In the early Benedictine monasteries of the 5th century, just inside the gates, there lived a porter – the person in charge of hospitality. When a sojourner knocked on the door, the porter would call out a welcome, and then let the visitor in.
It was his task to help the sojourner get what they needed. If the visitors needed food, he’d feed them. If they needed prayer, he’d pray for them. If they needed wise counsel, he’d offer it.
From this ancient tradition we found both our name and our mission.
To be a service of counsel, support and encouragement to recording artists and their families & to provide a safe and confidential refuge for artists to deal with the issues they face, at no charge.
In 1999, Al Andrews was a counselor in a private practice in Nashville. After two years of counseling, he noticed that most of his clients where involved in the music business. A number of those clients were artists.
After seeing artists for a while, he noticed something else. Because of their ever-changing schedules, artists couldn’t come regularly and many, particularly in the early years, couldn’t afford the hourly fee. In addition, it seemed to him that artists, given the unique lives they live, needed something other than a counseling appointment now and then to deal with the issues they face.
In 2001, upon the recommendation of a friend, Al set up an appointment with Peter York. At that time, Peter was the President of Sparrow Records. The two men had a conversation about the health of artists and within several months, Al was given a generous grant by the Sparrow Foundation to start a pilot project. Their only stipulation was that we would see artists from any label, not just EMI.
After three months of meeting with artists (at no charge), all of those involved realized that something good was happening. Artists had a place to go to be off-stage and a guide to help them.
At the end of the pilot program, Bill Hearn and Peter met with Al and encouraged him to develop a plan to start a 501c3 non-profit organization whose purpose was to come alongside artists. Within 6 months, other industry leaders and labels joined in and Porter’s Call was born.
Since our beginning, more that 1000 different artists, from all genres, have come through our doors.
Currently Porter’s Call has four staff members, but we like to call them porters.
Al Andrews is the founder and executive director of Porter’s Call. He offers counsel and support to artists and their spouses. He also likes to write and has penned several books. Two of them have illustrations, because he likes books with pictures. He lives in Nashville with his wife Nita. They have two sons.
Beth Barcus – In addition to being the Director of Operations, Beth also offers counsel and support to artists and their spouses. Her great grandfather was a Samurai. We like that about her and feel very safe with her around. Beth lives in Franklin and is married to Blaine. They have three children.
Laura Bain is the director of hospitality and the office manager. She schedules appointments, welcomes visitors, and keeps the place running. Laura is from Louisiana and currently lives in Brentwood with her husband, Preston, and her two children.
Chad offers counsel and support to artist and their spouses.
Having lived in Texas most of his life, he’s now a Tennessean. He’s an author of several books, and you’ll frequently see him riding his bicycle (instead of bulls), one of his many outdoor passions. Chad is married to Meeka, and they live in Franklin. They have two sons and a daughter.
Our Board of Directors
Jeff Dobyns – President, Southwestern Investment Group (Raymond James)
Megan Sykes, Agent, Music Partnerships CAA, Nashville
Nina Williams Woodard, Community Volunteer
Sarah Cates – Chair, Sr.Dir, Curb College of Ent. & Music Business, Belmont University
Chris Bollinger – President, Bollinger Enterprises, LLC
Leigh Holt – CEO, maddjett
Our Advisory Board
Bill Hearn – CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group
Greg Ham – Manager & Partner, MWS Group
John Huie – VP CAA, Nashville
Jeff Moseley – Founder & President, Fair Trade Services
Terry Hemmings – CEO, Provident Music Group (Sony)
Peter York – President, Capitol Christian Music Group