The Country Music Hall of Fame today announced its newest inductees. Elected in the veterans category were Jimmy Dean and Ferlin Husky, who tied for the most votes. From the non-performer catagory, Billy Sherrill was elected. And Don Williams was elected as the modern era candidate.
Jimmy Dean and Ferlin Husky should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. I am not going to go through their career highlights, as it would take too long, but I am glad that they were both elected before they passed away. Ferlin has had some serious health issues this past year and Jimmy, in addition to his own health issues, had the tragedy of the fire that destroyed his home. Maybe the fact that they were in the news so much this past year inspired the voters to vote them in. Whatever the reason, the voters, in my opinion, got it right this year. The additional benefit of two individuals getting elected helps to clear up some of the backlog of candidates that has developed over the years, thanks to the policy of the Hall of Fame of only electing one person from each category each year.
While it is good news for Jimmy and Ferlin, it continues to be a disappointment for many other worthy candidates, including Jean Shepard. She has been a strong candidate for the past several years, but just can't seem to get the votes to get her in. Consideration was also given to Jim Ed Brown and The Browns and the Wilburn Brothers. Hopefully, all will eventually be elected.
Billy Sherrill was one of the great producers of all time, and deserves his spot in the Hall. Finally, Don Williams, the gentle giant, was elected. He certainly deserves to get in and I was somewhat suprised by his election as I thought there were other performers from his era who were equally strong, but were more in the public eye than Don. But, what a great voice and what great songs he had.
The modern era candidates include performers who have been in the business for 20 years or more. After electing Vince Gill, I like the fact that the voters have been electing members from this category who have been around for a while and have "waited their turn." While Vince is certainly Hall of Fame worthy, I thought he got in too soon. Don Williams was elected over other eligible candidates such as Reba McEntire, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis. Ronnie Milsap also received consideration.
Congratulations to all the new members.