Friday, October 15, 2010
Kathy Mattea & Connie Smith Among Seven Inducted Into West Virginia Music Hall of Fame
"Its important for West Virginian's to know the diversity of the artists that have come from the state. We've found it's important to the artists too," Michael Lipton, President of the W.Va. Music Hall of Fame said.
Kathy Mattea of Cross Lanes- Perhaps the most respected and revered musician to come from West Virginia, Mattea also is known for giving generously back to her home state. In the mid- to late 1980s, she was a successful hit maker who brought elements of folk, bluegrass, gospel, and singer/songwriter intimacy to her music. Her 1989 album, "Willow in the Wind," became her first gold record and included No. 1 hits "Burnin' Old Memories" and "Come From the Heart." In addition, her song "Where've You Been," which Mattea co-wrote with her husband, Jon Vezner, won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal.
Connie Smith, born in Elkhart, Ind., grew up in Hinton. Dolly Parton has said, "There's really only three female singers in the world: Streisand, Ronstadt and Connie Smith. The rest of us are only pretending." A country singer and longtime Grand Ole Opry member, Smith may be best known for her 1964 hit song "Once a Day." The song was written especially for her by country star Bill Anderson and spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Country music charts - the longest of any female country music artist in history. Smith joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1966 and her string of hits continued until late 1968. She continues to perform with the opry and remains a country icon.