Sunday, April 7, 2013

CMA To Live Stream Hall of Fame Announcement On Wednesday

As they have done previously, the Country Music Association has announced that they will live stream the Hall of Fame announcement on Wednesday April 10 at 9:00 am, Central Time. If you go to the CMA website, it will provide you with the direct link. Bill Anderson will be the host and has the honor of making the formal announcement. This will be Bill's first year, as Kix Brooks has handled that role in the past.

As a reminder, there will be 3 selected to the Hall this year:

Modern Era (eligible for induction in this category 20 years after they first achieve national prominence)

Veterans Era (eligible for induction in this category 45 years after they first achieve national prominence)

Non-Performer (active prior to 1980 and this is a rotating category)

As I do each year, and I might add with some success, here are my final picks on this year's class. ( I always break it down who I think should get in and who actually will get in).

Non-Performer: All indications this year are that Buddy Killen is the favorite. This former bass player at the Grand Ole Opry has done it all. He was a music producer and publisher. He helped to grow Tree Publishing into one of the largest in Nashville. The list of  those he has worked for is endless. He was one of those who helped to make Nashville into Music City USA. I think his closest competition will come from producer Tony Brown. Much like Buddy, Tony has deep roots as a music producer and was the involved with some of Nashville's biggest stars of the 1980s and 1990s. He has been one of the power players in Nashville. As far as who I think should get elected, it would be a gentleman who is not even on the ballot and that is Cowboy Jack Clement. He is nothing short of an icon in Nashville and can trace his roots back to Sun Records and Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

Who Should Be Elected: Cowboy Jack Clement

Who Will Be Elected: Buddy Killen

Veterans Era: This is always a difficult category just from the number of worth candidates that are out there. And this year is no different with several groups actually trying to influence the voters on behalf of their favorites. One of the most active has been by people supporting Dottie West. Dottie is certainly deserving and the effort has been amazing, but all indications are that the effort came up short. The consensus is that it is down to 2 favorites. The first is The Browns, and there is no question that they deserve election. While everyone remembers the great songs that The Browns had, their careers were relatively short. They came into prominence in the late 1950s and by the late 1960s, they were done. While they would appear together on occasion, their recording careers had ended. Jim Ed Brown has continued to carry on and a case can be made that he should be a Hall of Famer. The other favorite this year is Bobby Bare. What is interesting is that when the various "finalist" lists were being published, he was not listed in one of them. He has been a finalist in the past and his career speaks for itself, and in fact in many ways is similar to other Hall of Famers such as Tom T Hall and Mel Tillis. Bobby is still active around Nashville and continues to be popular with the folks.

Who Should Be Elected: The Browns

Who Will Be Elected: Bobby Bare

Modern Era: The debate in this category is always "are we electing someone too soon?" Last year it was Garth Brooks that was the subject of this question and this year it is Alan Jackson. Garth was certainly deserving and could not be overlooked. But is Alan in the same class as Garth, and if he is, will this continue a trend of electing more of the artists from that era while overlooking those from the 1970s and 1980s, and having those folks wait until they fall into the veterans category? Alan's competiton is from Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys and Ronnie Milsap. All of these are very close to being in the veterans class, and depending on how the CMA determines, "prominence", they could be on that ballot next year. There is no question that all 4 are deserving and will get in some day. The question is which one this year. For what it is worth, I think the voters are going to take a step back and go with an icon from the 1970s and 80s, which would be Kenny Rogers. And while I have nothing to base this on, I think one of the reasons for the delayed announcement this year was Kenny's touring schedule. It just seems "funny" that this week there is a break in his touring.

Who Should Be Elected: Oak Ridge Boys

Who Will Be Elected: Kenny Rogers

No matter who is elected, all the names mentioned are deserving. My own personal view is that I would like to see the older artists elected so they can enjoy the honor before passing away. Like everyone else, I will be watching on Wednesday morning.


  1. Hey Guys I Can't Wait For Wednesday So That Person Who Keeps Commenting About The Hall Of Fame And Starts Every Word With A Capital Letter Can Finally Stop Speculating On Who Will Be Elected!

    -I mean that in a friendly joking manner, hopefully no one will be upset. Thank you Bryon for such an interesting and insightful blog, and to all the Opry fans who add their comments!

  2. Fred, Bismarck:

    I would choose Kenny Rogers -- granted, not that "country," overall, but with a couple of the all-time great songs in his catalog, in "Lucille" & "The Gambler", and with the 40-year track record.

    And Johnnie & Jack, one of the nominees. A lost cause, I am sure, given the modern state of country, but what the hey.

  3. I still say a posthumous category as well as the other categories.Just once I like to see that happen.

  4. I think the Oaks are off the road this week, too. But I couldn't object to anyone Byron picked as the choice or as deserving. I would dispute one thing. Alan Jackson has had the longer career because Garth took time off, but when you talk about impact on the industry, I don't think Alan ranks with him, and that's why I suspect he, unlike Garth, would have to wait.

  5. Thank you for your wonderful Hall of Fame article, Byron. I agree with you on this most likely being the year Kenny Rogers is elected to the HoF. Not only with his 40 yr. musical career (starting with The First Edition), but also the Gambler movies, internationally & Kenny has toured with Dolly Parton & Dottie West & they were some huge tours back in the day. I saw Kenny & Dottie when a local venue opened up almost 40 years ago (George Burns was also on the bill) they were all just fabulous. It is too bad the two of them can't go in together.

    I wouldn't be upset in the least if the Oaks went into the Hall. The group itself started in gospel music & eventually evolved into what they are today. And Bobby Bare? No problem for me either. He's terrific & is a great songwriter too. It is like I posted previously, we can kick around all those who are eligible & who isn't worthy because of their contribution to the music & industry?

    Also, there are few artists that go straight into the stratosphere such as Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Taylor Swift & Shania Twain (not a fan of either women) & even the "Urban Cowboy" movement come to mind & no, Alan Jackson never had "that type" of career but he has also written some of the best country songs ever. In my opinion, Alan Jackson & Vince Gill & Dean Dillon are three of the most prolific songwriters in modern day country music. His early work is the best, in my opinion. One of my favorite songs by Alan Jackson is "Drive" - reminds me of my Dad teaching me how to drive - even down to my Dad constantly reminding me to "slow down, who do you think you are, Mario Andretti?" And to this day, I can hear his voice reminding me to do something that has never "stuck" - slow down - true, true ... :-)

    Besides the CMA's in November (wish they would put the show back in October AND back at the Opry House but they won't - $$$$$ tells me so) the Hall of Fame announcement is by far the BEST day in country music & I will be thrilled for those who have been elected. And I like the idea of Whisperin' Bill Anderson being the emcee - I really like Kix Brooks & I know how entrenched he is in the Country Music Association but there is just something to be said about a Hall of Famer making the announcement. (Maybe one day Brooks & Dunn will be elected into the Hall.)

    I certainly will be watching on Wednesday. To me, it is as good as sitting in the Ford Theatre, of which no one but industry people would get to sit in anyway.

    Enjoy the announcement everyone!


  6. The Next Modern Inductees Will Be Kenny Rogers Ronnie Milsap And Alan Jackson(I Really Just Cant See The Oaks Ricky Skaggs Or Randy Travis Getting Inducted Before Alan Alan Has Done More For Country Music More Album Sales More #1 Hits More CMA Awards And More CMA Nominations Than The Oaks Ricky And Randy Even Though A Lot Of Folks In Nashville Dont Care For Alan And The Way Alan Has Treated Some Of His Fellow Musicians Alan Will Get In Before The Oaks Ricky And Randy Alan Will Get Inducted In 2015 Just After Kenny Rogers Gets In This Year And Ronnie Milsap Gets In Next Year Which I Expect It Will Happen

  7. It appears to be Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, and Cowboy Jack Clement. All deserving, no question.

  8. Here it is:


  9. You can call me shocked that Buddy Killen didn't make the cut. I mean seriously shocked. But Jack Clement has had an equally historic career, is very popular guy with everybody in town and has been on a lot of people's radar over the past few years. So, once again, three very deserving honorees. And now...let the discussion about 2014 begin. (Kidding! I think. :P )

  10. You were 2 for 3 in your Hall of Fame picks, Byron - good for you! All very deserving people are going in. Again, who can argue many, if anyone that is eligible? Talent is talent ... bottom line.

    I have waited until today's announcement to share my observation. I am not sure if anyone else has noticed, as I have, how many artists have been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame after being "artist in residence" which is a Country Music Hall of Fame program held usually in August. The Hall of Fame has had the artist in residence feature for about a dozen years.

    Each year, the museum invites a noted artist or musician to give a series of performances in the Ford Theater. This artist or musician has a strong connection to country music or has a sense of country music's contribution in general to American culture.

    “For this honor, we single out a bona fide master craftsman who can be credited with a large and exemplary body of musical work,” said Museum director Kyle Young in introducing Miller. “To these masters, we offer our stage for the creation of intimate and unique musical experiences of their choice.”

    Not until Connie Smith was the artist in residence & was then elected to the Hall last year did "my radar go up." It was then that I had remembered Vince Gill doing this residency & he is now a Hall of Famer, though he did his residency in 2007 & elected two years later. I said to myself "hhmmm!" Now Kenny Rogers has been elected & he was the artist in residence last August. So now I am really saying wow.

    The entire list of the artists who have done the artist in residence comprises of Buddy Miller, Cowboy Jack Clement, Earl Scruggs, Tom T. Hall, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Connie Smith & Kenny Rogers - seven of ten are Hall of Famers. The only one to have performed at the residence after he was elected to the Hall of Fame is Earl Scruggs. Maybe I am onto something, but then again, probably not as much as I would like to think I am. haha! :-) I just think this is very interesting.

    While I am absolutely thrilled for all who are entering the Hall of Fame this year - maybe next year a woman, or two, will go in. It isn't for the lack of women to go in. I have always read & have known that country music is pretty much male dominated. Since 2008, there have been five women elected to the Hall of Fame as compared to a total of 18 men - which, of course, includes all members of the Statler Brothers & includes today's inductees.

    And @Barry - I am not kidding when I say we SHOULD start talking next year's Hall of Fame - not necessarily today but I would say in the next month or so. We should allow these newest inductees some time in the Hall of Fame lime-light!! :-)


  11. I might give it a little longer...the whole exercise makes my head hurt sometimes (but in a good way!). Next year, the "songwriter" category rolls back to the top and that should make for some fun, lively discussion around here for sure!

  12. Jeanene, good point!!!

    As far as my thoughts, I am fine with each one elected. They are all deserving and the Hall of Fame is certainly better off today with Kenny, Cowboy Jack and Bobby as members.

    Cowboy Jack really surprised me as he was not mentioned at all on any of the so-called list of finalists. But as mentioned by others, he has earned his spot. Barry, I agree. I am surprised that Buddy Killen did not get in.

    As far as Bobby Bare, he should have been in long ago. I know there are others just as deserving, such as Dottie West and The Browns, but no complaints from me.

    Same with Kenny Rogers. After electing Garth Brooks last year, I am glad that the voters took a step back and went with an "older" performer. There was some speculation with Alan Jackson, and I am sure he will be the favorite in this category for next year.

    I am disappointed for the Oak Ridge Boys and Ronnie Milsap as they are deserving also. I would not be surprised if next year they end up in the veterans category, which I think will increase their chances. But at the same time, it will make it more difficult for people like The Browns, Dottie West, the Wilburn Brothers and Ray Stevens to get in.

    What I find interesting is that Bobby Bare and Kenny Rogers are about the same age, yet one gets elected from the veterans class and the other from the modern category.

    Congratulations to each of the new members.


    1. Byron, I thought the same thing about the close age of Barre and Rogers.

      Perhaps cause Rogers still so active?

      Whatever the reason all this caused me to start playing a lot of Rogers (and also Milsap) stuff on my piano lately. Really brings back the memories of those great songs.


  13. Hey Guys My Predictions For Next Year
    Songwriter Dallas Frazier
    Veterans Era The Browns
    Modern Era Ronnie Milsap(I Really Just Cant See The Oaks Getting In Before Milsap Ronnie Has Sold More Than 35 Million Albums And Has Had A Amazing 40 #1 Hits Ronnie Has Done More For Country Music Than The Oaks I Love The Oaks With All My Heart And I Love Their Music But They Didnt Quite Have The Success As Milsap Had)

  14. Congratulations to Cowboy Jack, Kenny, and Bobby! All well deserved!

    What are the chances of Marty Stuart making it in the next few years? I was thinking about that the other day and I realized that when he goes in, I believe that would make him and Connie the first husband and wife in the hall of fame. Yes, I know George and Tammy are in, but they were divorced when each went in. Same with A.P. & Sara Carter.


  15. Mass induction for 2014.And you know I'm talking about.Everybody that we have talking about for the last few weeks.Doesn't anybody want that? Oh and don't forget the posthumous category too.You hear me voters???

    1. Don't know if a "mass" induction is necessary, but I'd like to see them do something a little different. Maybe change the modern category to 25-35 years. Then induct an extra act/individual each year, alternating between the veteran and contributor/songwriter categories, bringing the total number of inductees to four. That would (somewhat) address the seeming back-log that builds up, while maintaining the selectiveness of the Hall.
      The list that circulated here of "modern" singers just seemed insane this year – I don't know how the voters settled on any one of them.

  16. What???? NO Ricky Skaggs on the Opry this weekend? Darn - just when I was getting used to him being on both Fri/Sat nights' shows.

    @Johnny - I don't think there will be another mass induction - what they should consider doing is increasing the number to 2 or better yet 3 artists going in the Veterans & the same for the Modern Day categories - this 1 a year is the ridiculous part of it all.

    @A.B. - it may be 4/5 years or more for Marty - hopefully not though. He does belong in the Hall of Fame. And it would be nice for Marty & Connie to be in as a married couple.


  17. Jeanene,

    Did you get to hear Marty with Eddie Stubbs last night? I caught the last hour of what they said was a three hour visit. Great to hear two such knowledgeable and enthusiastic people talk about the music. I take it that Marty has written several gospel songs for a new project by the current day Chuck Wagon Gang.


  18. Congrats to three well deserving individuals. I agree that it was appropriate to "go back" in the modern era category. Nothing against Alan Jackson, but it is laughable to say that he has contributed more than some of the other nominees. His time will come, but he needs to wait his turn.

    It is also interesting that 2 of the 3 weren't even on the "leaked" list of finalists. That does restore some of my faith in the integrity of the process.

    The Dottie West push was interesting to follow, but it does underscore one thing to me, and that is the difference between "fans" and the voters. Fans are certainly not always objective nor do they always see the big picture. The voters are charged with evaluating the careers of many talented artists and determining which are truly the cream of the cream. That's a tough job.

    I like Dottie West, Jan Howard, Jack Greene, etc. as much as anyone but to say that they were groundbreaking or had far reaching influence on the music is something that can and should be debated.

    Someone above mentioned Marty Stuart. I personally have great respect for him and the reverence with which he treats the history of country music. But I can't really justify his inclusion in the Hall based on his career. He doesn't have that many hits and his writing, producing, etc. aren't above that of others. He is a great historian but so were Otto Kittsinger, Charles Wolfe, etc. He is a talented musician but so were Leon Rhodes, Jerry Reed, Don Rich, and so many others.

    When the Hall becomes a popularity contest (as some can argue that it was when it first started) it will lose a lot of relevance.

  19. Hi Jim,

    Unfortunately I heard the last 15 minutes - something came up last minute & I was unable to listen in. Yes, I did hear that Marty has written some songs for the current day Chuck Wagon Gang. The "Gang" were on his show last season. Old black & white film of the original "Gang" was shown & then the new group sang - they were terrific. This is what I love about Marty's show - he gives us a country music lesson every week of some type of music, traditional, gospel, bluegrass - he's ALL over the roadmap with his offerings.

    Not sure if WSM archives in-studio interviews. When Eddie & Marty get together they have such a blast on the radio & it is a blast to listen to. A couple of years ago, Connie was there too - one would never have known that, until Eddie said she was there, close to the end of the 3 hour interview with Marty. She just sat there & listened to the two of them, she probably wouldn't have been able to get in a word edgewise - haha!!!! I know Marty will be back in-studio with Eddie in a month or so to announce his Late Night Jam line-up - I hope to attend this year - I won't attend Fan Fair - Marty's Late Night Jam kicks Fan Fair off. All I want to do is sit in the awesome Ryman Auditorium & listen to some great music.

    Tonight, Marty's sister, Jennifer, & some or all of the Tennessee Mafia Jug band will be in-studio with Marcia Campbell - the gal that follows Eddie's show at midnight. They are on during the first hour of her "Allnighter" show -they are going to discuss Miss Hilda's book of photographs she has taken of her family from when they were young - (Miss Hilda is Marty & Jennifer's Mom.) Not sure I can stay awake for that, though I would love to.


  20. Speaking of Hall voters. Just who does vote on nominees? And how many people vote?

  21. I think the one thing we can say is that there will be no mass inductions anytime soon. It didn't go well the 1st time they did it and outside of some of us, I don't think there is a demand to do it. Like others, I would like to see some of the categories open up a bit and the CMA is pretty good at doing that every couple of years, so there is hope.

    Regarding Marty Stuart, I think he will get consideration for the Hall of Fame as the years go on. I agree that he didn't have the "big" career like so many others, but he has made considerable contributions to country music and in helping to preserve the history of the music. And he has been heavily involved in the industry.

    Regarding Dottie West, I did find it interesting that there were at least 2 facebook pages, and maybe more, devoted to getting her elected to the Hall. People did notice, but as was pointed out, the fans do not do the voting. While I am sure it was noticed by the voters, at the same time, I am pretty sure all of the voters know who Dottie West is and what she did during her career. And she might one day get elected.

    As far as who the voters are, I think the Hall of Fame voters enjoy being unknown. Or perhaps it is the threat of losing their voting privilages that keep them quiet. I don't know. What I do not is that the entire CMA membership does not have a Hall of Fame vote. At one time it was about 100 or so of its members that had a Hall of Fame vote. Not sure of the number now.

  22. Do all the living current members of the HOF have a vote (presumably all are also members of the CMA)? I can certainly respect the voters wanting privacy. If their identities were known they would be the subject of unwanted lobbying and pressure. And you can imagine what overzealous fans would do to them?

    Regarding Dottie West, do the readers of this blog think some of the resistance to her is due to some of her controversial behaviors like her appearance in an adult magazine pictorial and the "cougar" behavior? I'm not passing judgement either way but that may impact voters.

    My personal opinion is that there are many more worthy artists who should get in first. Ronnie Milsap has over 3 dozen #1 records and should be a no-brainer. The Wilburns had hit records, an influencial TV show, and were successful on the business side. Politics may keep them out but certainly HOF worthy. Then there are the producers, sidemen, session musicians, etc. where a lot of people who aren't household names contributed immensely to the music.

    Rather than a mass induction which I agree would cheapen the honor if done excessively perhaps the CMA would be wise to consider adding a 4th category that could be open to any individual from any facet of the business. The rotating categories could be kept but it isn't just the singers that have a backlog. For example, inducting a musician every 3 years means that the Don Riches and John Hueys of the world are going to be kept waiting a long time.

  23. I agree with 2-3 people in every category as well as a posthoumous category. That will get rid of that backlog.

  24. Well if the voters are keeping Dottie out because of some things she did in her life then they are hypocrites when some other hall of famers have did some pretty outrageous things. I really can't understand Dottie's omission when she was so well liked among her contempories. Kenny Rogers even said after learning of his induction he'd like to see Dottie make it in there too because she deserves it maybe even more so than him and that her and Dolly parton were true friends, and that's saying a lot.

  25. Anon, I don't think Dottie's "behavior," whatever it may have been, is having an effect. The only times behavior seems to have played a role is when the artist has been personally offensive to some people, or not likable, in the way that--let's face it--Webb Pierce and Faron Young were. I don't think Dottie made anybody particularly mad. I really think the problem for her is that she is no longer with us. I think they are trying to get living veterans, which is why I agree that the Browns are very likely next year. The Wilburn Brothers and Archie Campbell should be no-brainers, but they are gone, and I think that's a problem for them.

  26. I would also say that I have never heard of any mention of Dottie's behavior or image having anything to do with her not getting elected into the Hall. In fact, looking back at some of the pictures of her from that era, they are pretty tame by today's standards. I would agree with Mike that I have never heard of anyone not liking Dottie. You hear Kenny Rogers, Steve Wariner, Larry Gatlin among others saying nothing except positive things about her. I can remember that toward her final years, she was on Hank Snow's Opry segment a lot and he gave her warm introductions.

    Now politics is a different story. As mentioned above, we all know about Faron Young and Webb Pierce, and there have been others. The Wilburn Brothers have had a difficult time and there are some who will tell you that Ray Stevens is on that "list". Many of the voters are older and have a "long" memory when he comes to many of these things. While not right, that just makes the Hall of Fame like many other Halls. When you have voters and personalities involved, you get this.

    As far as Hall of Famers having a vote, I am pretty sure that it is not an automatic when you get elected. I know that only a small segment of CMA voters actually vote on the Hall of Fame.

  27. Hey Fayfare On Hall Of Fame Politics Besides Faron Young Webb Pierce The Willburns And Ray Stevens Theres Also Ricky Skaggs And Alan Jackson There Have Been Times That Ricky Has Not Been The Nicest Person In Nashville And He Can Be Difficult And He Has Been Called Pickly Ricky And We All Know About AJ Many Nashville People Dont Care For Him And Alan Has Made Comments On How He Has Treated Some Of His Fellow Artists

  28. I've been out of pocket and have not put my two cents worth in. I love the 2013 inductees. Bobby Bare is one of my personal favorites. His music seems to be picking up with the younger generation as well. Kenny Rogers, a mega star, like him or not he brought listeners to Country Music that would have not got there elsewhere. He belongs. "Cowboy" Jack Clement would have been my pick for 2013, but was not included on any of the "lists". All three are well deserving. No mistakes here by the electors.

    Who's left? Dottie West? yes... She belongs, it is just going to take time, but it will happen. I'm still in favor of a posthumous category. I was hoping Kenny would have mentioned his duet partner, but he did not. He may at the induction. Dottie West, Jerry Reed, The Wilburn Brothers, Archie Campbell and Johnnie & Jack are deceased artists that should go in at some point. Willie's Roadhouse DJ, Wade Jesson gave his opinion that he felt that Hank Locklin and Stonewall Jackson will be in the Hall of Fame at some point in the future. Those are two names you do not see tossed around much on Hall of Fame discussions. In all reality there is no reason why The Browns are not already in. Maybe 2014.

    I'm with Byron, I believe we'll see artists such as Ronnie Milsap, Hank Williams, Jr., Crystal Gayle, Ray Stevens and others slowing getting elected from the Veterans category over the next few years. The Oak Ridge Boys should still go in the Modern Category as well as Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis... then we are going to see Alan Jackson (maybe next year?), Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith. Somewhere Tanya Tucker needs to be considered. As well as Gene Watson and Vern Gosdin. Those two particular artists are favorites among fans and singers, and I think they both will make it in someday.

    What makes the Country Music Hall of Fame special is that it is exclusive. And aside from less than 5 (I would say) questions marks and head scratches, it is the "best of the best" of the Country Music genre.

  29. Hey Guys After The Inductions Of Ronnie Milsap The Oak Ridge Boys Ricky Skaggs Randy Travis Alan Jackson And Brooks & Dunn I Think Tim McGraw Will Get In Before Toby Keith The Reason Why That Tim Will Get In Before Toby Is Because Of Tobys Relationship With The CMA The CMA Does Not Like Toby And Toby Does Not Like The CMA Also Tim Has Sold More Records And Has Had More #1 Singles Than Toby