Renowned music figure Bobby Bare, hailing from Hendersonville, is set to be honored with the prestigious Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award at the upcoming Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on October 11. This announcement was made by Mark Ford, the executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NaSHOF).
Ford praised Bare’s significant impact on the lives of numerous songwriters throughout his illustrious career. Bare forged friendships with several NaSHOF legends, such as Shel Silverstein, Tom T. Hall, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob McDill, Harlan Howard, and Kris Kristofferson.
In the mid-1960s, Bare played a pivotal role in the music industry by discovering Waylon Jennings and assisting him in signing with RCA Records. Furthermore, he showcased many songwriters on his TNN TV show, “Bobby Bare and Friends,” which aired from 1983 to 1988. Bare’s contributions to the music industry have been immense, and NaSHOF takes pride in honoring him in this manner.
Ford emphasized Bare’s influence as a recording artist, stating that he has profoundly shaped NaSHOF over the years. Across his six-decade-long career, Bare has recorded over 300 songs, including 35 Top-40 singles, written or co-written by 76 NaSHOF songwriters. This constitutes nearly 30 percent of the Hall’s entire membership.
Bare’s achievements extend to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and his membership in the Grand Ole Opry from 1970 to 1973, as well as his recent re-induction in 2018. Notably, he is the first recording artist to be honored with the award named after Frances Williams Preston. Preston, who dedicated five decades to her career at BMI, profoundly influenced and nurtured the careers of thousands of songwriters, performers, and publishers across various genres.