“It just gets better every year,” said Georgia Music Foundation chair Dallas Davidson about the third annual “Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind” concert which raised over $100,000 to benefit the Georgia Music Foundation. Held on May 10, 2016 and hosted by the Peach Pickers—the songwriting collective of Georgia natives featuring Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip—the evening featured performances by a star-studded group of country and hip hop hitmakers and a tribute to an international soul music legend at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Luke Bryan joins the Peack Pickers, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, on stage at the Ryman during the 3rd Annual Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Luke Bryan (center) joins the Peach Pickers–Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip–on stage at the Ryman during the 3rd Annual Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Artists taking the stage included Luke Bryan, Big Boi of Outkast, Lee Brice, Craig Campbell, Billy Currington, Tyler Farr, Mannie Fresh, Randy Houser, Maggie Rose and rising singer/songwriters Travis Denning, Trae Landon, Jon Langston, Jordan Rager and Cole Taylor.

"NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 10: Dexter Redding and Otis Redding III perform during the 3rd Annual Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind: A Night Of Georgia Music Hosted By The Peach Pickers To Benefit the Georgia Music Foundation at the Ryman Auditorium on May 10, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Georgia Music Foundation)"
Dexter Redding and Otis Redding III perform during the 3rd Annual “Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind” fund raiser for the Georgia Music Foundation on May 10, 2016 at the Ryman. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

The evening also featured a salute to Otis Redding, the American music icon who would have been 75 years old this year. His sons Dexter Redding and Otis Redding III performed scorching versions of their father’s hits, “Hard to Handle” and “Try A Little Tenderness” and were joined by Dallas Davidson for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” Randy Houser, who said that Redding’s music had inspired him his entire life, delivered a heartfelt acoustic version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” while Lee Brice got the audience singing along to “Stand By Me,” one of the many songs that Redding covered in his all too brief career.

Dallas Davidson and Dinah Gretsch present Karla Redding and the Otis Redding Foundation with a check during the 3rd Annual Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Dallas Davidson and Dinah Gretsch present Karla Redding-Andrews and the Otis Redding Foundation with a $10,000 check during the 3rd Annual “Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind” on May 10, 2016. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Dexter and Otis Redding III, along with their sister, Karla Redding-Andrews, who serves as vice-chair of the Georgia Music Foundation, were surprised during the show when Davidson presented them with the Foundation’s annual Flamekeeper Award, noting that in the almost 50 years since their father’s passing, they and their mother Zelma have truly “kept the fires burning” by protecting and preserving their father’s musical legacy. Foundation board member Dinah Gretch then joined the group on stage to present an unexpected $10,000 check from her Mrs. G’s Music Foundation to the Otis Redding Foundation to support the organization’s ongoing music education programs. In her emotional acceptance remarks, Redding-Andrews said, “My father wanted to make sure that kids knew the importance of an education. He was so committed to that. Please know that everything we do—my brothers, my mom and I—we do in his honor.”

 Dallas Davidson, Maggie Rose and Big Boi perform their single, "Laid Back," during the 3rd Annual "Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind" concert at the Ryman on May 10, 2016. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Dallas Davidson, Maggie Rose and Big Boi perform their single, “Laid Back,” during the 3rd Annual “Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind” concert at the Ryman on May 10, 2016. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

The proceeds will help fund the Foundation’s Georgia Music Preservation, Education and Outreach Grant program. Established last year in recognition of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary, the program awarded 12 music-based non-profits and school band programs with grants of $5,000 each. The 2016 grant applications will be available online July 1, 2016 at georgiamusicfoundation.org.

The Board of Directors for the Georgia Music Foundation thanks all of the sponsors who so generously supported the third annual “Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind” benefit concert.

PRESENTING SPONSOR

PLATINUM SPONSORS

 
Georgia Tourism
Play It Again Publishing
 

GOLD SPONSOR

SILVER SPONSORS

 
Greencone Investments
Gretsch
Gretsch Drums
 

BRONZE SPONSORS

 
Dickinson Wright
 

VIP SPONSORS

 
BMI
CMS Nashville
Gerald Davidson, Jr.
Peach State Pride
THIS Music
Warner Chappell