Publishing legend Buddy Killen was born in Florence in 1935, but left for Nashville and a position on the Grand Ole Opry shortly after high school.
Killen was soon offered a job at Tree Publishing and steadily rose to the top, becoming its owner and chief executive officer. Under his leadership, Tree became the largest country music publishing company in the world. He also founded Dial Records and established one of the premier recording studios in Music City.
As a producer, Killen has nurtured the musical talents of Joe Tex, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, T.G. Sheppard and Dottie West.
Killen is the 1985 Lifework Award for Non-Performing Achievement recipient.