“If anyone would have told me at age 18…
that I’d be a professional songwriter? Well, I would have laughed right in their face.”
Yet, Bob Regan is, in fact, a professional songwriter. And not only a professional songwriter, but one with many accolades to his name. Of course, he’s modest when pressed about his work and acclaim. From Reba McEntire to Trisha Yearwood to Keith Urban, Bob has written hit songs for many chart-topping recording musicians.
Looking back on his career, Bob always followed music. “I just liked to play guitar and sing. Then every time I came to a fork in the road, I kept on with the music.” Naturally, he would follow this path all the way to the present. Along the way he’s been a club musician, recording artist, then songwriter, to non-profit organization founder.
“If any of that hadn’t panned out,” adds Bob, “I always had a Plan B, just in case. I would have gone on to law school to become an attorney. Fortunately for the legal field, that never came to pass.”
Bob is even an Armed Forces Entertainment alumni artist. Thom Shepherd, CMA of Texas Songwriter of the Year, invited Bob along on his very first AFE tours in the mid-2000s.
“He had done one or two AFE shows before and, when he decided to bring a band, he asked me to come along with our fellow pro-songwriters.”
“He asked me to play the bass guitar, which I surprisingly had never done up until that point, but I gave it a whirl and I’m glad I did. I also knew very little about the military up until that point, but I learned a lot in a short time. Those tours would become the impetus of Operation Song.”
Founded in 2012, Operation Song was inspired by Bob’s encounters overseas. There he would see, firsthand, the service injuries and illnesses related to PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Once returned, he would begin with weekly sessions at the VA Medical Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where groups of veterans would gather to tell stories of their service. While listening to each of them, professional songwriters would transform their stories into song, providing a therapeutic process that would grow into the mission Bob and the organization pursue every day:
To empower veterans, active duty military and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting
Throughout the month of May, Armed Forces Entertainment and Operation Song join together to continue the mission while celebrating Military Appreciation Month! Special HOMEGROWN performances take us on a journey of music, story, and the process of creativity that everyone can join.
“Go for it, have fun, and whatever you do, don’t focus on the result… just enjoy the process,” Bob reminds us.