Legendary Songwriter Kris Kristofferson presented the inaugural “Kris Kristofferson Award” to colleague and fellow music Icon Willie Nelson in a special private ceremony at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café Tuesday evening.
“It has to be Willie,” Kristofferson responded, when asked by the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s (NSAI) Board of Directors who should be the first recipient of the prestigious award. It is appropriate that NSAI’s all-songwriter board voted to give the first one to a songwriter colleague and friend of Kristofferson’s.
The Kris Kristofferson Award is named for one of NSAI’s founding members. The honor will be bestowed from time-to-time as voted on by NSAI’s all-songwriter Board of Directors to songwriters and artists of all music genres. It is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement to music creators whose songs have inspired generations and touched the lives of millions of listeners worldwide.
“Just think of the songs,” NSAI songwriter-President Lee Thomas Miller
said of Willie Nelson’s song catalogue. “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” “Good Hearted Woman,” “Time of the Preacher,” “Yesterday’s Wine,” and “On the Road Again.” “Willie has moved the hearts and souls of generations of fans through his music. He is truly an American treasure.”
From his initial work as a songwriter for heroes like Faron Young and Patsy Cline, to his signing with RCA Victor in the 1960’s, his association with the Outlaw Country movement of the 1970’s, to the Highwaymen, Farm Aid and his acting roles, Nelson is an American cultural Icon. Like Kristofferson, he is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. An actor, author, activist and philanthropist, Nelson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry, a Kennedy Center Honoree and has won just about every music award possible including multiple Grammy Awards.
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON AWARD BACKGROUND
“The NSAI Board of Directors envisioned this award a few months ago,” said Miller. “Kris Kristofferson inspired me and countless others to become songwriters. He is the standard of greatness to which we all aspire.”
Kristofferson is responsible for changing the very fabric of country music. His intelligent, personal lyrical style presenting profound slices of life with imagery and emotion have influenced and inspired generations of composers and artists.
Kristofferson received NSAI’s “Song of the Year” award three different times: “For The Good Times” in 1970, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” in
1971 and “Why Me Lord” in 1973. He was also the recipient of NSAI’s “Songwriter of the Year” three different times in those same years.
When NSAI acquired the world-famous Bluebird Café, Kristofferson and members of his original band played a show there when founder Amy Kurland ceremonially “turned over the keys” to NSAI.
Songwriter members of NSAI’s Board of Directors and lifelong friends and colleagues of Kristofferson and Nelson attended tonight’s special presentation.
Posted by: Sam Moore
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