Chasing the Dream

With an armload of songs and a heart full of songwriting dreams, Jerry made the move from his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 1984.  While attending the School of Hard Knocks on Nashville’s Music Row, Jerry has been an exclusive staff songwriter for Dick James Music, Little Big Town Music, Malaco Music, and Talbot Music.

Jerry’s first major label cut, Don’t Waste It On The Blues, recorded by Gene Watson, reached #5 on the country charts in 1990, winning him an ASCAP award.  In 1990, Wild Rose climbed the charts to #13 with Vandiver’s penned hit, Go Down Swingin’.

Since then, he had had two songs recorded by Tim McGraw, It Doesn’t Get Any Countrier Than This, featured on McGraw’s platinum 6 CD “Not A Moment Too Soon,” and For a Little While, (reaching #2 on the country charts) on the quadruple platinum 1998 CMA Album of the Year, “Everywhere,” winning Jerry a BMI Award. For A Little While was also included on McGraw’s platinum 5 Greatest Hits CD and Special Edition Box Set.

Other artists recording Jerry’s songs include Barbara Mandrell, Lee Greenwood, The Oak Ridge Boys, Phil Vassar, Dusty Drake, Lonestar and David Lee Garza.  Thanks to these artists, Jerry has songs on over 15 million records and two of his titles are hanging on the wall in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Performing His Dream

As a singer/songwriter and performer, Jerry can be heard regularly at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, the Country Music Hall of Fame Songwriter Series, and at the Nashville Songwriters Association’s (NSAI) Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival.  He has also been featured on News Channel 5 Plus’ Words and Music: A Showcase For Nashville Songwriters hosted by Harry Chapman.

Jerry released his own CD in 2001 entitled Don’t Try This At Home. This critically acclaimed acoustic CD features a team of A-list Nashville players including the Grammy award-winning Fairfield Four (as seen in the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

His highly-anticipated “paddlesongs” CD, True And Deep, Songs For The Heart Of The Paddler was released in the spring of 2011, followed by his newest release, an acoustic Americana CD, I Wrote This One For You in the fall of 2012.

Passing The Dream On

Jerry co-authored a songwriting workbook with Gracie Hollombe Vandiver entitled, Your First Cut, a Step-by-Step Guide to Getting There (now in it’s 3rd printing). Your First Cut is designed to guide, encourage, and enable the aspiring serious songwriter toward the goal of achieving his or her first cut.

Jerry has been a moderator and guest speaker at NSAI’s Thursday night workshops, a featured presenter and speaker at NSAI’s Songposium, Spring Training and Song Camps, the TAXI Road Rally in Los Angeles as well as teaching songwriting to over fifty workshops throughout the United States and Australia.

Additionally, he has presented seminars at colleges such as the Belmont University School of Music in Nashville, TN, the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, and MusicTech College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

When not writing his own songs, Jerry is a favorite guest teacher at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Senior Citizen Words & Music Program and he also mentors school-age children as a volunteer for the Hall of Fame’s Words & Music Children’s Education Program.

Jerry resides in Nashville with his wife Gracie, too many canoes to count, and their two rescue dogs, Ringo and Shelby.

Jerry Vandiver is affiliated with the following organizations:

American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP)

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)

  Don't Try This At Home   I Wrote This One For You  

True and Deep   Every Scratch Tells A Story   Mixed Dry Bag

About Jerry Vandiver

The Quick Bio

Since making the move from Kansas City to Nashville, Jerry has seen his songs recorded by such artists as Tim McGraw, Phil Vassar, Lonestar, Barbara Mandrell, Lee Greenwood and The Oak Ridge Boys to name a few.  

He scored a Top 5 single on Gene Watson's Don't Waste It On The Blues, a Top 20 on Wild Rose's Go Down Swingin' and #2 on Tim McGraw's For A Little While.  Thanks to these artists, Jerry has songs on over 15 million records, two of which are hanging on the walls of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Jerry can be heard regularly at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe, The Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Songwriter Series and NSAI's Tin Pan South.  He is also a regular presenter/speaker at NSAI's Spring Training, Songposium and Song Camps as well as their Thursday night workshops.  

Jerry co-authored the songwriting workbook Your First Cut - A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting There and can be found doing songwriting workshops all around the U.S. and Australia.