Icon Willie Nelson was joined by fellow creative artists Michael Martin Murphey, Allen Shamblin and Guy Clark to receive their honors at the Association’s fifth annual celebration. Following induction, the four returned to the stage with their guitars to take turns singing some of their familiar hits.
In another highlight of the evening, popular Austin country/western celebrity and band leader Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel was presented the Darrell K. Royal Award in honor of the legendary University of Texas coach and music patron.
The brainchild and personal passion of well-known Texas businessman and music fan Terry Booth, the Heritage Association’s annual homecoming gathering is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in a city famous for live music.
“We all honor the famous vocal artists who make music headlines with their record-making recordings,” he said. “But without a good song, there would be no hit recording. Our mission is to honor those creative writers – the poets of Texas music – who make it all happen.”
Booth’s vision and persistence was rewarded this year as public demand for a larger venue forced the event to leave its roots at Hill’s Cafe in South Austin for the grandeur of the downtown Paramount Theater. However, Hill’s owner and KVET headliner Bob Cole remains fully involved in the Association and introduced Saturday night’s program.
At an earlier Saturday invitational reception at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum to honor event sponsors, guests enjoyed an intimate hour-long concert from past honorees Sonny Throckmorton, Aaron Barker and Bruce Channel, who shared their personal renditions of songs they wrote, along with stories of their paths to success.