Friends of country star Martha Carson made an occasion -- and rightly so -- of her 80th birthday during a music-filled party in her honor at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville. Kitty Wells, Melba Montgomery, Mac Wiseman, Sonny James, Boots Randolph, Vestal Goodman, Stonewall Jackson, Jeannie C. Riley, Billy Walker, and Harold Bradley were among those celebrating with the First Lady of Country Gospel. Carson, a pioneer country gospel performer whose hits include "Satisfied," "I Can't Stand Up Alone" and "I'm Gonna Walk and Talk With My Lord," was the first solo female vocalist signed as a regular cast member of the Grand Ole Opry. Although semi-retired now, the Kentucky-born entertainer, who has been a BMI songwriter for more than half a century, has a new CD, Martha Carson's Greatest Hits, and her biography, Sister Sunshine, will soon be published.
Martha Carson with BMI's Patsy Bradley, who presented her with a BMI Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding contributions
Melba Montgomery with Martha Carson onstage at the Texas Troubadour
Martha Carson is recognized by the AFM's Harold Bradley