Whether touched by an angel, an angle or both, dozens of artists, songwriters and publishers turned out at BMI's Nashville offices Tuesday (May 23) to praise Martha Williamson, executive producer of the music-intensive CBS-TV series Touched by an Angel.
Williamson was in town to promote her book, Inviting God to Your Wedding. "That's a book I should
have had before my three marriages," observed BMI's Joyce Rice in her introductory remarks. Rice said that Williamson "has
incorporated more music into her series than any other one-hour show on television."
Now in its sixth season, Touched
by an Angel has made extensive use of country artists and songs, a point amply demonstrated in the 1998 platinum-selling
soundtrack album. Also executive produced by Williamson, the album has performances by Wynonna, the Kinleys, Deana Carter,
Martina McBride and Faith Hill.
Among the artists who dropped by to wish Williamson well were Kenny Rogers, Brenda
Lee, Deborah Allen and Vestal Goodman.
Frank Breeden, president of the Gospel Music Association, presented Williamson
a plaque and thanked her "for being a friend to gospel music." Ed Benson, executive director of the Country Music Association,
gave her an angel of Baccarat crystal. He lauded Williamson for her role in enabling country songwriters and artists to reach
people and "help them cope, help them be relevant." In his presentation, Gene Higgins, president of the Christian Country
Music Association, expressed his group's appreciation to Williamson for her "hard work and dedication to improving standards
of national television."
While acknowledging the series' proselytizing intent, Williamson told the crowd, "My real
agenda is returning variety to television... There's tremendous power in music. We're just getting everybody else warmed up."