Friday, August 31, 2012

Hall of Fame Article-Tennessean

For those who receive the Nashville Tennessean, or who read it on line, Peter Cooper today has written an article regarding the Country Music Hall of Fame and who should be in. A great article that hits a lot of the points that we have discussed right on the head and I am sure it will create some good discussion. If you get a chance, please read it and I look forward to everyone's comments.


  1. Fred in Bismarck:

    Thanks for the ref, Byron.

    I will say a few things:

    1. Cooper hangs his article from Dottie West. No way would I, for one, favor West for the Hall.

    The Hall should be for special talents. To me, West was just another vocalist, with no great songs, written or sung, that have entered the all-time repertoire. Neither was her music especially "country." Did anyone ever hear a great fiddle or steel break on a Dottie West record?

    2. Admit everybody to the Hall -- and just about everybody has SOMEBODY out there beating the drum for him -- and what do you need a Hall for?

    3. Repeat to yourself a few names ... such as Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff ... and ask yourself if your candidate is in the same ballpark. He doesn't have to be in the box seats with the aforenamed -- bleachers are OK. But he should be in the same ballpark.

  2. Paper Mansions, Here Comes My Baby, Country Sunshine and the first woman in Country Music to ever win a Grammy. How is that for a start. You don't know what you are talking about.You listen to this stuff that is called Country music now and it makes you appreciate how good she was.

    1. ...and as far as the comment about hearing a great fiddle or steel break on a Dottie West record? How does the fiddle lick on "Last Time I Saw Him" grab you? Johnny Gimble I think?

  3. I agree .I hardly ever listen to countrymusic now.Well,some is good and most is not.That's why I love the old timers.

  4. I guess there are 2 ways you can look at this. You can consider the Country Music Hall of Fame exclusive, where only the "best-of-the-best" are inducted, limiting it to the true country music giants and difference makers, such as Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, etc., or you consider the Hall of Fame non-exclusive in the sense that you allow in not only the "best-of-the-best" but just simply "the-very-good" or those who were country music stars and not superstars.

    When the Hall of Fame started out, I do believe that it was exclusive, but over the years, in my opinion, that line has been crossed. While all of the artists in the Hall of Fame were very good and were stars, not all were superstars, and I think there are several that you can ask the question, "why did they get elected?" And that question holds not only for the musicians that are in the Hall, but also for the non-performers that have been elected through the years.

    If you look at all of those who Peter Cooper listed in the article, I think he named many that the only way they should see the Hall of Fame is if they pay admission at the door. I mean Bob Dylan? Great performer, but not country, and in my opinion, not a country influence.

    As far as Fred's arguments concerning Dottie West, and they are all good. But I would compare Dottie West and her career to that of one of the newest inductees, Connie Smith. You can make the argument that Dottie had a similiar career to that of Connie, with the difference being that Dottie passed away at an earlier age. (Connie of course, still alive and well). But I will say that in Dottie's favor, she had the duets with Kenny Rogers and she did bring young people, such as Steve Wariner and Larry Gatlin, into the business and helped them to build their careers.

    I think this article by Peter, and the email from Ron Harman, who I know, is probably the first shot to be fired in the campaign to get her elected to the Hall next year, as the preliminary voting will be starting up soon.

    Does Dottie belong in the Hall of Fame? In my opinion, yes she does, and she would not be the least qualified person to have ever been elected.

  5. Yes, Dottie West deserves a bronze plaque in the Country Music Hall of Fame. It should have already been placed there.

    There was also a recent article in Country Weekly about the Hall of Fame. More recent artists, since the class of 1989. But they did list 5 "older" artists, Ronnie Milsap, Hank, Jr., Ricky Skaggs, Kenny Rogers and Dottie West. Another plug for Dottie.

    As far as Cooper's article here are my thoughts: In a nut shell - TOO MANY. You cannot put that many people into the Hall of Fame and keep the honor "special". Mainstream Country Music is over 80 years old. Think of the people that "should be" inducted according to Cooper's standards. There is not enough bronze in Tennessee to make that many plaques.

    One thing I did notice (and may have overlooked it), I did not see any mention of Archie Campbell. Like Jean Shepard (until 2011), Archie is way over due for induction. Other names I did not see were, Jimmy C. Newman, Stringbean, Bradley Kincaid, Stonewall Jackson and Johnny & Jack. I think a case could be made for Campbell and each of those five.

    Don Rich, Bashful Brother Oswald and Johnny Gimble were not mentioned at all either. They need to be inducted in the sideman/musician category.

    I agree with Cooper on many of his selections for the Veterans Category: West, Bobby Bare, The Browns, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Wilburn Brothers -FOR SURE AND URGENT- and maybe Cowboy Copas, Jack Greene and Skeeter Davis (It would make me happy if they went in, but there are others that should be before those three).

    Modern Category: Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Gatlins, Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson - ALL YES - The missing ones I can think of I did not see listed; Ray Stevens, Vern Gosdin, Gene Watson, Mickey Gilley, Randy Travis, Eddie Rabbitt, Jerry Clower and Anne Murray. We still have a little time on this category. It is the veterans category, to me personally, that needs attention.

    I realize that Bluegrass is virtually missing from the Hall (other than Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs). But I cannot see putting Mac Wiseman in over Jim & Jesse, The Stanley Brothers, The Osborne Brothers or Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper for that matter. Since Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs have been inducted into the CMHF a Bluegrass Hall of Fame has been organized. No doubt, that has been a hindrance in getting the named above inducted into the CMHF.

    Songwriters: Hank Cochran and Dallas Frazier are at the top of my list. Personally, they should have gone in before Bobby Braddock. Curly Putman, Bob McDill, Don Schlitz, (yes) in the future. I would also add Waylond Holyfield.

    I agree there as some artists in the Hall of Fame that I look at and scratch my head. The No. 1 choice (yes, I'm going to name a person) is Johnny Bond??? I ask myself, how did he get elected over Elton Britt & Al Dexter ? Why is Homer & Jethro & The Everly Brothers in and The Wilburn Brothers and Johnny & Jack are not? Vernon Dalhart (I know the first million selling record) and not Bradley Kincaid?

    Some call it the "Hall of Fame" game - Politics. I'm sure that is the case with a lot of it. I personally question the nominating committee and panel of electors. The first thing I would love to know about this nominating committee is this: How old are they? What do they know about the history of Country Music? Who's music are they playing in their vehicle? I think a lot of the frustration of this "Hall of Fame Game" lies in that. With Garth Brooks going in the Hall in 2012 over Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis and The Oaks in that Modern Category, I believe my question has already been answered.

    Great debate. Right up my ally.

  6. I am still not in favor of another mass induction. I like the Veteran, Modern, Rotating categories, but I believe there is a LARGE need for a posthumous category. This would give the Hall 4 inductions a year. Maybe more, in cases of a tie, which has happened several times in the past.

  7. David, I agree and I have mentioned it before, but I am not in favor of a mass induction either. I think it takes away from the Hall of Fame and I also think that when you elect that many, the inductees do not get their due. Perhaps instead of only electing 1 in each category, the should go to a system like the Baseball Hall of Fame or Pro Football Hall of Fame has and if an artist gets a certain percentage of the vote, they get in. I know in baseball it is 75% of those voting, while for football it is 80%. While that could mean in some years only 1 person gets in for each category, other years it could be up to 3. Just a thought.

  8. BYRON:
    I have wondered in such cases as The Statler Brothers and Tom T. Hall (2008) and Jimmy Dean and Ferlin Husky (2010) they called a "tie" for those years.

    My question is was the vote really 50/50? Or was the votes so close they just chose to elect both acts? I have never read anything about the procedure in these cases (& others since 1961).

    I do like that idea of the percentage. I am a huge Baseball fan and knew of their procedure. I just never thought of it for the CMHF.

    Do you like the idea of a Posthumous or not? I believe there should be one.

    Here is a list of some deceased acts I have seen floating around in the last few years (I'm not saying I personally think all need to be inducted, but apparently there are many out there that do):
    Scope of time throughout the genre; From the 1920's through the 1990's: Bradley Kincaid, Stringbean, Elton Britt, Al Dexter, Cowboy Copas, Johnny & Jack, Mother Maybelle & The Carter Sisters, The Wilburn Brothers, Skeeter Davis, Archie Campbell, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Wynn Stewart, Dottie West, Jerry Reed, Johnny Paycheck, Jerry Clower, Charlie Rich, John Denver, Vern Gosdin, Eddie Rabbitt and Keith Whitley.

    Unless a posthumous category is developed the only acts listed above that remotely has a chance of getting in are Eddie Rabbitt, Vern Gosdin, Jerry Reed, Dottie West, Archie Campbell and The Wilburn Brothers. And a few of them are BIG maybe.

    The electors, I don't believe, are going to vote for the deceased act over the living.

  9. Also, I see something else coming into effect in the next few years, that to me, is going to cause some BIG problems: Hank, Jr., Jerry Reed and Lynn Anderson could all "officially" be inducted from the Veterans category already. Within the next 3-5 years so could Ray Stevens, Anne Murray, Johnny Paycheck, Jerry Clower, Ronnie Milsap, Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker and Mickey Gilley.

    I cannot stress how VITAL it is going to be on acts such as, The Browns, Bobby Bare, Jimmy C. Newman, Jerry Lee Lewis (and George Hamilton IV, Jack Greene & Stonewall Jackson, if you think those three belong in the CMHF), to be inducted NOW! Personally, I believe, with those superstars of the 1970's hot on their heels, the next few years is going to be their only hope of getting inducted.

  10. David: The line between being in the veterans category and the modern category is pretty thin. Ronnie Milsap was listed in the modern category last year and he is 69 years old. I know that it involves when the artist's career started, but I think the argument can be made that if Ronnie was already in the veterans category, he would be in.

    I also believe that with the election of Garth Brooks in the modern category, coming after the election of Reba McEntire, that it is going to open the door for Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, The Judds and a few others who came from the late 1980's. I have already heard that Alan could be the favorite in that category next year. Randy's chances have gone down thanks to his recent legal issues. And you are right that with the emphasis on those artists, the others in that category such as the ones listed from the 1970s, are going to have it tough. And when they are in the veterans category with those from the 1960s and 1950s, that will push those artists back.

    Of those you have listed, I would say yes to The Browns, and even Jim Ed individually, Bobby Bare and George Hamilton IV. I don't think you will see Jimmy C Newman or Stonewall Jackson ever elected.

    As far as a posthumous category, I can see some merit in that, but I still think it hurts the older artists. One reason why they changed the veterans category a few years ago was that many of the voters thought there were no longer any strong candidates from before World War II to elect. Of course most of the voters are younger and have no idea of the careers many of those prior to World War II had. And with hardly anyone left to campaign for them, their chances continue to diminish.

  11. I read all of the above posts and I do agree with most of them.Now in regard to the posthumous and sidemen category I still say it's high time for those two categories to be included.Induct 3-4 from the posthumous category and 2-3 sidemen every year.Do that every year until everybody is in.For the modern category,induct 3-4 every year.

  12. If the younger voters don't know the veterans,then they should read country music history.

  13. The Baseball Hall of Fame started in 1936,while the old Negro Leagues players was not inducted till 1971,35 years later.The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was started in 1986,but the sidemen category was started in 2000,14 years later.Wake up CMA.

  14. Hey Fayfare Dont Forget Soon Within The Next 3-5 Years The Modern Category Could Be Full Of Stars That Hit It Big In The Mid-Late 90s Like Shania Tim McGraw Martina McBride Faith Hill Toby Keith And Kenny Chesney As Well As Brooks And Dunn Although They Hit It Big A Little Earlier Than The Rest

  15. I've been away at a cabin in the Sierra Nevada with some friends, and it turns out that we left some stuff outside and a bear tried to get into it. A bear. Is that an omen for a certain country singer who belongs in the Hall of Fame?

    The Hall of Fame always has been political. To me, the classic case was a deserving inductee, Rod Brasfield, whom Minnie Pearl campaigned for on the grounds that he should not be "forgotten." I can't imagine saying no to Minnie Pearl. But he went in ahead of a bunch of deserving people who were alive to smell the roses (I always think of Marty Robbins saying as he was inducted that others deserved it more but he was going to take it--and he was gone a couple of months later). Rod Brasfield got in ahead of Webb Pierce, and I believe Byron has mentioned that some in country music said they would never put Webb in while he was alive because he was so personally unpopular. Well, that's just wrong. Johnny mentions the baseball hall of fame. NOBODY liked Ty Cobb, and he was one of the first ones in, but I know of some in baseball who were kept out because some voters disliked them or put in because voters liked them personally.

    So, it will always be this way. I wouldn't object to another mass induction of 10 or so, but it may be that the solution is to loosen the categories and induct each year for a decade or so?

    I would add that I think Dottie West is deserving, but here's where Fred's opinion raises a great point: all of us have different opinions. I confess, I've wanted it to go to Jimmy C. Newman for a long time, since he was my mother's absolute favorite, and I thought, well, can he really compete with some of the names mentioned? I think he's done more for country music than Hank Jr. and Ronnie Milsap. Let the argument begin!

    1. Michael:
      You certainly will not get ANY arguments out of me about Jimmy C. Newman. I believe his career is Hall of Fame worthy.

      I have been following the Hall of Fame inductions since the early 90's. I had never really considered Newman for the Hall of Fame before Jean Shepard's 2011 acceptance speech. After her speech I began to research his career.
      Some qualifications (I Believe) are:
      (1) First and for most he has been an Opry member for 56 years. That is right behind Bill Monroe and Jean Shepard (I believe), and exceeds Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Grandpa Jones, Porter Wagoner and Minnie Pearl. His faithfulness as a member those 56 years is almost unmatched as well.

      (2) He had 31 charted hits between 1954 and 1969; 12 of which hit the Top 10 (which exceeds Hall of Famers, Ferlin Husky, Jimmy Dean, Bill Carlisle, Jean Shepard, Flatt & Scruggs, The Louvin Brothers, Homer & Jethro, Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson, The Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee and Roger Miller).

      (3) The Cajun Music itself: The Hall of Fame has already enshrined other "sub-genres" of Country Music; Bluegrass (Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs), Rockabilly (Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee), Gospel (The Jordanaires), Comedy (Minnie Pearl, Brasfield, Duke Of Paducah, Homer & Jethro); Where is Cajun? Who better to be inducted as the first artist of this genre than Jimmy C. Newman? Rusty and Doug Kershaw run a very good second in the race. Also, like fellow Hall of Famer Don Williams, Newman has a very large fan following in Europe.

      (4) Influence; Several have commented on Newman's influence. Hall of Famers Dolly Parton and Tom T. Hall boast of Newman helping their careers. Many top notched songwriters also came through his co-owned publishing company.

      To me, it's a NO BRAINIER: For future LIVING inductees in the Veterans Category, right behind The Browns and Bobby Bare, and just a notch above Jack Greene and Stonewall Jackson, should be Jimmy C. Newman. If you went on longevity with the genre he would go in before all of them.

  16. Fred again:

    Michael, it would be nice to have a representative of Cajun in the Hall, because Cajun is real country roots music and Jimmy 'C' its highest-profile rep (except possibly Doug Kershaw) and with a LONG career in country music.

    Strictly on the merits, I don't know. But what the 'merits' should consist of is a question in itself. I don't think a big accumulation of radio hits -- a la Conway Twitty, for example -- should be the criterion. What if the radio hits were a bunch of Tin Pan Alley or Music Row sludge? So please don't give me people like Faith Hill or Tim McGraw. Ugh. Nobody is going to be singing their music in 20 years.

    Grandpa Jones is in the Hall, and he had only one or two radio hits after the 1940s. Yet few, I think, would argue he doesn't belong.

    Yeah, we could have a barroom brawl.

  17. Fred P.S.:

    Michael, I made it sound as if it was you who boosted Faith Hill & Co. Not knocking the one who did, but just to let you know I know it wasn't you!

  18. Fred, I didn't think you were! David, you make a far better case than I did, and I agree with you--I AGREED with you before.

    Fred, you make a great point, and I'll jump to something that came up earlier, related to Cooper's blog. How DO we choose them? I mean, not the voting, but the justification. Cooper mentioned Dylan. I don't think he influenced Nashville, though he did come there to record and promoted country in the process. Elvis is in there, and I don't think of him as a country icon, but an argument can certainly be made on his behalf. I think the Hall of Fame should reward hit careers, but also influence. Jimmy C. didn't have a lot of BIG songs in the charts, though he consistently got in the charts (nothing like, say, Hank Snow), and he had a big impact in other ways. Compare that with George Strait. I'm not knocking him at all, and his career has been incredible. But I don't know that he has started or really boosted careers in the same way that Jimmy C. or, to name the all-time champion, Ernest Tubb did; I'm not sure he singlehandedly kept Texas swing before the world. But Strait has stayed up in the charts for about 35 years, and that's an incredible achievement, and he's stayed country. I'm fine with him being in the Hall of Fame, but the case could be made that, well, he just made a lot of songs--much, it would appear, like Conway Twitty, whose membership I don't question, either. They just show that there are a lot of ways to approach this.

    Fred mentioned Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. If you evaluate them on that standard, they may wind up there. But that seems to be all they've got, you know?

  19. I know what you are saying Michael. These artists of today, that grew up in the 1980's, lists people like Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Whitney Houston as influences. Where is Ricky Skaggs? Earl Thomas Conley ? and The Judds ?

    Within 10 to 15 years an artist may only get in the Hall of Fame upon their numbers. (i.e., McGraw, Hill, McBride, Twain..etc)

    In the defense of Conway Twitty (who happens to be one of my top five favorites of all time), he did influence and boost the careers of several people; The Bellamy Brothers (took them on the road in the late 1970's), Vince Gill (used him for background vocals on his records in the mid-to late 1980's), Ronnie McDowell (took on the road and pitched several songs his way), Naomi Judd (included her on his 1983 album cover), Earl Thomas Conley (his first songwriting hit, "This Time I've Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me"), Becky Hobbs (songwriting hit, "I Want To Know You Before We Make Love"). Newer artists, Kenny Chesney, Daryl Singletary and Jeff Bates all lists Conway as a major influence (and Bates sounds so much like him it is almost unreal). Unlike George Strait, Conway was also in the Nashville scene more. Strait basically comes to Nashville to record and attend the CMA awards. Conway would appear on Ralph Emery a lot on TNN, was always at Fan Fair, and don't forget for years his fans were literally in his back yard at "Twitty City".

    But for Conway his 55 No. 1 records and millions of record sales would have put him in the Hall of Fame regardless. But it is always good to see the artists' influence in the life's of the next generation as well.

  20. David, you make a great series of points about Conway Twitty, and I certainly wasn't questioning his credentials--I think he deserved to be in there. I think George Strait does, too. I think a lot of names are tossed around because they simply lasted, and we'll get to the point that only one-hit wonders will be excluded, and we probably can make a case for them, too!

  21. Michael:
    Jean Shepard gave reference to six acts in her 2011 speech: The Browns, The Wilburn Brothers, Jimmy C. Newman, Skeeter Davis, Leroy Van Dyke and Mac Wiseman as possible future inductees.

    Right then I agreed with her on two of them: The Browns & The Wilburn Brothers; Doing research, I can now also VERY STRONGLY agree on Jimmy C. Newman; A large case could be made for Skeeter Davis as a pioneering female act, but not before Dottie West; I believe a lesser case is made for Mac Wiseman, who is a great traditionalist, but I would put in other Bluegrass acts before him (i.e., Osbornes, Jim & Jesse, Stanley's).

    However, Leroy Van Dyke, to me, is one of Country's music (almost) biggest one hit wonders. I realize that "Walk On By" was No. 1 for 19 weeks, but take that away and all you have is two other top tens "The Auctioneer" and "If A Woman Answers (Hang Up The Phone)". He was an Opry member for less than 5 years (I believe, no more I'm certain). He has toured and performed for over 50 years now, but I just cannot see a Hall of Fame career there. I realize Leroy may very well be a good friend of Jean Shepard, but as you said, because they simply have lasted, does not make them Hall of Fame worthy. I would put Stonewall Jackson and Jack Greene (whom Jean did not even mention!) in over Van Dyke without thinking twice.

  22. Fred here:

    I think Mac Wiseman stands head and shoulders above everybody else on Shepard's list except for Jimmy 'C' (whom I rate below Mac but still consider Hall-worthy). But some of this campaigning, especially by insiders like Shepard, does serve the Hall poorly, in my opinion, conferring membership on some some pretty long shots.

    For instance: The insiders are supposed to love Brenda Lee, who is a very nice person by most reports, had a fair pop run but whose country career was almost non-existent. One day everybody who loves Brenda personally will be dead, and students of the Hall will be left to wonder, "What is she doing in here?"

    Or, worse yet, they'll just assume Brenda must have the same creds as Kitty Wells.

    According to Byron, if I recall, Shepard probably owes her membership mainly to the years-long efforts of Bill Anderson. I think it's reasonable to think that, absent Anderson's campaign, Shepard wouldn't be in the Hall. Is this the way we want to write country-music history?

    Baseball players have to be retired for five years before being considered for baseball's Hall. I would almost rather have our country artists not be eligible until they are deceased. It would sure help reduce the insider personal element, the buddy system, that I feel exerts such an unwholesome influence at this time.

    Just more beer talk from one of the usual suspects, but this is a bar, right?

  23. Fred, you are correct as far as Bill Anderson really pushing to get Jean Shepard elected to the Hall of Fame. And Jean has thanked Bill numerous times for his support. It is a shame that it took someone like a Bill Anderson to have to push to get Jean elected as her career is Hall of Fame worthy. But, like a lot of the older performers, and I have said this before, many of the younger voters just viewed her as the nice old lady who does the Opry each week, and not as the trailblazing female artist of the 1950s.

    But what Bill did has been done before, and has been effective. It has been brought up before that Minnie Pearl had a lot to do with Rod Brasfield getting elected. It has been reported that Lorrie Morgan pushed hard to get her Dad in. And I am sure Marty Stuart pushed Connie Smith front and center with a lot of the voters. And on the other side of the coin, you had many voters who would not vote for either Webb Pierce or Faron Young to get in while they were alive. And Ray Price, Porter Wagoner and Buck Owens all had longer waits than necessary.

    Mac Wiseman's name has been brought up several times, as have other bluegrass performers such as the Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse and The Osbornes. All, in may opinion, are Hall of Fame worthy. But have you noticed that since the IBMA started their own Hall of Fame, that no real bluegrass artists have been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame? It is as if the country voters feel that bluegrass is no longer part of country music.

  24. Mac Wiseman also was on the A&R side with Dot, I believe, so he may have had a behind-the-scenes role to justify his entry. But I think Byron is right: with a bluegrass hall, the chances of more bluegrass acts getting in is debatable.

    While I'm thinking about sidemen, I don't recall seeing reference to Chubby Wise, who was part of the group that invented bluegrass (I think that takes a little too much credit away from Mr. Monroe, but ok, I can see the point), and was with Hank Snow for eons (some would say that would earn him combat pay!), and successful on his own.

    Anyway, back to the point, of course it's political. Leroy Van Dyke was more than just those three hit records, but Hall of Fame caliber? I'm inclined to say no. Jean Shepard shouldn't have needed Bill Anderson's support, and I wouldn't have put in Connie Smith ahead of some others. But I suspect in 1962, a few folks said, "Roy Acuff is still alive. He shouldn't be in."

  25. If I remember right, and I was very young at the time, there was quite an uproar when Eddy Arnold got elected so early, as many people felt that he had turned his back on country music when he started making more easy-listening records and recording in New York instead of Nashville.

  26. I have read that about Eddy Arnold as well. It makes you wonder just who all was on the nominating committee and panel of electors in the 1960's and 1970's. I'm leaning toward a less "traditional" bunch of folks, as artists such as Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves got in before the The Carter Family and Minnie Pearl. Hands down, to me, the first female (individual) to go in the Hall should have been Minnie Pearl, not Patsy Cline. Followed by Kitty Wells.

    "Campaigning" for artists has also been mentioned in recent postings. From what I can read the Carter Family wasn't even considered for nomination until Johnny Cash mentioned they were not members of the Hall of Fame on his TV Show in the early 1970's. Then suddenly they got in (as they should have!).

    In some cases campaigning has not worked. Roy Acuff tried getting Brother Oswald in back in the 1980's. It didn't work. I think he was on the ballot in 1989, I read somewhere, along with Lulu Belle & Scotty, Ted Daffan and Hank Thompson. Thompson got it of course. Also, Grandpa Jones fought hard for years to get Stringbean and Bradley Kincaid inducted. Kincaid was nominated twice and lost to Johnny Cash in 1980 and Roy Rogers in 1988. String, on the other hand, I don't believe has ever been on a ballot (but he should be a member!). So I guess Ole Roy and "Pa" didn't have the same pull as Cousin Minnie. Personally, I couldn't have turned either one of the three down if they would have called and said, "David, I need a favor".

    Notice also that Jimmie Davis got his nod in 1972 and Pee Wee King in 1974, and yet Floyd Tillman (same generation) has to wait until 1984. Tillman had the bigger influence on other artists. In fact a very long line of "Honky-Tonkers", lists him as one of their biggest influences. Sitting here, right now, I cannot think of a single soul, from memory, who lists Pee Wee King or Governor Jimmie Davis as an influence.

    My point is, I believe, from the beginning this whole thing has (in most cases) been political. I'm sure it will remain that way.

  27. David, that is great information and I appreciate it. And it is indeed political. But I think you short-change Pee Wee King a little bit, since his was really the first "uptown" or "professional" group to come out of Nashville, I believe, and he was one of the first, if not the first, to go into television, paving the way for a lot of people. When you consider that it was in his group that Cowboy Copas and Eddy Arnold got started, there's a pretty good case. I confess, I don't see the same kind of story to support Jimmie Davis, and I agree with you that Floyd Tillman deserved it sooner. But at least he got it while he could smell the roses. As for support and favors, part of it, too, may be who is on their minds in a given year. Whitey Ford got in and Minnie may well have made the point that if he was considered a big part of country music, Rod Brasfield was. Who knows?

  28. Michael:
    Good points on Pee Wee King. I had forgotten about the Cowboy Copas and Eddy Arnold connections. And since I posted that earlier today, I do remember Glen Campbell stating that both Pee Wee King and Jimmie Davis were influences of his.
    The point I was trying to make was concerning Floyd Tillman. He had to go in behind Kitty Wells, Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Little Jimmy Dickens and Lefty Frizzell, all of which were (in many cases) several years behind him with the genre. Tillman was in the same boat (having to wait) as Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Carl Smith, Ferlin Husky, Porter Wagoner, Jean Shepard and others. And I do not know how heavily active Tillman was with the Nashville "click". That very well could have hurt his case. If anything, today he is remembered as a Texas music legend.
    I do suspect that with The Duke of Paducah going in the Hall in 1986, that might have been "the last straw" for Minnie. I'm sure that is when she began a strong campaign for Rod Brasfield. I feel, (like Archie Campbell), that The Duke and Rod both belonged in the Hall of Fame. Comedy has been such a vital part of the Country Music genre from the conception. Looking back however, I think the CMA could have included an extra artist in 1986 and 1987, since the backlog was so heavy then.

  29. from Fred:

    Michael mentions Mac Wiseman's A&R work, which started in the late 1950s or early 1960s, as I recall, after he had "dis-banded" and suspended touring in the face of the rock-and-roll onslaught.

    Another interesting thing about Mac -- again, if my memory is good -- is that he was early and active on the board of the fledgling CMA. You'd think that would be a better political help to his Hall chances than it has proved so far.

    Not that I think Mac needs either his A&R or CMA work to justify inclusion in the Hall. Like Grandpa Jones, he may not have had a lot of big sellers after the 1950s, but by golly -- again like Grandpa -- he was never without a recording contract right into the '90s. So somebody (like me) was buying his records all those years.

    A lot of people probably don't know Mac was a hitmaker in the first half of the 1950s, when Dot released a new 45 by him every six weeks. Those were the good old days when it was all COUNTRY music, and bluegrass (whose name wasn't even universal yet) had as good a chance on the radio as anything else.

    I agree with Michael and Byron that establishment of a bluegrass Hall has given Nashville an excuse to pretend 'grass is other than country music. And I would have to agree with Nashville that bluegrass has little in common with what goes by the name of country today.

  30. David, no argument on Floyd Tillman. He may have gone in when he "should have" and maybe not, and I certainly could join your case that he deserved it sooner. At least he got in!

    Fred, I'd add something. Later in his career, someone asked Bill Monroe who his greatest lead singer was. Without hesitating, he said, "Mac." Considering the guy before him was Lester Flatt and the guy after him was Jimmy Martin, not bad. I admit, we could argue that putting him in would be a longevity induction mainly, but he wouldn't be the first.

  31. Throughout the day I have been "googling" the Country Music Hall of Fame. There are articles everywhere about the backlog of artists, songwriters and sidemen.

    There are Facebook pages to elect the following artists; Dottie West, The Stanley Brothers, Johnny Horton, Gram Parsons, Jerry Reed, Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley, Don Helms, Ronnie Milsap and even Buddy Holly. Those are just the ones I found.

    The CMA is constantly getting heat from major newspapers, magazines, other celebrities and TONS of fans.

    Will 2013 be the year the CMA finally decides to look at the election procedure?

  32. I believe there should be more bluegrass acts in the hall of fame.I know Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs are in the Bluegrass hall of fame and Country Music hall of fame.There are several in both Country Music & Rock & Roll halls of fame [Johnny Cash,Hank Williams Sr.,Jimmie Rodgers,Elvis Presley,Brenda Lee.]So the CMA better get off its butt and start putting in more bluegrass in hall of fame starting in 2013 as well as the posthumous and sidemen categories.I say it's about time.

  33. I also believe Cajun should be in the hall of fame starting with Jimmy C. in 2013.

  34. I was looking at my copy of the hall of fame and I noticed someting strange.I counted at least 25 country stars who sang country-pop more often than any other genre.Honky-tonk comes in second at 12.All other genre are far less.Western Swing [2-Bob Wills & Pee Wee King]Hillbilly [3-Grandpa Jones,Vernon Delhart,Uncle Dave Macon]Country Blues [2-Jimmie Rodgers,Hank Williams Sr.]That don't seem right.Sounds like the good old USA likes country-pop more often than any other type of music.Well,I like hillbilly and bluegrass more.

  35. Hey David B I Think The Browns Bobby Bare Kenny Rogers And Hank Williams Jr Will Be Inducted From The Veterans Category Next And Ronnie Milsap The Oak Ridge Boys Randy Travis Ricky Skaggs And Alan Jackson Will Be Inducted From The Modern Category Next

    1. You are properly right. And notice all of the artists you listed are still with us. I'm afraid if a posthumous category is not introduced some (Dottie West, Archie Campbell.etc) will never make it in.

  36. Hey David B If Alan Jackson Gets In Next Year And Brooks And Dunn In 2014 In The Modern Category Will The Voters Bypass The Stars Of The 70s And 80s Like Milsap The Oaks Kenny Rogers Hank Jr Randy Travis And Ricky Skaggs In Favor Of Artists Like Shania Tim McGraw Martina McBride Faith Hill Toby Keith And Kenny Chesney Who All Had Success In The Late 90s-Early 00s Starting In 2015 I Think If Alan Gets In Next Year And Brooks And Dunn The Next Theres A Good Chance It Could Happen Whats Your Opinon David B If The Voters Bypass Those 70s And 80s Stars Following The Inductions Of Alan Next Year And Brooks And Dunn In 2014 In Favor Of Those Late 90s-Early 00s Stars Staring In 2015 If It Does Happen

    1. If Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black..etc.. start going into the hall of fame this early, what will happen is this:

      You will see folks like Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, Mickey Gilley, Crystal Gayle..etc..all elected from the Veterans category. Once it has been 45 years since their first hit record they are eligible in the Veterans category. Hank, Jr., Jerry Reed and Lynn Anderson already are eligible. Anne Murray, Ray Stevens, Milsap, C. Gayle, Tanya T., Gilley..etc. are right behind them.

      Who is going to get hurt is The Browns, Bobby Bare, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc...those living stars from the 1950's & 1960's. They are going to get lost in the shuffle I'm afraid. The ones who are deceased; Archie Campbell, Dottie West, The Wilburn Brothers, might never get in because of this.

      The CMA are always going to want a LIVING inductee for the publicity.

  37. Hey David B I Have This Feeling The Hall Is Going To Change Its Criteria In The Veterans And Modern Categories Currently The Veterans Era Category Is 45 Years After First Achieving National Prominence But I Just Have This Feeling That They Are Going To Change It To 40 Years After First Achieving National Prominence And The Modern Era Category Is 20 Years After First Achieving National Prominence But I Also Have This Feeling That They Are Going To Change It To 15 Years After First Achieving National Prominence So It Can Help Acts Like Shania Tim McGraw Martina McBride Faith Hill Toby Keith And Kenny Chesney I Just Cant See Clint Black Getting Inducted Before Those Six David B

  38. Hey David B My Predictions For Future Inductees
    Veterans Era Bobby Bare & The Browns (Tie)
    Modern Era Alan Jackson
    Veterans Era Dottie West & The Willburn Brothers( Tie)
    Modern Era Brooks & Dunn
    Then In 2015 They Change The Criteria From 45 To 40 Years In The Veterans Category And 20 To 15 Years In The Modern Category And The Categories Are Changed
    Pre-1970 Kenny Rogers
    1970-1995 The Oak Ridge Boys
    1995-Present Shania Twain
    Pre-1970 Hank Williams Jr
    1970-1995 Ronnie Milsap & Randy Travis (Tie)
    1995-Present Tim McGraw
    Then In 2017 They Change Their Categories Again
    Pre-1975 Tanya Tucker
    1975-2000 Ricky Skaggs
    2000-Present Toby Keith

  39. Hey David B The ACM Has Its Own Hall Of Fame Award The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award It Goes To Country Pioneers For Their Outstanding Contributions To The Music Industry Same With The Hall Of Fame Also 50 Out Of The 118 Hall Of Famers Have Gotten This Award As Well As 10 That Are Not Hall Of Famers Yet The 10 Are
    Charlie Daniels
    Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers
    Ronnie Milsap
    The Oak Ridge Boys
    Jerry Reed
    Kenny Rogers
    Ricky Skaggs
    Randy Travis
    Hank Williams Jr
    Dwight Yoakam

  40. I Believe These Acts Should At Least Be Considered For The Modern Category
    Hank Williams Jr (If He Falls Into This Category)
    Ronnie Milsap
    Kenny Rogers
    The Oak Ridge Boys
    Gene Watson
    Tanya Tucker
    Vern Gosdin
    The Judds
    Crystal Gayle
    Anne Murray
    Randy Travis
    Ricky Skaggs
    Charlie Daniels
    Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers
    Ray Stevens
    Mickey Gilley
    Eddie Rabbitt
    They Should All Be Considered For The Hall Before AJ B&D Clint Black.Etc Go In