DKR Award
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Texas Music Legend Award

Each year, the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association not only recognizes three songwriters as inductees, but also honors those who have provided recognition and support to songwriters by presenting them with our Darrell K Royal Texas Music Legend Award. Coach Royal, the original recipient, has spent years supporting and honoring songwriters, and we’re proud to carry the spirit of his efforts forward, in his name.

Past Awardees

Jody Williams
Bill Mack
Robin Shivers
Danny King
Billy Minick
Stephen Bruton
Ray Benson
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About DKR

Darrell K Royal


In fond memory

Darrell K Royal, revered across Texas and the country as a football coach, led the University of Texas to eleven conference championships and three national championships. He was not only respected for his accomplishments on the field, but also in life—a life of integrity with over half a century of service to the University and to Texas. Coach was also known for his deep love, respect and appreciation for songwriters, especially Texas songwriters.

He befriended singer-songwriters who performed around Austin and soon became friends with an individual from Abbott, Texas by the name of Willie Nelson. Starting in the late sixties, Coach and Edith threw “pickin’ parties” with the likes of Willie, Charlie Pride, Charlie Rich, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Mickey Newberry, Red Lane, Larry Gatlin, Jerry Max Lane, Freddy Powers, Sonny Throckmorton, Red Steagall and many others. He hosted both the Darrell & Willie, and the Ben Willie Darrell golf tournaments for 35 years to showcase singer-songwriters, while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. These events were important to Coach Royal because he knew that these songwriters deserved recognition for writing the songs. He wanted to share his love and appreciation for these unique wordsmiths with his friends. Coach Royal played a key role in building the foundation for the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association (TxHSA). He embraced the mission of the organization and provided valuable guidance and direction throughout the formative years. He was a fixture at all of the TxHSA events.  One of our goals is to ensure that Coach Royal’s legacy of honoring and celebrating songwriters continues indefinitely. In 2009 we established the Darrell K Royal Texas Music Legend Award to recognize and honor individuals from Texas who have made significant contributions to songwriters over the years. In 2011 we named the “pickin’ party” that is held the night before the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame induction show, the Darrell K Royal Homecoming. Few have done as much to support songwriters over the years as Darrell Royal. Please assist us in preserving this tradition – a tradition so important to Coach Royal and to Texas culture.

2016 Key West Songwriter's Festival