Saturday, 23 February 2019

Legendary Producer Fred Foster dies, aged 87

Fred Foster (July 26, 1931 – February 20, 2019)
American songwriter, producer and founder of Monument.
Courtesy Photo

Fred Luther Foster passed away peacefully last night following a short illness with his family at his side. Foster was born July 26, 1931, in Rutherford County, North Carolina, the youngest of eight children.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vance Hampton and Clara Marcella (Weaste) Foster, and siblings Albert Glen, Estelle, Charles Vance, Ray, Pauline, Ethel Lou, and Ann.

He is survived by his son Vance Foster, and daughters Micki Foster (Greg) Koenig, Leah Foster (Dillon) Alderman, Brit Foster (Judd) Rothstein, and Kristen Foster and grandchildren Rachel DiGregorio, Rhys and Tess Rothstein, and Penelope Kirschner. He is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.

Foster formed and helmed Monument Records, the broad-minded independent label that released classic recordings by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens, Boots Randolph, Charlie McCoy, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Jeannie Seely, and many more.

He founded Combine Music, which published classic hits including Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night," the Orbison smash "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," and Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie." He produced Parton's and Jimmy Dean's first singles, Kristofferson's first album, and the early 1960s records that landed Orbison in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Published on Aug 30, 2016 by Country Music Hall of Fame: The Road to the Country Music Hall of Fame: Fred Foster
Follow 2016 inductee, visionary, and founder of Monument Records, Fred Foster on his path to the Country Music Hall of Fame:

Record executive Fred Foster speaks after being announced as the next inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame:

Published on Oct 19, 2016: Dolly Parton Sings a Tribute to Fred Foster:

Mr. Foster produced the Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price album, Last of the Breed (2007), which featured Price and Nelson's Grammy-winning "Lost Highway." Foster also steered Nelson's You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, and he produced Ray Price's final album, Beauty Is.

His last project was the well-received 2018 Dawn Landes' album, Meet Me At The River. He was a member of the North Carolina Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Leadership Music Dale Franklin award, and a 2016 inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame (inducted alongside fellow North Carolinians Randy Travis and Charlie Daniels on October 16, 2016. For full details visit

A man of strong faith, Fred was a member of First Presbyterian of Nashville. His generous spirit, magical green thumb and far-reaching vision will be sorely missed.
A memorial service is being planned for March, and details will be announced in the near future.


Brandy Clark: Rest In Peace Fred Foster....A true legend in music who was instrumental in the careers of Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Roy Orbison.

Charlie Daniels: A Nashville legend died today, a man whose name is woven into the permanent fabric of Music City, legendary record producer and member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
Rest in peace Fred Foster, you will not be forgotten my friend.

Country Music HOF: “Today, I mourn the loss of Fred Foster, the legend who I revered and who fostered artistry, individuality and broad-minded decency.” - Kyle Young, CEO

Country Music People: Sad to lose Fred Foster. Absolute legend.

Matraca Berg: Fred Foster is gone. Hero to my heroes and one of mine. Song man, wide open heart man, cry about a song man. You made so many of us feel we were doing something good. Love to the family and all those who's hearts are broken today. You rascal. The good kind 💔💔💔


Radney Foster: It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my friend and mentor Fred Foster. He was musical giant but more importantly a giant hearted man. Godspeed you home old friend. #orbison #kristofferson #Dolly #1stnottothrowmeoutofhisoffice

Rolling Stone: Fred Foster, legendary producer of Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, has died at age 87

Roy Orbison:

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