Monday, March 5, 2012

Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2012 To Be Announced Tomorrow- Who Should Get In?

Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the announcement of what three artists will be the next inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame's Class of 2012. 

Reba McEntire, Bobby Braddock, and Jean Shepard were announced as the latest members to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame- the class of 2011.

Those three are extremely deserving and very worthy candidates. But there are others that should be in as well- and not posthumously.

While I have absolutely no say in the matter, I would like rerun a column that I wrote this past June- a list of the music acts I believe to the most deserving to be inducted into The Country Music Hall-Of-Fame.

10. John Denver- Might as well start with the most controversial first. In 1975, previous Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Charlie Rich set fire to Denver’s winning envelope rather than announce the win. Some considered it a statement against country pop and the Music Row-controlled Nashville Sound. But looking closer, he was one of the top album sellers in the 70’s, won several country music awards, 2 Grammys, and his hits “Take Me Home”, “Rocky Mountain High” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” are sing-along standards.

9.Jerry Reed- The CMHOF has a history of inviting comedians and actors (Minnie Pearl) and Jerry Reed belongs in. Jerry Reed, was an country music singer, country guitarist, session musician, songwriter and actor who appeared in over a dozen filmsAs a singer, he may be best known for Amos Moses, and When You're Hot, You're Hot, for which he received a Grammy in 1972 and East Bound and Down, the theme song to the film Smokey and the Bandit in which he portrayed the "Snowman", Cledus Snow.

8. (tie) Charlie Daniels- The man who made southern country/rock a new genre, he should be in for his fiddling ability alone. “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” is quite possibly the most recognizable country song ever recorded- he’s been a music hero for close to 40 years.

8. (tie) The Judds- As one of the most successful acts in country music history, Wynonna and Naomi Judd won five Grammy Awards for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and eight Country Music Association awards. The duo also charted twenty-five singles on the country music charts between 1983 and 2000, fourteen of which went to Number One and six more of which made Top Ten on the same chart.

7. Randy Travis- Travis has recorded more than a dozen important studio albums and single-handedly started the neo-traditionalist movement in the 80’s. He charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which sixteen have reached Number One.

6. Dallas Frazier- Frazier is the songwriter’s songwriter.His tunes were recorded by George Jones (who recorded an entire album of Frazier's songs in 1968), Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jack Greene, Connie Smith (who also recorded an entire album of Frazier's songs in 1972), Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee, Carola, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, Elvis Presley, Moe Bandy, Roy Head, Rodney Crowell, Dan McCafferty, and Ronnie Hawkins. Many of the songs became hits into the 1980s; examples include the Oak Ridge Boys cover of "Elvira" and Emmylou Harris's version of "Beneath Still Waters". Anne Murray with Glen Campbell, George Strait, Randy Travis, and Patty Loveless have all also recorded Frazier tunes.

5. (tie) Oak Ridge Boys- While their history dates back much further, they had a run of twelve years from 1977 to 1989 where they were THE band until they gave way to Alabama. Can anyone NOT sing all the words to their biggest hit Elvira?

5. (tie) Connie Smith- Still possessing one of Nashville’s most beautiful voices to this day, Smith’s recording of “Once A Day” became the first debut single in country music history by a female artist to reach number one, a record that Smith maintained for the next 25 years. She was a fixture on country radio in the second half of the 60’s and most of the 70’s.

4. Hank Williams Jr.- He is another long overdue selection. He had two careers, each of them probably worthy of induction. His early standards Eleven Roses are just as HOF-worthy as his later standards like Family Tradition. Put him in with a plaque right next to his father.

3. Garth Brooks- He’s the youngest of the bunch but has done more single-handedly to raise the popularity of country music more than any other artist since Johnny Cash. And that’s pretty good company. With more albums sold than any other artist EVER, he’s a no-brainer.

2. Ronnie Milsap- One of the top recording artists of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Ronnie Milsap is credited with forty number-one songs on the country charts, third only to George Strait and Conway Twitty. 40. Amazing career.

1. Kenny Rogers- I’ve already made my case here at That Nashville Sound. They’ve waited too long already for The Gambler.

Consideration should also given to Jim Ed Brown and The Browns,  the Wilburn Brothers, Paul Overstreet, Alison Krauss & Union Station (someday), Crystal Gayle, Rose Maddox, Tanya Tucker, Anne Murray, Alan Jackson and Brooks and Dunn. Hopefully, all will eventually be elected.

1 comment:

  1. So where were you these last 50 years while GENE WATSON: 'The Singer's Singer',(Labeled so by numerous other Artists: Legends, HOFer's, New Artists and others within the Music Industry.), was recording, touring(Performing thru-out the USA, Canada & Europe). There's not a more loved and admired Artist than Gene Watson. He has Always stayed True to Traditional Country Songs, never giving in to the 'New Country' Sound. His Proper Place in the HOF should be before most of your List. Gene Watson And Connie should be inducted this time,unless, as has happened for several decades, These two Legends get passed over, once again. As You said, Ken, hopefully not posthumously. Is California Really in tune with Country Music?.... Have a Blessed Day..