Josh Turner, one of country’s music’s brightest new stars, received the Curtain Call Award at Belmont University Tuesday night, an award presented annually to a Belmont alumnus by the university’s School of Music in honor of achievement in the field of commercial and popular music. Turner received the award during a private event September 7 at Massey Concert Hall on the Belmont campus.
“I am proud of this award,” Turner said. “Coming to Belmont really helped me understand who I was, as an artist and as a person. Belmont is a great place – a stepping stone – to realize your dream.”
Turner performed for an hour for an audience mostly comprised of members of the Belmont community. He played original material as well as songs made famous by his musical heroes, including Johnny Cash, Don Williams and Vern Gosdin. Turner concluded the intimate concert with his signature hit, “Long Black Train” and then sat for a Q&A session with Belmont students, eager to follow in his footsteps.
“Sometimes good things happen to good people,” said Cynthia Curtis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “This award couldn’t have gone to a better person.”
Turner’s debut album on the MCA Nashville label, Long Black Train, has already sold more than half a million copies. Turner, a 2001 graduate of the School of Music, wrote the album’s title song while a student at Belmont. Turner says he was inspired to write the song after listening to the complete Hank Williams box set in the Belmont library and walking back to his on-campus apartment after dark.
“It has been wonderful to see Josh’s talent, hard work and positive attitude pay off,” said Jeff Kirk, Belmont’s Coordinator of Commercial Music. “He’s just an all-around good guy, and we could not be any prouder of him and the way he represents himself and Belmont. Everyone here is excited that he will be back to accept our award and return to perform on the very stage he performed on when he was a student.”
Turner was nominated last week for two Country Music Association awards, including the Horizon Award for best new artist and Song of the Year for “Long Black Train.” The CMA Awards show will air on CBS on Tuesday, November 9, 2004.
“Long Black Train” also was nominated for Outstanding Country Gospel Song of the Year for the 2004 American Christian Music Awards, to be presented September 24.
Previous Curtain Call Award winners include Ginny Owens, Jill Phillips Gullahorn, Will Denton, Fleming McWilliams, Melodie Crittenden, Jozef Nuyens, Gordon Mote, Tammy Rogers King and Chris Rodriguez.
Josh Turner Interview Video Clips
Clip 1 – Turner talks about the night he wrote “Long Black Train,” the song that would become his first hit.
Clip 2 – Turner talks about the melting pot that is Belmont University.
Clip 3 Turner talks about Belmont’s motto – From Here to Anywhere.
More Event Photos
All photos click to enlarge. Photos by Belmont University staff photographer Michael Krouskop.