College of Media and Entertainment, Americana Music Association honor late Eagles’ co-founder
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Middle Tennessee State University joined Nashville’s Americana Music Association in paying tribute Saturday night to late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey in a pre-Grammys event.
And the setting couldn’t have been more appropriate: The legendary Troubadour nightclub, where Frey met Don Henley for the first time. Bonnie Raitt and Lee Ann Womack were among the artists on the bill for Saturday’s concert.
It marks the second time Americana and MTSU have partnered on the days leading up to music industry’s biggest event. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Monday in Los Angeles.
MTSU and Americana, along with Nissan and Vector Management, also joined forces for an Everly Brothers tribute at the Troubadour in 2014 during MTSU’s first trip to the Grammys.
“There’s no more appropriate place than the Troubadour to celebrate the life and music of Glenn Frey,” said Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment.
“And there’s no better place, here in the Los Angeles area, to draw attention of our alumni, friends and supporters to our Recording Industry program.”
Frey died Jan. 18 at the age of 67.
Since opening its doors in 1957, the Troubadour has been where some of contemporary music’s biggest moments happened: Elton John made his U.S. debut here. The club was where James Taylor first heard Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” which he made into his own hit.
Paulson, who became dean in 2013, forged a partnership between MTSU and the Americana Music Association, which promotes “American Roots Music” around the world. The association and the college now partner on numerous events.
Prior to Saturday’s concert, President Sidney A. McPhee, along with Paulson and Beverly Keel, chair of the Department of Recording Industry, met with alumni, supporters and friends of the college.
“We’ve travelled each year, for three years now, because I feel it’s important MTSU demonstrates its support of our alumni in the Recording Industry – and we congratulate Grammy nominees with MTSU ties,” McPhee said.
“Coming to the Troubadour twice for two events with Americana reinforces to me the value of our deep partnership with this unique brand of music.”
Grammy nominees with MTSU ties this year include:
- Sam Hunt, who is up for Best Country Album for “Montevallo” and Best New Artist.
- Luke Laird, who is up for Best Country Song for “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” performed by Tim McGraw, and Best Country Album, as producer of Kasey Musgraves’ album, “Pageant Material.”
- Eric Paslay, who was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “The Driver,” along with Charles Kelley and Dierks Bentley.
On Sunday, MTSU will host an afternoon reception to honor Laird and his continued ties to the university. McPhee will later host an evening dinner with Southern California alumni.
On Monday, the university is among the presenting sponsors of a Leadership Music alumni reunion at a venue less than a mile away from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the site of the Grammy telecast that evening.
Leadership Music, based out of Nashville, holds an eight-month training program each year for rising industry figures. Founded in 1989, it has more than 900 alumni, including nearly four-dozen current and former heads of record labels.