ARTICLE: 6th Annual Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award Honors Jim Foglesong, Allen Reynolds and Garth Brooks.

The Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom looked as grandeur as the guests in black tie attire who were present to either be a part of the all-star salute or join the seven hundred plus music industry executives, collaborators, friends and family who attended the memorable evening honoring the recipients of the Dale Franklin Award on August 23rd.
The award, which was named after the founding Executive Director, recognizes music industry trailblazers who exemplify the highest quality of leadership. 2009 recipients included Country Music Hall of Fame member; Jim Foglesong; music producer/songwriter, Allen Reynolds and country music artist and enigma, Garth Brooks. The honorees’ celebrated careers came together when Foglesong signed Brooks to Capitol Records, and Reynolds produced his record breaking albums.
Inspiration along with integrity were words chosen to describe all three recipients during the five hour gala dinner and awards presentation. In a business where words roll off the tongues and from the pens of artists and writers day and night, there were plenty to go around as special tributes to each of the honorees and the commitment to their music were given by their peers through song, video and during touching and sometimes tongue in cheek recollections of the colorful course and path of each man’s career.
Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Barbara Mandrell, Charlie Daniels, blues musician Keb’ Mo’, Hall of Fame member Jo Walker-Meador, Dierks Bentley, Donna Fargo, Dolly Parton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Huey Lewis, Sawyer Brown's Mark Miller and even Elmo contributed to the many video montages of congratulations and praises towards the three recipients throughout the celebration of the evening.
Kathy Mattea kicked off the musical tributes with the song "I Believe In You," followed by Lee Greenwood, who sang his first hit, "It Turns Me Inside Out." Both songs had Foglesong’s hand in the making and Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee, earned a lively standing ovation for his performance of "Rose Colored Glasses."
Crystal Gayle sang a part of “We Must Believe In Magic” and wowed the crowd with "Ready For The Times To Get Better," a 1978 hit Allen wrote and produced. Hal Ketchum amazed the crowd with his version of "Five O’Clock World", another song written by Reynolds. Songwriter-engineer-producer "Cowboy" Jack Clement, age 78, took to the stage and sang Reynold’s "Dreaming My Dreams"
Upon accepting his award and expressing his gratitude for the recognition, Reynolds stated “It’s a little surprising to find that I’m being honored for leadership. I never tried to do that. All I ever did was try to take care of the music, live up to the standards of my musical heroes and give to others the same consideration I have received.”
Steve Wariner, long time friend of Brooks, performed their co-written song "Longneck Bottle," and Martina McBride’s rendition of "The Thunder Rolls" brought the crowd to it’s feet.
Trisha Yearwood spoke lovingly of her husband, pointing out he was moved to tears more than once throughout the evening and then sang a captivating and touching version of "To Make You Feel My Love," while Garth stood with a smile on his face and his cowboy hat in hand at his table in the center of the room.

Taking to the stage to accept his award, Brooks opened his thank you with “I really thought tonight was gonna suck," Garth confessed, "and this was really cool." He spoke of representing the truth, with tongue-in-cheek humor elaborating on the importance of standing up for what you believe in and using examples of influences on the youth of today through Disney movies and fictional characters to enforce his stance as well as the importance of fighting for the preservation of intellectual property. Brooks then moved to center stage to resonate some of the signature songs from his musical career including "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," "We Shall Be Free," and "Friends In Low Places". Between each song Garth expressly introduced the seven session players on stage with him (Milton Sledge- drums, Mike Chapman- bass, Mark Casstevens- acoustic guitar, Bobby Wood - piano,Pete Wasner- keyboards, Bruce Bouton - steel guitar, Rob Hajacos- fiddle, Chris Leuzinger - electric guitar)and also recognized and gave accolades to the three backing vocalists (Vicki Hampton, Karyn Rochelle and Robert Bailey) who contributed to his recordings, giving detail and attention to specific instances in which they brought more than expected to the table with a special lick to a song or by giving a signature sound to a particular piece of work. Brooks also encouraged an industry legend and engineer Mark Miller to come to the stage for recognition, as any project would not be complete without his task of putting it all together.

In true fashion of ending a Garth Brooks performance, Brooks put his heart into "The Dance" as his finale and then closed the evening out by bringing Foglesong and Reynolds back to the stage for an unforgettable version of the Soggy Bottom Boys “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow.”

“It was a really warm, heartfelt evening, where a lot of really great artists, producers, music business folks and friends had the opportunity to say thanks to Jim, Allen and Garth for being such a big help to them in their careers and for making such a big difference in the music world.” said Chris Leuzinger, one of the session players.

It is not often in the music industry that you can bring so many people together in one room and be witness to the purpose behind the gathering, but on this night, the highest quality of leadership was honored with integrity and inspiration for those who follow in their footsteps.

About Leadership Music
Leadership Music is an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to nurture a knowledgeable, issue-oriented community of music industry professionals through an annual educational program and events. This is accomplished through the identification and exploration of topical issues in an annual series of off-the-record educational seminars (the Program), and continued alumni nurturing and education. Over the past 20 years, Leadership Music has graduated more than 740 music industry-related executives.

1 comment:

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