Nashville, TN -- Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, honored its Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year at the 60th annual BMI Country Awards held at the company’s Nashville, TN building. Also saluted were the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed songs on radio and TV from BMI’s country repertoire. In addition, the incredible songwriting career of Tom T. Hall was celebrated by naming him a BMI Icon.
The night’s powerful musical tribute to Tom T. Hall featured recent chart-toppers The Avett Brothers, who took the stage to deliver “That's How I Got To Memphis”; bluegrass power duo Dailey & Vincent, who performed “Can You Hear Me Now”; prodigal son Justin Townes Earle, who sang ‘Homecoming”; and superstar Toby Keith who sang “Faster Horses (The Cowboy And The Poet)” accompanied by Scotty Emerick.
As a recording artist, Hall had seven No. 1 singles, all self-penned: “A Week in a Country Jail” (1969–70), “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died” (1971),“(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine” (1972–73),” “I Love” (1973–74), “Country Is” (1974), “I Care” (1974–75), and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)” (1976). The Grammy winner also wrote mega hits for others, including “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” which Jeannie C. Riley took to No. 1 on country and pop charts in 1968, as well as “The Pool Shark,” a chart-topper for Dave Dudley; “(Margie’s at) the Lincoln Park Inn" and “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” recorded by Bobby Bare; and “Little Bitty,” by no means a little bitty hit for Alan Jackson in the late 1990s. In total, Hall has earned a staggering 31 BMI Awards for songwriting spanning country and pop genres, and six of his songs have accumulated more than one million performances each. In 2008, he was welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Tom T. Hall’s outstanding contributions of expertly crafted songs earned him the nickname “The Storyteller,” and as his songs have transitioned through traditional broadcasts and digital mediums, BMI has been proud to make that journey with him every step of the way, said BMI President & CEO Del Bryant. “Tom T. is the perfect example of why BMI’s determination and commitment to safeguard the value of music is so important.”
BMI represents the finest talent from Nashville and around the world, including Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band, Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes, and Little Big Town, as well as countless other superstars. The 2011 Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and CMT awards pointed to BMI’s unequaled clout in the country format, as BMI members took home 89%, 76% and 83% of the hardware presented in those ceremonies, respectively.
As steward of the world’s most diverse, in-demand musical repertoire, BMI is determined to continue fostering talent, educating and building awareness of the value of music in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Congratulations also go out to Good Homegrown Music's Daughters of Bluegrass ... Sonya Isaacs Yeary took home her very first BMI award for "I'm Gonna Love You Through It", written with her husband Jimmy Yeary and recorded by Martina McBride.