Cumberland University


CU, Sony Unveil Plans for Songwriters' Institute


From left to right: Troy Tomlinson, Curly Putman and Dr. Eaton during Commencement exercises at CU.

Joined by Cumberland University President Dr. Harvill Eaton and iconic songwriter Curly Putman, Sony Music (Nashville) CEO Troy Tomlinson recently announced a planned partnership between Cumberland and Sony and the forthcoming launch of the Cumberland University Songwriters' Institute.

During the University's 167th Commencement ceremony, Tomlinson said Sony Nashville plans to support the new Songwriters' Institute by providing speakers, workshops and opportunities for students to showcase their talents. Putman, who penned such hits as "The Green, Green Grass of Home" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," is a long-time friend to the University and will also offer his support to the Songwriters' Institute. Putman also received an honorary degree during the Commencement ceremony.

According to Eaton, the Songwriters' Institute and Commercial Music program will be led by Michael Kosser. A native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Kosser began writing songs in 1971, when he moved to Nashville and immersed himself in the craft of the country song. Over the years, Kosser's songs have been recorded by George Jones, Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Josh Gracin, Blake Shelton and many more. Kosser has also penned nearly 20 books, most recently How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 Years of Music Row.

"We'll be teaching a curriculum that includes the craft of songwriting and seeking a songwriting career in the real music industry," Kosser, who spends the bulk of his time on campus but remains an active songwriter on Nashville's Music Row, said. " ... At this time, the music industry is undergoing radical changes that offer great opportunities for those who can understand these changes. This curriculum will track the current state of the songwriting industry while guiding students to be in the forefront of industry changes."

Students, Kosser concluded, will benefit from the guidance and experience of "industry veterans" they will meet during the course of their studies.

For more information on the Cumberland University Songwriters' Institute,
please contact Mr. Kosser at 615.547.1297 or via e-mail at

To view a recent news report on Tomlinson's announcement and Cumberland's 167th Commencement, please visit