The Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award “which is awarded annually to an individual who has made a lasting impact on the country music business, was awarded to music executive Jim Ed Norman Wednesday evening. Norman explained, “The Opry is a place that is safe,” he said. “People come back here to exchange ideas, build relationships. New artists come here, see how things are done, see legends and be inspired. For music industry veteran Jim Ed Norman. … The honor was a well-kept surprise for Norman, who was recognized both as the leader of successful record companies and work ‘behind the board’ so to speak, producing some of the most important music of the 20th century…. his mark on Nashville as the CEO of The Curb Group.
Randy Travis’s appearance at the Opry was a surprise since slowly recovering after his life-threatening stroke in July of 2013 …( his only other and first appearance was after his stroke February 3rd at a friend’s funeral, singing Amazing Grace. )
“According to Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, “Norman’s four-decade career began in the 1970s, when he was involved with the Eagles. He ran Warner Bros. and Reprise Records in the 1980s, and currently serves as CEO of the Curb Group, where he oversees the careers of Lee Brice, Wynonna Judd and more”.
“The award was announced during a charity dinner to benefit the Opry Trust Fund, and artists including Travis, Brice, Big & Rich, Don Henley, Mickey Gilley, Michael Martin Murphey, TG Sheppard, Gary Morris, Crystal Gayle, Mo Pitney, Jeff Hanna and Kenny Rogers were present to see the man who had helped shape their careers receive the honor.” ….“Jim Ed, you’re the reason everyone knows about us, so God bless you,” John Rich said before Big & Rich performed.
Henley told the crowd, “Norman wrote the string part for “Desperado,” and also played piano on “Lyin’ Eyes,” …but he also played an even more significant role in Henley’s early career. …“You’re a good man,” he said. “You let me out of my contract so I could go make a record with these guys called the Eagles.”