Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster Honored as Leaders in Country Music

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and music publisher for Combine Music and founder of Monument Records, Fred Foster each received the Dale Franklin Award, an award honoring their unique leadership in country music during an invitation-only event on Sunday night (Aug. 29) in Nashville. On hand to perform were friends Rodney Crowell, Jamey Johnson, Lyle Lovett, Lorrie Morgan, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Lee Ann Womack and others. The award is named for the first executive director of Leadership Music, an industry networking organization that hosts the annual gala event.

During his introduction of Willie Nelson, Vince Gill said Nelson’s face belonged on Mount Rushmore. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

From CMT.com “As a music publisher for Combine Music and founder of Monument Records, Foster helped lay the career groundwork for artists like Kristofferson, Roy Orbison and Dolly Parton, as well as Larry Gatlin, Billy Grammer, Boots Randolph, Jeannie Seely, Billy Swan and Tony Joe White. His recent credits include producing Nelson’s 2006 album, You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, and a 2007 collaborative album with Merle Haggard, Nelson and Ray Price called Last of the Breed, which won a Grammy. Gill told the audience that Foster’s advice to aspiring producers was simply to “frame the picture,” thus allowing the artist to be the focus of attention, not the frame.”

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