BMI Songwriting Stars Lead NSAI Awards Slate

Posted in News on November 9, 2003
BMI Award-winners Paul Overstreet and John Prine are the newest additions to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Overstreet and Prine, along with Hal Blair and Rodney Crowell, were inducted November 2 during annual ceremonies hosted by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel in Nashville.

Craig Morgan, Kris Kristofferson, Doug Johnson, Paul Overstreet, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Jeffrey Steele, Jim Collins

Songwriters Jim Collins and Rory Lee performed favorites from Overstreet's catalog: "When You Say Nothing At All," "A Long Line Of Love," and two CMA Songs of the Year: "On the Other Hand" and "Forever and Ever, Amen." Randy Travis, via videotape, led the tribute to the five-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year (1987-1991).

Doug Johnson, Paul Overstreet, BMI's Frances Preston, John Prine, Jeffrey Steele

After an introduction of Prine by longtime friend Kris Kristofferson, Cowboy Jack Clement, Roger Cook and Bonnie Raitt treated the audience a sampling from his unique collection of songs, including "Paradise," "I Just Want To Dance With You," "Angels From Montgomery" and "Hello In There."

Dennis Morgan, Paul Overstreet

In conjunction with the Hall of Fame inductions, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) conferred a series of Songwriter Achievement Awards, with both top songwriter prizes won by BMI affiliates. Jeffrey Steele was named NSAI Songwriter of the Year, placing three songs among the top 40 vote-getters: Montgomery Gentry's "My Town," Rascal Flatts' "These Days," and Faith Hill's "When The Lights Go Down." Toby Keith was proclaimed Songwriter/Artist of the Year on the strength of his songs "Beer For My Horses" and "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," from his DreamWorks album Unleashed.

Manager Al Bunetta, John Prine, Dawn Bunetta

The writer members of NSAI's Professional Songwriters Division also honored 10 songs with 2003 Achievement Awards (dubbed "The Songs I Wish I'd Written"). "Three Wooden Crosses," by BMI writer Doug Johnson and co-writer Kim Williams, was named Song of the Year. Other BMI winners were Bill Anderson and Dean Dillon for "A Lot Of Things Different," Craig Morgan for "Almost Home," Donny Kees and Skip Ewing for "I Believe," Keith Urban for "Somebody Like You," Billy Kirsch for "Stay Gone," Lee Thomas Miller for "The Impossible," Jim Collins and Sunny Russ for "Then They Do" and Bruce Robison for Travelin' Soldier."

Past NSAI President Chuck Cannon, Jeffrey Steele, NSAI President Bob Regan

Photos by Kay Williams