song Suffragettes at age 14.

CMT’s SVP of Music Strategy, Leslie Fram, praised Todd Cassetty. She said, “I am so honored to be here, not only because I love Todd Cassidy and Song Suffragettes, but I love this woman right here (cohost Kelleigh Bannen), and I’m so proud of what you have accomplished in your career.”

Many of CMT’s Next Women of Country honorees are also Song Suffragettes.

But the highlight of the evening was when singer/songwriter/podcaster Kelleigh Bannon interviewed the beloved and candid Wynonna Judd, where no topic was off limits.

Kelleigh wanted to figure out how Wynonna Judd got her magic. She stated, “The truth is I don’t have a clue and I never did. I just know music.

As 1/2 of the famous Judds, Wynonna Judd got her start at age 17 where her mother, Naomi Judd, taught her to tow the line. She said, “They had to send me to media school. They had to send me to learn how to talk because I didn’t know I was so shy and backward and introverted.”

Back in the day, they didn’t have the internet and life was much simpler. “We didn’t have all the distractions. All I cared about was music,” Wynonna Judd recalled.

Despite her success, Wynonna Judd, who will be 60 in May, has been through a lot. Family addiction, loss of fortune, and the suicide of her mother are just some of the things she mentioned in her interview.

When it comes to success, she shared, “I wish I had some brilliant answer. I know what I like. I know what I don’t like. And when I hear a song like ‘Only Love,’ I feel it, I breathe it, I live it, and it’s part of who I am. Otherwise, I don’t know. I guess God gives us intellect as well as intuition. And I think we don’t use our intuition enough. I think I was just blind so much, and I’ve gotten away with a lot because of that.”

Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd worked very hard and rarely said “no” to anything. “We would wake up and fly 20 hours to Australia for one show,” she recalled. “We worked very hard.”

Though not an advice giver, Wynonna Judd adamantly stated, “Don’t ever let them tell you are. Don’t be arrogant, be confident, but be very aware of who you are. And take a course in saying ‘No.’ Also, get a good lawyer, save your money, and when you fail, fail brilliantly.”

Wynonna Judd suffers from vertigo and has a difficult time standing and keeping her balance. She referenced the night when she sang a duet with Jelly Roll, and everyone was thinking she had “fallen off the wagon” and was possibly “on something.”

She assured fans she was most certainly not on anything. “They won’t even let me have a valium,” she exclaimed.

Wynonna Judd is currently writing a book about how to fail brilliantly. She told the other singer/songwriters, “Don’t live small. Go do it big. Go do it messy. I love that so much. Failure is going from event to event with enthusiasm. Tonight is a good night.”

By the end of the celebration, Wynonna Judd was joined by her husband, Cactus Moser, and a few other members of her band where she sang, “Love is Alive,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).” And even though she was still seated, her voice was clear, strong, and as beautiful as ever. You knew without a doubt that you were in the presence of country music royalty.

The evening concluded when all the performers and any attending Song Suffragettes got on stage and sang “Love Will Build a Bridge” together with Wynonna Judd. It was a magnificent moment; one I will not soon forget.

If you ever get a chance to see the Song Suffragettes in person, go see them on Monday nights at The Listening Room. You never know when you will be listening to the next Entertainer of the Year.

You can follow the Song Suffragettes on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

– – –

Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blogInstagram, and X(Twitter).





Related posts