Kay West • Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum • Live at the Hall, 2023
Kay West discusses her wide-ranging career in music and media as the 2022 honoree in the annual Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum series at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In looking back over her multi-faceted career, West emphasizes that she considers herself an author and journalist, first and foremost. She recalls her important work as a regular contributor to People and TV Guide magazines and as a staff writer at the daily Nashville Banner and weekly Nashville Scene newspapers. Her well-received books include How to Raise a Lady and How to Raise a Gentleman and the cookbook Around the Opry Table.
Witty and insightful, West recalls her surprise at being offered high-profile publicity positions at the major recording companies RCA and MCA. It was being hired by RCA that brought her to Nashville after several years working as a staff editor and writer at successful magazines based in New York. In the interview, she spins tales about her unusual approach to media representation when delving into her work with George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Patty Loveless. Other interesting stories emerge as she talks about her many years as the most respected and read restaurant reviewer in Nashville, and how her positions as a feature newsprint columnist led to her to take on roles as an event and project manager for philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, and politicians (Rep. Jim Cooper, former Nashville mayor Megan Barry).
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