Jim Foglesong (Jim Foglesong)

Jim Foglesong

Foglesong was born in Lundale, West Virginia. As a teenager, he sang on a local radio show and in quartets and trios into his young adult years. He began his career in the music industry at Columbia Records’ label in 1951, transferring 78 RPM records into LP formats. Over the next 20 years, he worked for RCA-Victor until moving to Nashville in 1970 to head the A&R division at Dot Records. He was named president of Dot in 1973 — the only president of a major Nashville label at the time, where he changed the company’s vision from pop to country.

He helped lay the foundation for the country music boom in the 1990s. As president of Dot, ABC, Capitol and MCA Records, he signed popular artists, among them Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Donna Fargo, Reba McEntire, the Oak Ridge Boys, Con Hunley, George Strait, Tanya Tucker, Sawyer Brown, Suzy Bogguss, and Kevin Morris. In Nashville, the records Fogelsong promoted won 46 Grammy, CMA and ACM awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

Mr. Foglesong was admired for his musicality and his savvy — he signed Brooks, the biggest-selling solo artist in country music history, to a deal after every other major label passed — and for the measured manner with which he conducted business, but more so for his kind and decent approach to life and living. Through Nashville’s wild-eyed 1970s and ’80s, Mr. Foglesong was smiling and quiet, understated and helpful.

He was a World War II veteran with the United States Army and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. After retiring from the active recording industry, he became head of the music business department of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. He also taught a Business of Music class at Vanderbilt University.

He died on July 9, 2013, at the age of 90. He is survived by wife of 62 years, Toni, and their four children.

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  • July, 26, 1922
  • USA
  • Lundale, West Virginia


  • July, 09, 2013
  • USA
  • Nashville, Tennessee

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