BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
In conjunction with the organization’s 25th anniversary, the SOURCE Awards are being rebranded – they are now officially known as the SOURCE Nashville Hall of Fame Awards.
This was announced at the 14th annual SOURCE banquet. Staged on Tuesday (Aug. 23) at the Musicians Hall of Fame, the gala was marked by more heartfelt moments than ever before. Hosts Jeannie Seely and Brenda Lee were funnier than ever. The camaraderie was the warmest yet. And the star power was at a new peak, too.
SOURCE honors career women who have worked behind the scenes in the music business. The 2016 honorees were Alison Booth, Tammy Brown, Diane Cash, Nancy Jones, Callie Khouri and the late Gail Pollock. Each received hearty standing ovations.
SOURCE president Shelia Shipley Biddy told the crowd that she and Pat Rolfe and Judy Harris founded the organization and that the first meeting had only 10 or 12 attendees. Now, SOURCE has more than 120 members and to date has honored 103 music-business women. The awards were the brainchild of Kay Smith.
“Being that this is the 25th anniversary of SOURCE, we want to do something special for the founders,” said Jeannie. “Red roses symbolize love, and that’s what we feel for these ladies,” added Brenda. “We’re having a big party tonight.”
The eve’s first honoree, Alison Booth, has been in the business for 40 years, initially at MTM Records, SESAC and elsewhere, but for the past 27 at Sony Music. She is a key national figure in establishing standards and practices for recorded sound delivery, particularly in the area of metadata. These efforts ensure that all recorded product is delivered in a standardized format and that all creators are correctly identified so that everyone gets paid accurately.
RCA Nashville star Chris Young presented her honor. The 6-foot-4-inch singer’s appearance next to Brenda, who is 4 feet 9 inches tall, was hilarious.
“If metadata seems dull, think about money,” Alison quipped. “It’s also about giving credit….Thank you, SOURCE, and special thanks to everyone who has supported my efforts through the years.”
The Sony table applauded loudly. Randy Goodman, Paul Barnabee, Jim Catino and Ken Robold were among those seated there.
Little Big Town appeared on video to congratulate Tammy Brown. “You have been with us since we were wee babies,” said the group’s Kimberly Schlapman. “And you always knew a great song. We love you, girl.”
Tammy’s resume includes stints at Sound Shop Studio, Tree Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Music Nashville and ole song publishing. In addition to LBT, she has championed Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Keith Urban, Jude Cole and Lee Ann Womack, among many others. She withdrew from the industry when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.
“She took care of everything for me,” reminisced Paul Worley. “And she made me a better person.”
“I didn’t write a speech,” said Tammy. “I won’t talk long. I loved every second of it. I loved the artistry and working with the songwriters. Everybody is a part of this, and I don’t take any of you for granted. I have really been blessed by everything that has come my way.
“I survived the music business. I survived cancer. I survived stem-cell treatment. I survived chemo. And now I have cancer again. I haven’t been able to work for the past eight years. Everybody has showed me love. It’s been so much fun tonight. I’m very, very honored. And I thank you.”
“If you can’t see why she was a success, well, you’re just blind,” Brenda stated.
Grand Ole Opry great John Conlee inducted Diane Cash. She and he both began their careers in Nashville at WLAC radio. Both then moved to MCA Records, John as an artist and Diane as a promoter. Then she went to work for John Conlee Enterprises, where she remains today.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much,” said Diane of her career. “This is a terrific honor. It’s great to receive the recognition.”
Montomery Gentry appeared on video to congratulate Nancy Jones. She married the legendary George Jones in 1983, when he was at the height of his cocaine and alcohol addictions. She got him sober, became his manager and put his career on the right path.
Since his death in 2013, she has continued to burnish his legacy. She has opened the excellent George Jones Museum downtown, launched George Jones White Lightning Moonshine and Vodka and has spurred the creation of No Show Jones, a 2017 feature film about his life. Can’t wait to see it.
“I don’t make speeches; I’m not very good at this,” said Nancy. “But I love y’all, and thank you for this. It was all worth it. I feel like I was put on this earth to save a good and wonderful man. Shelia Shipley Biddy, you explained everything to me. I do want to thank you for helping me to understand the music business.
“I know George Jones is in Heaven right now, smiling at me. The very last words that George said after not talking for three or four days were, ‘Well, hello there. I’ve been looking for you. My name is George Jones.’ That was God’s way of letting me know where George was.”
Actor and aspiring country artist Kiefer Sutherland appeared on video to congratulate all of the honorees. Actor/singer Charles Esten then inducted Callie Khouri. “It’s not only an honor, it’s our opportunity to say thank you,” said the star of her Nashville TV series. “There is nobody who should be pushed into the light more than my friend Callie Khouri. In country music, you say it all starts with a song. In Hollywood, it all starts with a script. It all starts with the characters you have created. She is the source of so much change in my life. Nashville is our home, because of Callie Khouri. They say, ‘Write what you know.’ Callie writes some of the most powerful and charismatic women on screen. Callie writes who she is.”
In addition to Nashville, Oscar winner Callie’s credits as a writer/director include Thelma and Louise, Something to Talk About, Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Hollis and Rae and Mad Money. She is a former Music City resident.
“I thank you with all humility for this award,” she said. “To be able to bring this show back here to Nashville has been nothing but a privilege. There is a sisterhood who helped each other in this business. One of these days, it’s not going to be a glass ceiling. It’s going to be a glass floor.”
Leading her cheering section were her record-producer husband T Bone Burnett, plus the Big Machine power couple Scott Borchetta & Sandi Spika Borchetta. That label markets the TV show’s soundtrack albums.
Jeannie told the tale of inductee Gail Pollock. Gail worked at Monument Records, Studio One, Independent Producers Corp. and her own We Make Tapes. Her co-worker in the last two businesses was producer, engineer and rock ‘n’ roll guitar legend Scotty Moore. She next became Scotty’s manager, record-label executive and constant companion.
One of Gail’s dreams, said Jeannie, was to be honored by SOURCE. When Gail became terminally ill last year, the board took the unprecedented step of not only voting her in, but making her award in advance and presenting it to her son. He took it to Gail’s bedside last November, and she died two hours after receiving it.
Said Roger Hamlett on video, “She was the definition of the SOURCE Award.”
Scotty Moore was to have accepted on her behalf yesterday. But he followed her in death last June. Gail’s son Wayne Pollock and daughter Stacy Stone accepted. “She loved the music business and loved being a part of it,” said Stacy. “Thank you, SOURCE people, for honoring my Momma.”
The place was full of fabulons. Not the least of them were prior SOURCE honorees Audrey Winters, Karen Conrad, Debi Fleischer-Robin, Celia Froehlig, Sandy Neese, Rose Drake, Jo Walker-Meador, Sally Williams, Mary Del Scobey, Pat McCoy, Areeda Schneider-Stampley, Paula Szeigis, Bonnie Garner, Bebe Evans, Joyce Jackson, Corky Wilson and Carolyn Sells. Not to mention such erstwhile spouses as Chuck Neese, Charlie McCoy and David Conrad.
The past, present and future of the Nashville music biz attended. Working the very merry room were John Dorris, John Ozier, John Lomax III, Shawn Williams, Shawna Collins, Scott Siman, Stacy Schlitz and Sheree Spoltore, who was the co-chair with Suzanne Lee. They lived it up with Maurice Miner, Martha Moore, Moore & Moore, Debbie Linn, Debbie Carroll, Lisa Harless and Lisa Sutton. Each time the last-named goes out, she wears something of her mother’s. So Sutton was breathtaking in Lynn Anderson’s diamond rings, diamond pendant and diamond wrist cuff.
Sherod Robertson, Sherrill Blackman, Sarah Brosmer, Sherry Bond, Susan Meyers Woelkers, Brandi Simms, Thom Schuyler, Cindy Hunt, Bob Doyle, Dave Brainard, Diane Pearson, Don Cusic, Gilles Godard, Gene Ward, Tracy Gershon, Teresa George and Tatum Allsep schmoozed alongside Mandy Barnett, Blake Chancey, Lori Badgett, Beverly Keel, Whitney Daane, Jason Morris & Jewel Coburn, Jackie Monahan, Erika Wollam Nichols, Mike Vaden, Charlie Monk, Cathy Gurley, Louis Glaser, Lyndie Wenner and Becky Harris.
Andrew Kintz was collecting congratulations on his new gig at First Tennessee Bank. Rita Allison was collecting compliments on losing 40 pounds. Joe & Linda Chambers were collecting accolades about their splendid hosting museum. Company president Gus Arrendale was collecting thanks for his Springer Mountain Farms being the presenting sponsor. By the way, this company also supports a lot of bluegrass and traditional-country artists.
At the finale, Brenda and Jeannie serenaded us all with “Happy Trails.” It was, fittingly, written by a woman: Dale Evans.