Brenau University hosts acclaimed musicians in Summer Songwriter Series

May 29, 2013
Brenau Staff
Songwriter John Ford Coley kick off the new Summer Songwriter Series at Brenau University June 8.
Songwriter John Ford Coley

Two established songwriters who also have credits in front of the camera will take to the stage Saturday, June 8, at Brenau University’s Theatre on the Square in downtown Gainesville, Ga.

John Ford Coley and Alex Harvey open the new Summer Songwriter Series on Saturday, June 8, from 7-9 p.m., at Brenau’s newest venue, an intimate 300-seat auditorium at the school’s Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 each at the John Jarrard Foundation website ( The concert series is jointly sponsored by Brenau University and the Gainesville-based John Jarrard Foundation.

Local singer/songwriters Carl Dylan, Mark Dowdy and Ally Lindeen will open the show.

The concert gives music fans a unique chance to see these established songwriters and musicians up-close in an intimate setting, where Coley and Harvey can open up about their experiences, influences and inspirations.

Alex Harvey kick off the new Summer Songwriter Series at Brenau University June 8
Songwriter Alex Harvey

Coley and Harvey make a good match, as they followed a similar path in their careers. Coley toured as part of the Grammy-nominated duo with England Dan in the 1970s before striking out on his own. His hits include “Love is the Answer” and “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” along with a host of songs from feature films and TV shows such as “Just Tell Me You Love Me,” “Cold Case” and songs for Dr. Pepper and Maxwell House Coffee. In the 1980s, the guitarist and classically trained pianist began acting, landing roles in both film and on television.

Harvey, who grew up influenced by the soul of the blues, country and big band music, is known for his hits like “Reuben James” and “Delta Dawn,” selling more than 150 million recordings. His songs have been recorded by a diverse group of performers — Sammy Davis Jr., Henry Mancini, Andy Williams and Peggy Lee, for example — while Kenny Rogers has recorded more than 17 of Harvey’s compositions. Harvey later moved from the music to the acting world, landing in Los Angeles and studying acting with classmates Patrick Swayze, Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer. After years on the big screen, Harvey recently returned to music with a new Christian music CD.