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Published: 6/17/2008

Liz Rose featured in Southwest Airline's Spirit Magazineww.spiritmag.com/">Southwest Airlines Spirit

Veteran and wannabe songwriters grace Nashville stages like the Bluebird’s to hone their craft. But ELAINE GLUSAC wonders, How hard can writing a country hit be?  

An excerpt from the article:One for Liz Singer, songwriter, and cover girl Taylor Swift serenades her partner in rhyme.

It wasn’t that long ago when I was just another kid who dreamed of being one of the voices I heard coming out of the radio. Liz Rose is one of the greatest songwriters in the world and one of the people who made that dream come true. We met in a Nashville club when I was 13. I had a development deal with RCA Records, and the label would host these weekly meetings where Nashville songwriters could play their songs for up-and-coming artists. I went to a lot of those meetings, but the only writer who really hit me was Liz. Even though she’s not really a singer, she sang so passionately. She just moved me.

After the show, I went up to Liz and said, “I need to write with you.” She didn’t think twice about it. She didn’t even think twice about writing with me after I lost my development deal a year later. All of these other songwriters would walk up and down Music Row bragging about their big songwriting deals with so-and-so major artist. But if you walked up to Liz a couple years ago, all she could have said was, “I’m writing with this 13-year old kid. She doesn’t have a record deal, but I think she’s something.”
Taylor Swift

Back then, we’d get together every single week and write together. Sometimes when you’re collaborating, you hit it and sometimes you don’t. But Liz and I always did.
My first single, “Tim McGraw,” was an idea I got in math class, daydreaming. I couldn’t get these lines out of my head: “When you think Tim McGraw/I hope you think my favorite song.…” Over and over again in my head. I recorded it very discreetly into a voice memo on my phone so no one else could hear. After school, I took the recording downtown to Liz. And, you know, that was a really good day.

I’m writing a lot more by myself these days, mostly because I’m on the road so much. But I always carry my collaborators, like Liz, with me in my heart. All of them believed in me when no one else would, and that’s part of the story I’ll always tell. If my life were a country song, all of this success is the surprise ending to the story I was living. Liz and I couldn’t have written it any better.

Taylor Swift was named 2007 songwriter/artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association. Her second album comes out this fall.