Jim Foglesong: Country music producer and label executive


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The Independent Online

Jim Foglesong, who died in Nashville on 9 July at the age of 90, was a record label executive and music producer who helped launch Garth Brooks' career. Foglesong, a West Virginia native, began his career in New York as a session singer, producer and record executive and moved to Nashville in 1970 after helping Columbia Records launch their subsidiary, Epic.

He began as the head of the independent label Dot Records in Nashville, and following a series of mergers took over as president of Capitol Records' Nashville division from 1984-89 where he helped launch the career of Brooks, country music's best-selling artist.

"Today, the music industry lost its greatest diplomat for kindness, tolerance, faith, and sincerity," Brooks said in a statement. "But do not weep for Jim, I have never met a man with a stronger faith, anyone who knew Jim knows where he is now. Instead, weep for those of us who are left here without him ... truly, a great, great man."

Brooks wasn't the only musician whose career was touched by Foglesong, who oversaw label rosters that also included George Strait, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Roy Clark, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty. All joined him in the Country Music Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 2004. After retiring from the business he taught at Trevecca Nazarene University and Vanderbilt, where one of his students was the future country star Dierks Bentley.