After graduating magna cum laude from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, Betsy Jill Jackson followed her heart and ears to the twinkling lights of Nashville to pursue her dreams of being a singer, songwriter, and producer.
Shortly after settling in, Betsy joined forces with writer Jim Foltz and together, they penned “Can I Rest Awhile With You?” The song, which was recorded by The Limelighters’ front man, artist Glenn Yarborough, formally announced Betsy’s arrival in Music City, and served as a solid foundation on which to launch her career.
Listening to Betsy Jackson, you might find your ears drifting back to the late 60’s and early 70’s Greenwich Village. Falling somewhere between Carole King, Carly Simon and Janis Ian, Jackson’s achingly beautiful lyrics and melodies are a sublime reminder that artistic integrity is alive and well.
“I process feelings down to my bones,” Jackson says, “and out comes the translated material into my language of understanding: music. From current events and the books I read, to hearing how the human experience is affecting those closest to me, these are things that influence my writing.”
Betsy’s knack for articulating the human experience landed her a three-year publishing deal with “With Any Luck Music.” Shortly after, however, Betsy struck gold, literally, when country megastar Randy Travis recorded her co-written song, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe”. The album has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide and has been placed in the permanent collection at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
With two cuts under her belt, and demo production credits to her name, more people started to sit up and take notice of Betsy’s work. After hearing some of her productions, Jackson was approached by the independent Christian label, Tyrol Hills Records, to produce their artist, Marilyn Sellars. With some hesitation, Jackson took the project.
“When the owner of the record label asked me to do an inspirational project, my head was saying “no” even though I was knowingly on a spiritual journey and very overwhelmed. Out of my mouth came “YES!” and shortly after, I wrote “Rise Above,” which Marilyn chose to cut for the Love Lifted Me album.”
Most music industry people will tell you that the songwriter’s life is not an easy one, especially in Nashville. Jackson has managed to survive Music Row, is still actively involved in writing and has artists covering her songs. In fact, recently, Christian artist Brenda K. Russell recorded Jackson’s “Empty Cup.”
“Betsy,” said her mother Mary Lou Jackson, “must have been destined to go into music. Her older brother Fred and sister Leslee (Jackson) Gantner had to turn down their music so she wouldn’t break her neck dancing in her playpen at age 10 months.”
Jackson has co-written songs with Garth Brooks, has shared the stage thru showcases with Vince Gill, Holly Dunn, Kathy Mattea, and Waylon Jennings, and has sung back-up vocals on an RCA Christmas compilation with Paul Overstreet. Previously, she served as an alternate national board member of the Songwriter’s Guild of America, and as the chair of its Nashville steering committee. Betsy is also a Pro Member of Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, where she was involved as a workshop moderator and is a past a volunteer with the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Word and Music” program for over 15 years. She has been and a writer with ASCAP for over 25 years. Her publishing company Betsy Jill Music (ASCAP) holds her catalog of unsigned songs.
Currently Betsy creates and lives in Los Angeles, CA. Still in love with performing Jackson ventures out into LA nightclubs, (previously appearing often at the Bluebird Cafe when in Nashville).
She holds the title Chief Creative Officer for a new, to-be-named financial corporation and will be involved in marketing, media placement, and creating advertisements. Betsy says, “ I love being a creator! I am an idea person who loves being involved in all aspects of music, visual design, and thematic direction.”
In her spare time she has been involved in gardening, animal rescue, acting, both on and off screen, and real estate, and is a licensed insurance broker.
Thrilled to finish her first CD “Love Is As Love Does” with grammy-winning producer Stephen Short, she will be soon booking new gigs supporting the new project and looks forward to meeting her friends and fans on the road.