American Eagle Awards Honor Theodore Bikel, Judy Collins and Paul Shaffer with special awards to Sonny Fox and Cracker Barrel Country Store

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Golden Eagle and Corporate Eagle Awards presented to Sonny Fox and Cracker Barrel Country Store

Music legends Theodore Bikel, Judy Collins, and Paul Shaffer were honored with American Eagle Awards by the National Music Council at a symposium and luncheon event held at New York’s Hard Rock Café on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.  The coveted American Eagle Award is presented annually to celebrate an individual’s long-term contribution to the nation’s musical culture and heritage.  This year’s celebration was the 30th anniversary of the American Eagle awards.

Additional awards were given to children’s television icon Sonny Fox for his lifetime support of music and arts access for children and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for its active support of country music for over forty years.

The presentations included tributes to the honorees by a host of musical greats including Ben E. King, Martha Wash, Merima Kljuço, Sheldon Harnick and Peter Yarrow. The Council's annual Leadership in Music Symposium preceded the awards and featured an interview with the honorees. Excerpts from the symposium and awards event will be posted on the Council’s website throughout the year.

Dr. David Sanders, director of the National Music Council, notes that the individual recipients were being honored, “not just for the incredible gifts they have given generations of music lovers throughout the world with their creative output… but also for their dedication to encouraging young musicians – and potential musicians – through their great support and commitment to music education.”

The event also debuted an animation created by the NMC and the Music Publishers Association of the United States as part of a primary school lesson plan that encourages kids to think about the ramifications of taking other people’s creative work. Sanders introduced the work as “part of a world-wide effort by creators to change the narrative in terms of fostering an understanding that the online protection of creative work enhances freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, rather than encroaching on them.“

Proceeds from the event support the Council’s music education advocacy efforts.