This years Texas Songwriters Association 2014 Hall of Fame Awards Show featured K.T. Oslin, Lee Roy Parnell, Bonnie Bishop, Shooter Jennings, Jessi Colter and Kris Kristofferson. The Texas Heritage Songwriters Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and celebrating songwriters who have helped shape Texas music culture. The show takes place every year in conjunction with Texas Independence Day to honor the state. Not only is it a ceremony for the honorees, but also a concert featuring acts by the inductees themselves, and special guests who perform in their honor. This year’s inductees included Waylon Jennings, K.T. Oslin and Buck Owens.
To kick off the night, the Johnny Nicholas Band took the stage. Nicholas is an American blues musician most noted for being a member of the Grammy Award winning group, Asleep at the Wheel. The crowd was a sea of cowboy hats, and all the fans were singing along to Nicholas single “Broke Again,” off of his 2006 album, Broke Again. As the song faded out, the crowed cheered and applauded nonstop until he delivered his final song.
After the first performance, Red Steagall was introduced to begin the induction. He declared, “There’s no place I’d rather be than right here where we are [the great state of Texas],” and followed that by stating that there are only three types of Texans: “Those who are born here, those who got here as fast as they could, and those who are on their way.” The night was filled with this type of Texas pride as the great songwriters of our state were honored. Steagall recognized Bill Nack, writer of Willie Nelson’s “Drinking Champagne,” and host of radio talk show Country Crossroads. Nack received the Darrell K. Royal Award.
Following Nack’s recognition, K.T. Oslin was welcomed to the stage to perform. She started off her performance with the first song she ever wrote, “Cornell Crawford,” which was inspired by graffiti on a bathroom stall. Her next song was “Do Ya” off of her 1987 album, 80’s Ladies. She performed her songs “Hey Bobby” and “New Way Home,” as she entertained the crowed with her angelic vocals. The crowd was in awe when blue lights cast upon her as she stated, “This is what started it all,” and the tunes of “80’s Ladies” started. The whole venue sang along and gave her a standing ovation at the end of her performance. Oslin left the stage blowing kisses to the crowd after accepting her Hall Of Fame Willie Nelson Award.
Buck Owens was the next to be recognized by the Texas Songwriters Association. In honor of Owens, Lee Roy Parnell played and accepted his award. Parnell invited Bonnie Bishop on stage to perform alongside him. They performed Owens’ original songs “Under Your Spell Again,” “It’s Crying Time Again,” “Together Again,” “Tall Dark Stranger” and “Love’s Gonna Live Here.” While accepting the award on behalf of Owens, Parnell stated, “Well, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m holding Buck’s Willie!” While remembering a legend, Parnell used humor to kick up the mood.
In honor of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson took the stage and had the whole venue up on their feet cheering. He dove right into his performance of Jennings’ song “I Do Believe.” The crowed stood once again while Kristofferson welcomed Shooter Jennings on stage to help him honor Shooter’s father. Shooter Jennings played “Whistlers and Jugglers” as he rocked out on his acoustic guitar. In honor of Jennings, they played “Belle of the Ball,” which contains the lyrics “a vagabond dreamer, a rhymer and singer of songs” that are encrypted on the honoree’s grave. Jessi Colter, Waylon’s wife, joined her son on stage and played the first song that she and her husband wrote together, “I Ain’t the One.” She then played “Storms Never Last” and closed with “Why You Been Gone So Long.”
To bring an end to the night, Kris Kristofferson was welcomed back on stage and the crowd sang him a good ol’ fashioned Texas Happy Birthday. The inductees and performers all took the stage to join the venue ass they all sang along together. Kristofferson then closed out the night by playing “Me and Bobby McGee.”