Randy Travis made a rare appearance in Nashville to pay tribute to music industry veteran Jim Ed Norman, recipient of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award.
Don Henley, Kenny Rogers, Lee Brice, Pinkard & Bowden, Crystal Gayle, Jeff Hanna, Big & Rich and Michael Martin Murphey were among the others paying tribute to Norman during Wednesday’s (Feb. 24) ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House. The annual event raises money for the Opry Trust Fund, which for 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.
In the 1970s, Norman worked as a musician and arranger for acts including the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. He moved to Nashville in 1983 to head the A&R department and Warner Bros. and Reprise Records. Later ascending to president of the Nashville division, Norman helmed the labels when Travis, Dwight Yoakam, Travis Tritt, Emmylou Harris and Faith Hill were enjoying immense commercial success. He now serves as CEO of the Curb Group, overseeing the careers of Brice, Wynonna and Natalie Grant, among others.
Wednesday’s event reunited Randy Travis with Norman and the singer’s longtime record producer Kyle Lehning. Travis, one of the biggest acts in the history of Warner Bros. Nashville, continues to recover from a stroke he suffered in 2013.