Connie Barriot Gay (August 22, 1914--December 3, 1989) was renowned as a 'founding father' and 'major force' in country music. He is credited for coining the country music genre, which had previously been called hillbilly music. Gay was the founding president of the Country Music Association (CMA) and co-founder of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The CMA established the Connie B. Gay Award to recognize outstanding service to the CMA by a member not serving on the Board of Directors.