Parnell headed for Texas music hall of fame
Parnell’s songs include “Tender Moment.”

Parnell’s songs include “Tender Moment.”

Singer/songwriter Lee Roy Parnell, a Big Country native, will be inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bruce Channel, Delbert McClinton, and Gary Nicholson also will be inducted in 2011.

To make it into the Hall of Fame, according to Kathy Pillmore, executive director of the association, the songwriter must have an established body of work and Texas roots — all qualifications Parnell possesses.

“He is a native Texan and he has written a significant body of music that’s been recorded not only in Texas, but by his peers in the music association,” Pillmore said.

Parnell was born in Abilene in 1956. At the age of 5, he moved to a ranch between Dublin and Stephenville. By age 14, Parnell recorded his first demo tape at a studio in Abilene and began performing in dance halls and clubs. From there his career took off, and he became well known in Austin and eventually moved to Nashville.

Some of his best known songs are “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am” and “Tender Moment.” Parnell plays guitar, sings and writes songs, but other artists such as Collin Raye, the Neville Brothers, Patty Loveless, Marcia Ball and Pirates of the Mississippi have performed his songs.

In 2007, Parnell performed in Snyder at the White Buffalo Bikefest concert.

In March, the TxHSA will honor the four songwriters at the Paramount Theatre in Austin. During the first half of the ceremony, biographies of each honoree will be read and they will accept their award, said Pillmore. After a short intermission, the four inductees will join on stage to play some of their most familiar songs.

The show is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket. Often, Pillmore said, people in the audience are familiar with the songs but not the songwriters, making the show unlike other performances.

“It’s really quite a unique performance,” Pillmore said.

Among well known previous inductees are Clint Black, Mac Davis, Willie Nelson, Michael Martin Murphey, Red Steagall, and Larry Gatlin.

Parnell was unavailable for comment, but on his Facebook fan page, he said he was “honored beyond words.”


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