I feel compelled to write something about my friend, Jim Fogelsong, who died a few weeks ago at the age of 90. Although I certainly knew who he was, I did not know Jim when he ran MCA Records or Capitol Records in Nashville in the 1980's. I got to know Jim when he took on running the music business program at Trevecca Nazarene University. I think that I had already been teaching there as an adjunct for a few years when he arrived.
Jim made a point of spending time with each faculty member, meaning, in my case, he would take me to lunch each semester. I grew to really enjoy these lunches. Later, when he started teaching a music business survey course at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, he would invite me to come speak to his class each semester ‑ an offer which always included an early dinner at Noshville.
During our meals, Jim would tell me stories about working for RCA Records and Columbia Records in New York. He once told me a great story involving Doug Sahm and another one about trying out for a major league baseball farm team. I am a student of the history of the music business and I was fascinated when Jim told me that he thought he knew the guy who invented the controlled composition clause. I told him that he should write a book. I think he said that he was too busy. I think he was 86 at the time. It's a shame that he couldn't share his vast institutional knowledge with the world.
Honestly, what impressed me most about Jim was his awareness and concern for his Trevecca students ‑ he knew their strengths, weaknesses, passions, family situations,etc. He cared deeply about them and I found this remarkable. As my friend, Kay West wrote about him last week , "the good in Jim Fogelsong was there for all to see." It really was. I feel lucky to have known him and I will miss those dinners at Noshville.