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Clanton songwriter nominated for Josie Award

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Tammy Castleberry of Clanton has been selected as a Christian/Gospel/ Inspirational division nominee in the Josie Music Awards for her song “Piece of Stone.”

“I was really super surprised,” Castleberry said.

She will participate in a two-day event in September in Pigeon Forge as a part of the awards.

“To me, it is just awesome to be nominated, no matter how it turns out,” Castleberry said. “To know that somebody, somewhere took the time to listen to my song and felt that it was worthy to be in a category with all of these songwriters from all over the world.”

She described the awards as “the largest independent music awards in the world.”

She said less than 3% of submissions get nominated for an award.

“Just to be nominated was a big step, so I was really blown away,” Castleberry said.

The song “Piece of Stone” is special to her because she wrote it for her children.

“I wrote this song for my kids, to me, it’s an inspirational song that even when God takes me home one day it is a song to remind them, how much I love them and inspire them to do great things to follow their dreams — that was the main gist of the song, it was a gift for my children,” Castleberry said.

She recorded in February with Justine Blazer at Ten7teen Studios.

The song and its music video have received a good response.

Castleberry has received messages from people who have said the song “actually helped them get through some hard times in their life.” This added another special level to the song for her.

The song is available on YouTube by searching “Piece of Stone” by Tammy Castleberry.

In April, Blazer told Castleberry about applying to the Josie Music Awards. Castleberry decided to enter a couple of categories.

During the Josie Awards event, Castleberry will participate in “Songwriters in the Round.”

“I get to sit around the table with other songwriters and nominees … and we are going to write a song together that we will go back and actually record next year that will be a song of inspiration that will be recorded, sold and the money raised will go to a charity that we all agree on.”

On day two of the event, nominees will “walk the red carpet and … have a media interview” before the award recipients are announced.

Castleberry’s next project is to put out a CD. She plans for the project to be “an array of different Christian songs — a little contemporary, a little bluegrass, a little country gospel.”

Although she is not a musician, Castleberry said when she is writing a song, she can “hear all of the instruments in my head.” Some musician friends have helped her take her words and put them to music the way she wants.

Castleberry is a nurse working three days a week, and she runs a small restaurant with her husband another three days a week.

“All of my customers are happy,” Castleberry said of the nomination.

She has kept writing songs despite her busy life because she wants to inspire and help others.

“Writing to me is just getting out what I am feeling at that moment,” Castleberry said. “My biggest dream is to one day turn the radio on and hear somebody singing one of my songs and just to inspire others.”

Most of her work is Christian songs, and she said she hopes her songs encourage people to make good choices and look to Christ.

A complete list of nominees and information about how to watch the award show is available at josiemusicawards.com.