Willie, Kristofferson & Fred Foster honored with Dale Franklin Award~

BMI Icons Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, as well as BMI legend Fred Foster were honored with The Leadership Music Dale Franklin Awards Sunday night. Surprise guest Dolly Parton along with; Rodney Crowell, Charlie McCoy and Billy Swan performed in honor of Foster. Dolly performed her breakthrough hit “Dumb Blonde” off her 1967 debut album, which Foster produced, and then presented the award to Foster.

Lyle Lovett covered the classic hit “Me & Bobby McGee” in honor of Kris Kristofferson. Shawn Camp played “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and Lee Ann Womack paid tribute to Kristofferson with a tender version of “Loving Her Was Easier.” Longtime associate Tamara Saviano presented the award to Kristofferson.

Jamey Johnson, Lorrie Morgan and Randy Travis closed up the evening with songs in honor of Willie. Jamey delivered an acoustic version of “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.” Morgan covered “Crazy,” followed by Randy Travis, who performed “Funny How Time Slips Away.” . Little Miss Dynamite (Brenda Lee) presented the award to Willie. Vince Gill hosted the intimate gala and kept the crowd laughing with jokes about Willie’s history with marijuana. The evening closed out with everyone on stage for “On the Road Again.”

It was truly an amazing night. We caught it all on tape and I had the honor of sitting down with Fred Foster beforehand. I’ll post video as soon as it’s edited from yallwire.com.

The award was named for the first executive director of Leadership Music, and created “to recognize a music industry leader who exemplifies the highest quality of leadership and leading by example.”

Past honorees include former BMI President & CEO Frances Preston (2007), The Bradley Family: Owen (posthumously), Harold, Jerry, Connie and Patsy (2008), Tony Brown (2004), Gerry House (2005), Emmylou Harris (2006), and last year’s honorees Garth Brooks, Jim Foglesong and Allen Reynolds.


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