Legendary songwriter Bob McDill has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the Golden Note award from performing-rights organization ASCAP. The writer of 31 No. 1 songs, including "Don't Close Your Eyes," recorded by Keith Whitley, McDill will be presented with the honor during ASCAP's 50th Annual Country Music Awards, set for Monday, October 29. The invitation-only gala, taking place in Nashville, will also honor the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs from April 1, 2011 - March 31st, 2012.

Born in Texas, Bob McDill has earned four Grammy nominations, was named ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1994, and has been named NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) Songwriter of the Year three times. In 1985, he was inducted into the NSAI's Hall of Fame in 1985.

In a career that began in the late 1960s, while McDill was still serving in the Naval Reserve, he has had songs since then recorded by Perry Como ("Happy Man), Johnny Russell ("Catfish John") and 2011 Golden Note honoree Don Williams ("It Must Be Love" and "Good Ole Boys Like Me"), who also recorded McDill's "Amanda," which later became a No. 1 hit for Waylon Jennings. One of McDill's most recent hits was Golden Note recipient Alan Jackson's chart-topping "Gone Country."

"Bob McDill wrote this and he is one of my favorite writers of all time," the country superstar wrote in the liner notes of his album, The Greatest Hits. "When I first heard this song I fell in love with it. I wish that I'd written it 'cause it says a lot of things that I'd like to say."

The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Other past recipients include Garth Brooks, Lindsey Buckingham, Reba McEntire and J.D. Souther, among others.

The 50th ASCAP Country Music Awards will also include the announcements of the Songwriter of the Year, Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. The evening will feature live performances of the top five most-performed songs of 2011 by the award-winning songwriters and special guests.

Watch Alan Jackson's "Gone Country" Video