Taylor picked up the Songwriter/Artist trophy from the Nashville Songwriters Association International Sunday, the same night Toby Keith earned Songwriter/Artist of the Decade. Wynn Varble claimed the NSAI’s Songwriter of the Year after netting hits with Darryl Worley’s recording of “Sounds Like Life To Me” and Brad Paisley’s rendition of “Waitin’ On A Woman,” named Song of the Year.
ASCAP, one of three U.S. performing rights organizations, hailed Alan Monday night, while recognizing Ashley Gorley as its Songwriter of the Year. Ashley’s behind-the-scenes contributions to country during the eligibility period included Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” — ASCAP’s Country Song of the Year — and the Brad Paisley/Keith Urban duet “Start A Band.”
In addition to Toby’s all-decade honor, the NSAI presented Songwriter of the Decade to Craig Wiseman, whose successes this millennium include Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe” and Kenny Chesney’s “The Good Stuff.”
Tammy Wynette, Kye Fleming (“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”) and Mark D. Sanders (“I Hope You Dance”) joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The following night, J.D. Souther received a similar career achievement honor from ASCAP in accepting the agency’s Golden Note Award. One of the contributors to the Southern California sound of the 1970s, which has had a direct influence on contemporary country, J.D. was honored with performances of his material from some of Nashville’s best. Lee Ann Womack sang “Faithless Love,” Rodney Crowell covered “New Kid In Town” and Love And Theft captured “You’re Only Lonely.”