As many of you have already noted, the 2012 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees will be officially announced Tuesday morning at 9:30am, central time. (that is 10:30am in the east). The announcement is being webcast on the CMA website, so like many others, I will be watching it live.
There are 5 finalists in each category. The finalist list is supposed to be kept private, only known to the voters. I had one voter tell me a few years back that if the list of finalists did get out and the CMA found out who released it, that person would lose their voting right. My thought is that they do not want to make the other finalists who did not get in feel bad. Especially if they are listed year after year. One of the reasons that the CMA stopped doing the Hall of Fame announcement as part of the annual awards show in the fall was that those not elected were complaining about having to dress up and sit on camera and smile at not getting in. I know Minnie Pearl, Kitty Wells and Hank Snow all complained about that.
With that said, for the 2nd time I have seen a list of 5 finalists that has been floating around the internet. I do not know if this is the official list of 5 or not, but I would not be surprised if most of these were correct. Anyways, here we go:
Modern Era: Garth Brooks, Ronnie Milsap, Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers and Ricky Skaggs.
Veteran Era: Archie Campbell, June Carter Cash, Connie Smith, Jerry Reed and Hank Williams, Jr.
Touring Musician: The assumption is that Don Rich will be elected. I do not see any of the 4 other names being floated around.
If these are the 5 finalists, here is how I handicap the vote:
Who Should Be Elected: Ronnie Milsap
Who Probably Will Be Elected: Garth Brooks
Who Should Be Elected: Archie Campbell
Who Probably Will Be Elected: Connie Smith
I know it probably means nothing, but Connie Smith was scheduled to do the Opry on this past weekend but cancelled out and Ronnie Milsap was scheduled to host the Midnight Jamboree, but he also cancelled. Also at the Opry on Saturday night, Jim Ed Brown was reportedly asking if anyone had hear anything regarding the Hall of Fame, so I would say, and I am sorry to say, that The Browns, who should get in, probably won't.
Knowing how these things go, I am probably wrong on all counts, but it is fun to speculate. Good luck to all the nominees. We all have our favorites and they are all deserving!!