Kristofferson, Foglesong Tapped for Country Hall of Fame

Inductions Will Take Place Nov. 9 During CMA Awards Show

Singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson and veteran music industry executive Jim Foglesong are this year’s inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Kristofferson learned the news Monday morning (Aug. 30) during an appearance on CBS-TV’s The Early Show. He was in New York City to assist The Early Show host Hannah Storm announce the nominations in several categories of the 2004 CMA Awards show.

Kristofferson, whose songwriting credits include such classics as “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and “For the Good Times,” appeared genuinely surprised by his impending Hall of Fame induction.

“What a dirty trick,” he joked. Noting that he thought he was there merely to announce the CMA nominees, he added, “I’m feeling a whole let better than I did five minutes ago.”

Asked what the induction meant to him, Kristofferson quipped, “I guess it means I’m old.” He later noted, “It’s something that all of us were working for — respect for country music — for a long time. And I’m real proud to be part of it.”

Before learning of his induction, Kristofferson recalled his experience with the CMA Awards when he showed up to accept the trophy for the 1970 song of the year for “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

“Actually, I had a little controversy surrounding mine when I was there,” he said. “Everybody thought I was stoned, and they didn’t want to let me back on TV ever. Thirty years later, I guess they’ve forgotten.”

The Brownsville, Texas, native is one of the most influential and prolific songwriters in country music history. His songs have been recorded by more than 450 artists, including Johnny Cash’s hit version of “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” In addition to his career as a songwriter and recording artist, Kristofferson is also an acclaimed actor who has appeared in more than 50 feature films.

As a record producer and label executive, Foglesong was instrumental in the careers of George Strait, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, the Oak Ridge Boys, Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and many others. During his tenure as president of Capitol. Nashville in the ‘80s, he also helped guide Garth Brooks’ early recording career. Foglesong began his own career in 1951 as a musical assistant at Columbia Records in New York City. After a stint as a producer at RCA Records in the early ’60s, Foglesong moved to Nashville as A&R director for Dot Records. In 1973, he became Dot’s president and eventually became president of ABC Records and ABC-Dot. He served as president of MCA Records’ country division until joining Capitol. He remains active as a consultant and educator.

Foglesong and Kristofferson will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during 38th annual CMA Awards in Nashville. CBS will broadcast the show live from the Grand Ole Opry House on Nov. 9.

For more information on Kris Kristofferson, visit his artist page at CMT.com.

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.