Nashville Songwriters Rock the House for TAPS Families

Author: TAPS

Four of Nashville’s top songwriters performed in Colorado Springs as headliners for the  Colorado Springs Celebrity Classic, a fundraising event for TAPS. The Classic was born 14 years ago in Denver.

“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for Bonnie Carroll and TAPS,” said singer/songwriter Brett Jones. “These families deserve our country’s support and I am happy they asked me to participate all those years ago.” Jones has over 300 songs recorded as a writer and artist—14 top 10s and seven No. 1 songs. With “Crazy Town” and 150 major record label recordings, Jones has the rare status of having a No. 1 record in each of the past three decades. 

Photo: Erica List

Hundreds of music fans and TAPS supporters filled Boot Barn Hall for the show.  Jennifer Johnson took the stage with seven other surviving families to share the story of her late husband Capt. Quincey Johnson, and the positive impact TAPS has had on her life and the lives of their two children. 

Radio host Richard Randall emceed the show for the second year with Jake Jabs of America’s Furniture Warehouse stepping up as the auctioneer.

TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll was sporting her Newton Running Shoes that were specially designed for TAPS and the Gatlin Brothers. Jerry Lee, founder of the Boulder, Colorado, company joined in the evening’s fun, also wearing his “TAPS Newtons.” 

“TAPS is a family dedicated to caring for those left behind when our nation loses a service member. TAPS will stay as long as our families have a need,” said retired Gen. Gene Renuart as he introduced the video, “Love Live On: We Are TAPS.”


Andy Griggs, Frank Myers, Jimmy Nichols, along with Colorado locals Tony David and the band Wildefire joined the show. 

“As musicians, we were given this great blessing to make music, but these families gave the ultimate. So for us to give a little bit of our time to try to raise funds and raise awareness, it just seems like the least we can do,” said Jimmy Nichols, former musical director for Reba McIntyre and Faith Hill who has recorded with top artists like Elton John and Keith Urban. 

Frank Myers ended the evening with “I Swear,” the Grammy-winning song he co-wrote with Gary Baker. Myers and Nichols are currently in production with “Love Lives On,” a 10-song album of original songs created by TAPS families and Nashville songwriters. The album will be released May 2020. 

Proceeds from the evening’s sponsorship, ticket sales and live auction will benefit TAPS and the programs held for surviving families in Colorado, including the annual TAPS Mountain State Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.  

TAPS Surviving families at Colorado Springs Celebrity ClassicPhoto: Erica List

Special recognition and many thanks go to the committee and the event sponsors for making this second annual event a success. Photos of the event are in our online photo album

Event chairs were retired Gen. Gene Renaurt, Jill Renuart, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Gould and retired Col. Paula Gould. The executive committee members were Kelly and Bill Eustace, Tom and Jill Tarver, Kristen Christy Lange, retired Col. BJ Carey, Kristie Bender Carey, retired Col. Steve Day and Michelle Day. 



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To learn more about how you can support TAPS families in the Mountain State, please contact or call our Development Department at 800-959-TAPS (8277).