Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Willie Nelson said it best in a famous song that he wrote many years ago..."ain't it funny how time slips away". Indeed! Sergeant Pepper, incidentally, is nearly 40 years old at this point for those who may have assumed that this post was going to be all about The Beatles.

Believe it or not, it's also been more than 40 years since Bob Dylan taught The Band to play and The Beatles how to write "hip" songs.

But, never mind that now...time is money, time is tight and time is running away...and there's no time like the present to offer you here today a truly vivid reminder of a very special time out of mind for me personally by way of a recently added YouTube video clip from the 1986 Juno Awards at which I was a nominee in the major category of Country Male Vocalist of The Year. That now twenty year old clip is entitled Bob Dylan Presents...Juno Award to Gordon Lightfoot.

Watch the clip on the YouTube video directly below. Enjoy!

Bob looks forever young in this old clip and it is compelling for me personally now to realize just how long ago this event occurred as I was seated [as Juno Award nominee] directly in front of the podium where Bob presented Gord with his trophy and was thinking how wise and aged Bob seemed which only means I was so much younger then, I'm older than that now...or something like that...and of course the 20th anniversary date of this memorable event is November 10th and not actually today’s date, but last Friday is fresh enough for "Today".

Anyway, time waits for no man, and it most certainly races by my attentiveness to it, but time had to wait for Bob Dylan on that long ago Juno eve after Anne Murray shocked and surprised the industry crowd by finally showing up at the Juno's after a ten year boycott of the Awards. She was there to announce the presenter of Lightfoot's special award so she delivered a speech and then announced that indeed the 1986 Lifetime Achievement Award was to be presented to Gordon Lightfoot by his personal favorite songwriter, Bob Dylan.

The collective gasp for air was audible and even more oxygenating than the breath intake shock caused by Annie's presence in the hall.

So...big surprise guest #2...Bob Dylan...except there was no Bob for what seemed like an eternity in "live" time. Bob apparently got a bit confused behind the multi-layered "smoke obscured" stage backdrop and couldn't quite navigate his way to the podium area right away.

Eventually, he found an opening and managed to give a little speech praising Gord and burying him all at the same time before politely announcing Gord himself and presenting the award to him after which he split right away to less distracting confines backstage.

It was a funny moment for the assembled and probably not as long a time in the journey from backstage to the podium as it seemed to us in the hall, but it's a special memory for me personally since I was up for an award myself that night after all so the event has crystallized.

But to be directly in front of the podium where Bob Dylan spoke and to be there the year Anne Murray finally showed up at last, and to be there for Gordon Lightfoot's induction into the Juno Hall of Fame all in one night, was indeed a very special and now precious moment in time to fondly reflect back upon. In his great 1964 song To Ramona, Bob Dylan sings "...everything passes ...everything changes..."

Indeed it does Bobby, indeed it does...and as Willie Nelson also sang so very long ago "...ain't it funny how time slips away..."

Thankfully sometimes...if we're’s not a moment too soon.

Gallery Focus: In keeping with the overall theme of tributes & memories, let's review Looking Back from Tributes & Memories. You'll see a great photo at the top of that page of my good friend Garry “Duke” Paget and his lovely wife Peggy...Mrs. “Duke”... Garry and Peggy were in attendance at the awards as my good friends and're in the Gallery Focus.

Also check out Bob Dylan from the same Tributes & Memories [Gallery #7]...there's two photos on that page…one of Bob at the podium and one of my wife Linda and me both taken from TV video of the Juno's that night...we were seated directly in front of Bob.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

It was an honor and my distinct pleasure to be invited to attend the NSAI [Nashville Songwriters Association International] 37th Annual Hall of Fame Banquet which was held this year on October 22nd in the Grand Ballroom at The Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.

This major annual event on the NSAI calendar represents for all songwriters the true crowning glory of honor towards great icons of our professional craft and as such, it is always a very gratifying and deeply humbling experience for everyone who participates.

Presented by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation, the dinner and ceremony features formal induction of writers into the Hall of Fame from two categories: Category 1 honors songwriters whose first significant work occurred 20 or more years ago and Category 2 honors Songwriter/Artists whose first significant work occurred 20 or more years ago. There are two songwriters inducted from a short list of selected nominees in Category 1 & one songwriter/artist inducted from Category 2. This year’s songwriter inductions were greats Hugh Prestwood & Jim Weatherly. Songwriter/Artist was Jimmy Buffett.

Music Row magazine has a complete scoop of the evening's entire proceedings and even mentions my name in its "who's who" review of notable songwriters in attendance. It was kind of the reviewer to note me among songwriters & industry icons such as Darrell Scott, Pam Rose and Mark Wright, but in all humility, they much more than I, truly deserve mentions for stellar careers which I cannot claim.

I'm just very happy and deeply honored to even be mentioned in the same sentence or article with these amazing talents and icons of our creative business.

Just click on the Music Row thumbnail image at left to enlarge the page and read all about it. Tricia Yearwood was there of course & sang Hugh Prestwood's classic The Song Remembers When, along with other stars such as Big & Rich, Michael Johnson, Skip Ewing and of course Jimmy Buffett.

The list of nominees from both categories eligible for Hall of Fame induction this year included legendary Songwriter/Artists John Hiatt, Tony Joe White and J.J. Cale [writer of After Midnight and Cocaine]. I figured it to be J.J. Cale's night when Eric Clapton emerged from an elevator in the lobby of the hotel just prior to our reception, but it turned out to be Jimmy Buffett's night instead.

On the personal front, it was fantastic to reunite again with many great friends and former colleagues such as Jim McBride whose famous hit songs include Chatahootchie [Alan Jackson] and a great Waylon Jennings favorite Rose In Paradise.

Also, Tony Hazleton, Wayland Holyfield, Richard Leigh, Bob Beckham, Jody Williams, Del Bryant, Manuel and many more.

Robert K. Oermann too, the music critic who once gave me a review in Music Row magazine with the following quote: "Sign me up for the fan club...a voice full of heart and an A+ for songwriting"... Robert K. Oermann is a country music historian, journalist /critic and once was a judge on Nashville Star.

All in all, the 2006 NSAI Hall of Fame dinner was a great event with many warm encounters between old friends and new including my tablemates for dinner, Dr. David Murph and his son Dan. David is on the advisory board of the Nashville Songwriters Foundation. David and Dan and I became fast friends. It was my honor to be seated with these distinguished gentlemen and I enjoyed meeting them both.

Stay tuned for more Nashville related stories and photos from my Music Row journey as the spirit moves and the tale unfolds.
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