Industry veteran Margie Hunt passed away on Sunday, Oct. 22.
Hunt moved to Nashville from New Mexico in 1972 to work with Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter at Waylon Jennings Enterprises, located in the Glaser Studio building on 18th. Ave. S. Many industry icons such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller, Tony Joe White, Dobie Gray, Guy Clark, Kinky Friedman, Harlan Howard, Billy Swan and Shel Silverstein referred to the building as their second home. It was there that they built the foundation for the “Outlaw Movement” and the Highwaymen recordings.
In the fall of 1976, Bonnie Garner hired Hunt as her secretary in CBS Records/Sony Music’s A&R department. Working at one of the biggest record companies in Nashville, and guided by Garner, Hunt learned how a major recording facility functioned while working with the biggest names on their roster, including Cash, Nelson, Kristofferson, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Marty Robbins, Earl Scruggs Revue, Charlie Daniels, Sonny James, Merle Haggard and more. Over the course of three decades, Hunt worked directly with over 100 artists including the new wave of talent signed to the label, which consisted of Ricky Skaggs, Doug Stone, Collin Raye, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Loveless, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Montgomery Gentry, Marty Stuart, Ricky Van Shelton, Shenandoah, Exile, Travis Tritt, The Chicks and more.
She worked closely with the newly-signed Ray Charles in 1983. Between 1983-1988, Charles recorded six albums at CBS Records, including Friendship, which featured the hit “Seven Spanish Angels” with Nelson. The track became a country standard, staying on the charts for 27 weeks.
Throughout her tenure at CBS Records/Sony Music, Hunt was promoted five times. In 1994, she created and led the first in-house, full-time Film & Television department. In this position, Hunt was responsible for the utilization and exploitation of more than 60 years of hits and over 50,000 country recordings. At the time, CBS Records was the first label in Music City to actively pursue country catalogs for use in film and television. She placed music in more than 30 major motion pictures and television programs. Hunt was then promoted to Sr. Director, Product Development in 1997, and won two Grammys as a producer and an executive producer.
She later founded Hunt Music Services, and spent time at AWMG Entertainment.
Hunt was inducted into the SOURCE Hall of Fame in 2022, which recognizes the “Women Behind The Music.” During the induction ceremony, she received a video message from Stuart in which the country star stated, “Congratulations on this wonderful honor that you so deserve. I remember you so well from back in the CBS days. The thing that stands out to me about you was you had a heart for music and the people who made it.”
Memorial services for Hunt are pending.
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