Nashville, Tenn. –Today (July 9, 2013) Trevecca lost a beloved former professor when Jim Foglesong (90), the first full-time director of Trevecca’s Music Business Program, died. Foglesong joined the Trevecca faculty in 1999 and retired in 2008, but he continued to teach part-time in that program until 2010.
On April 14, 2009, the University honored him for his leadership of the program and for his positive influence on Trevecca students by naming him Trevecca Distinguished Professor of Music Business. Foglesong is only the third person to receive “distinguished professor status” at Trevecca; the other two recipients were former presidents of Trevecca. During that ceremony Provost Steve Pusey noted that Folgesong exemplified “the kind of teaching excellence” for which the honor celebrated, and Pusey added, “Jim placed others in the limelight and took his joy from their accomplishments.”
Helping him celebrate that day were many of the artists whom he had helped in their careers—Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Duane Allen and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys, Mark Miller and Hobie Hubbard of Sawyer Brown, and John Conlee. In her remarks during the ceremony, Barbara Mandrell thanked Foglesong for helping her career and for the many kindnesses and hospitality from him and his wife, Toni, during her 30-year friendship with them. She added, “They love our Lord and it shows in everything they do.”
BELOW: Honoring Jim Foglesong at Trevecca on April 14, 2009, were Duane Allen, Richard Sterban,
Foglesong, Mark Miller, Hobie Hubbard, and Trevecca President Dan Boone.
A native of Lundale, W.V., Foglesong grew up in a home filled with music, where he caught the singing “bug.” After serving in the Army, he graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and used his training as a classical musician to pursue a career as a singer and back-up singer in New York City. He soon traded performance for a career away from the microphone, and that trade soon pointed him in a career away from his classical training. After accepting a position with Columbia Records in 1951, he later found his niche in the artists and repertoire (A&R) department of RCA Victor. In 1970 he moved to Nashville to lead A&R for Dot Records, and in 1973 he became president of that company. In 1985 he was named president of Capitol Records, and there he recruited new country music talents, including Garth Brooks.
He did not completely abandon his love of singing. He was a member of the choir in the churches he and his wife, Toni, attended wherever they lived.
He retired from the music industry in the ’90s and began a second career as a music professor, working at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and at Trevecca. In 2004 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In August of 2009, he received Nashville Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award, along with Allen Reynolds and Garth Brooks.
During his years at Trevecca, he impressed his students and colleagues there by his interest in them and by his gentle spirit. In fact, when Foglesong’s death was announced on campus, the word gentleman often was part of the conversation. During the April 14, 2009, celebration of Foglesong’s new title at Trevecca, Duane Allen, of the Oak Ridge Boys, reminded listeners that Jim Foglesong was known as “the gentle man of country music. Folgesong certainly lived up to that description at Trevecca; he was loved by his students and by persons who taught and worked with him at Trevecca.
President Dan Boone issued this statement: “Jim Foglesong may be best known for the groups he made famous and the bronze plaque in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame. But he will always be remembered at Trevecca as a gentle man who mentored students, knew their names, and walked the campus with grace-filled dignity. Trevecca has lost a dear member of the family. Jim was our friend.”
The Trevecca family mourns the loss of Jim Foglesong along with the country music industry, the citizens of Nashville, and his wife, Toni.