Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that one of America’s true gems has recently made Nashville her second home. Well, actually in the quaint town of Franklin, to be exact. While she has no plans to permanently sell her Greenwich home in Connecticut (a home her children hold dear to their hearts), she is spending half of her time here in Music City, which is quite fitting for this new chapter in her life. We were honored to sit down and talk with this talented television icon about her newest ventures with Gifft Wines, songwriting, and directing right here in Nashville.
We know from her eleven-year stint co-hosting The Today Show with Hoda Kotb that Kathie Lee loves her wine and music, but she somehow managed to fly under the radar when it came to her own music ambitions, stating, “I’ve always done music! Just, nobody knew about it!” Now, having a home near all things music, Kathie Lee explains that she is writing with songwriters four to five times a week, including the talented singer/songwriter Brett James, who is credited with co-writing hits like Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” and Chris Young’s “The Man I Want to Be.” She admits that this keeps her pretty busy, but it doesn’t stop the 65-year-old from soaking up all that Nashville has to offer and hosting friends for dinner at her new Franklin home.
“What’s so interesting about Nashville is that a dinner party often turns into a bunch of talented friends taking your guitar off the wall and writing a song,” laughs Kathie Lee. “Then out of nowhere, you’ve got a song to take to the studio!”
“What’s so interesting about Nashville is that a dinner party often turns into a bunch of talented friends taking your guitar off the wall and writing a song.”
So, why Nashville? In an interview with People, she explained of her recent move from the Northeast, “The work that I want to do isn’t here anymore. I am an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, a director now. That’s the stuff that feeds my soul and I know that I’m running out of time to do those things.”
While she’s a big fan of exploring the parts of Nashville that have grown over the years like The Gulch, Kathie Lee says she’s a bit of a homebody and enjoys spending time there. When I asked her about where she frequents in her new hometown, she excitedly shared with us her love for the Franklin Farmers Market, stating, “You can find me there every Saturday morning!” In fact, downtown Franklin is her new playground, explaining how she’s fond of Gray’s on Main and Mojo’s Tacos. You can even make a stop into Mojo’s and order a glass of her Gifft Rosé!
Gifford’s newest venture, appropriately named GIFFT Wines, has a sweet sentiment, with the tagline of the brand being, “Slow down, savor your blessings, enjoy your family and friends, and give thanks for the harvest of life. Enjoy this moment. It’s a Gifft.” We were lucky to attend her wine tasting at The Southern, where we tasted her refreshing Chardonnay, fruit-forward Pinot Grigio, fragrant Rosé, and, my personal favorite, her plummy Red Blend. Along with her delicious wines, we were served hors d’oeuvres by The Southern’s talented Executive Chef, Matt Farley, and his Chef de Cuisine, Mike Detzel.
Despite all the wine and food being served, it was Kathy Lee herself who stole the show, looking more fit at sixty-five than most do in their twenties. She has shed light into her fitness routines in the past, explaining that she runs on the treadmill daily, and often uses free weights to tone. We have no doubt that wellness-centric Nashville will make her feel right at home, with juice bars and yoga studios around almost every corner.
Kathie Lee could not have been more welcoming to the crowd, who were all waiting to speak with her about the newest phase in her life, and learn a little more about what inspired these new projects. We are honored to welcome Kathie Lee into our community, and can’t wait to see what she does next!