A dove is symbolic of many things. Oftentimes, it is synonymous with peace, but it is also a representative of motherhood because it can manufacture its own milk. Tamanie Dove, founder of the International Singer Songwriters Association, has the most fitting name because she promotes peace among the singer-songwriter community and provides a nurturing motherly bond with them. Just like Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones is the "Mother of Dragons", Ms.Dove is the Mother of Singer-Songwriters.
Tamanie's story begins when she was a young girl and practically grew up back stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Her mother was responsible for handling the books and publishing for many artists in the industry back then. Tamanie says that her favorite was Roger Miller, whom her mother managed. He taught Tamanie about telling a story. This would prove to be crucial to her development as a songwriter.
In addition to being influenced by some of the world's most talented people, Tamanie began playing piano at the age of 5. By the time she was 12, she wrote a song for her church choir. Afterwards, like so many of us, life interfered and her songwriting aspirations stopped. Luckily, in 2015, she was inspired to write again with encouragement of her son, Matthew Mercer.
Tamanie touts Matthew as her number one collaborator. She says that she bought him a guitar when he was 4, and he has not put it down since. She says, "In my very biased opinion, he is the very best out there!" It is obvious that he gets his talent from his mother who plays any instrument that is available to her. On top of that, her brain never stops coming up with creative ideas. She has 9 albums released at the moment with number 10 being released later this year.
Apart from being a talented songwriter and musician,
Tamanie shines at working with other people. She co-writes with Australian Jenny Trindall and has done work with Daniel Shockley from Atlanta. She also plays out twice a month with her band which consists of David Holmes, Rob Goldberg, Joe Happer, Mark Meeks, Mark Rayburn and Robert Goin. Though Tamanie has created her own projects, she has also selflessly created something much larger than herself. The International Singer Songwriters Association(ISSA). I was fortunate enough to get her story.
The Story behind ISSA
"As a young girl, Mom and I went to lunch one day with a guy named Eddie Miller. I remember listening to him and a couple of their colleagues about their newest project. It was called the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Mom and Eddie had been friends for many years and she supported the venture and him, personally.
One trip home, I walked into NSAI, and they were super sweet. The building they are in on Music Row is directly across the street from where I used to work in my twenties with a computer graphic arts agency. Their building now, used to be “Alabama's” main recording studio. Anyway, I learned that the membership fee to join is $279 per year. I thought wow. Just wow. Eddie passed away over a decade ago and although I'm sure he would be proud of what he started all those years ago, I just couldn't bring myself to wonder how many talented songwriters that fee would turn away.
Not long after that visit home, I had a dream about how much the music industry has changed and how my passion to help others might fit into the new scene. In the 70s, there was no internet. Now that we have global connections, my dream is to continue to provide that platform Eddie started, but for free.
Most of the musicians I know don't or can't see paying $279 a year for a building, with rooms to write songs in, on Music Row.
So, the International Singer Songwriters Association was born. I designed a logo, hired an attorney friend of mine to assist with getting us set up, and trademarked it, and here we are. This June 15th will be one year. I know that Eddie Miller watches over me, and that my Mom (at 83) is extremely proud of what I am doing. (She tells me everyday) I take monies from what's left of my days in the corporate world (401K) to run it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Turning dreams into reality, not just for me, but for other indies out there like me.
With some amazing internet radio stations available to us now, and social media readily at our fingertips, what's to stop us indies from breaking through the mainstream mold? We are just getting started, and there's no stopping us now. (Pun on a song I wrote) LOL"
Tamanie is a very kind and nurturing woman. She has created an organization comprised of people with many different goals and objectives. A multitude of friendships and collaborations have been made because of her, yet she is so humble she probably does not see the magnitude of her impact on the songwriting world. She works with musicians on every level and treats them the same without judgement Additionally, she unifies these people into a brother and sisterhood of individuals that help other members. That is why Tamanie is like a mother. She gives unconditionally, helps when she can, and lends her ear when one just needs to be heard.
The members of the ISSA should count themselves lucky that she had her epiphany in 2015. When Noah from the bible released a dove, it brought back an olive branch which gave him hope. Tamanie is our dove holding an olive branch. She is giving so many of us hope for the future. Thank you Tamanie. Here are some ways you can get to know more about Tamanie: