Earl Scruggs Center Plans January Grand Opening; The Roys, Joey + Rory Win ICM Awards; Deadly Gentlemen Added to MerleFest Lineup

Juli Thanki | October 25th, 2013

  • The Earl Scruggs Center’s grand opening is scheduled for January 11. You might want to check it out if you’re near Shelby, NC.
  • To All the Girls, which sold 43,000 units in its first week, is Willie Nelson’s 46th Top 10 Country Album. (Dolly Parton is in second place, with 41 Top 10 Country Albums.)
  • Here’s a MusicRow.com interview with John Grady, president of new label I.R.S. Nashville.
  • Eric of Music Tomes interviewed Craig Maki and Keith Cady, authors of Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies.
  • Rhonda Vincent has made a companion album for author Nancy B. Brewer’s new book, The House with the Red Light. The CD includes six songs that Vincent and Brewer wrote as well as six hymns.
  • Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor on what’s changed since the band’s Opry induction: “We look up and down the hallways backstage a little differently. We saw Little Jimmy Dickens, whom we’ve seen and spoken to a number of times. But, now we were a part of the family. It was a powerful feeling. I’ve met Jeannie Seely before, but her welcome into the family was something that never happened before. Being such an avid listener of the Opry for fifteen years, I’ve really come to know who the old guard is. They all came out to welcome us out, like George Hamilton IV.” 
  • Ashley Monroe got married to White Sox pitcher John Danks.
  • Stream the title track of “punky Americana siren” Lydia Loveless’ new EP, Boy Crazy, which will be released November 5 on Bloodshot Records.
  • Martina McBride, Joey + Rory, and The Roys took home Inspirational Country Music Awards. The full list of winners can be found here.
  • Stream Steelism and Andrew Combs’ split 7”.
  • The Black Lillies visited USA Today’s StudioA. (warning: autoplay)
  • YouTube is throwing its hat into the music-subscription ring.
  • Kellie Pickler talks about her forthcoming album, The Woman I Am, in this video interview.
  • Here’s a neat article about Todd Snider, his record label, and his side projects.
  • The Deadly Gentlemen have been added to next year’s MerleFest lineup.
  1. mrsandydog
    October 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

    “who do you think is long overdue for [CMHoF] induction.” Jerry Reed. 20+ years on the charts, influential session player during the “Nashville Sound” years and one of the best country guitarists ever.

  2. J.R. Journey
    October 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

    The four artists on the second page of Chris Gray’s article – Tanya Tucker and Randy Travis chief among them – are the same people I’ve been screaming about to be inducted into the CMHoF for some time. And I still say Linda Ronstadt’s likeness should be enshrined in both Cleveland and Nashville.

  3. Ken Morton, Jr.
    October 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I recognize fully that commercial success doesn’t directly result in induction, but it is a key component. Ronnie Milsap and his 40 (!) number one hits- only behind George Strait and Conway Twitty in that regard- seems like the most overdue artist in my mind. Perhaps Kenny Rogers’ induction with his pop-leaning ways will open things up for him this coming year.

  4. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Glaring omissions! Grievous oversights! Earth shattering failure to do what I want when I want it! The award flies are falling!

  5. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    That was “skies” not flies. Carried away.

  6. Arlene
    October 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Yet again I’ll mention Doc Watson and Ralph Stanley and/or The Stanley Brothers for inclusion in the CMHOF. (Yes. I KNOW that there is a separate Hall of Fame for bluegrass artists.)

    Also, perhaps the Wilburn Brothers– in addition to the music they recorded and performed, as talent agents they launched the careers of artists such as Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless.

    For artists whose careers are primarily focused within the last 25 years, Ricky Skaggs and Alan Jackson. And as an instrumentalist, I’d nominate Jerry Douglas- among other things, he’s played on over 1600 albums.

  7. nm
    October 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I kinda like the idea of “award flies.” They live in the Cumberland River and buzz out whenever there’s a red carpet event at the HoF.

    Nobody startling on my list of who ought to be in the Hall but isn’t; I think they’ve all been mentioned already: The Maddox Bros. and Rose, Johnny Horton, Tanya Tucker. And while I’m not much of a fan of Ronnie Milsap, I think he belongs in this group as well: people who seem to have been skipped for various reasons, mostly just oversight.

    I think the Stanley Bros. and Doc Watson are “could be there, but could be excluded as not quite country.” Since there are only three individuals/acts inducted each year, I can understand them being passed by in favor of more mainstream acts.

    I figure Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, and that whole mid-’80s gang will start to be up for consideration pretty soon. It doesn’t seem to me that they’re in the category of “ought to be there already.”

  8. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    There are so many performers’ names that could legitimately be in the “ought to be there already” list.

    In addition to those already mentioned by commenters like the Maddoxes and Johnny Horton, Tanya Tucker and the Stanleys, Travis and Skaggs…cases can be made for, lets see… way back…Carson Robison and Fiddlin John Carson, Gid Tanner and Charlie Poole, Clayton McMichen, Bradley Kincaid, Milton Brown, JE Mainer, Lulu Belle and Scotty, Elton Britt, Moon Mullican, Ted Daffan, Johnny & Jack, the Browns, Cowboy Copas, the Carter Sisters, certainly Mac Wiseman. Since the 50s–sure, Jerry Reed, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dotty West, Hank Jr, John Hartford, Keith Whitley, Alan Jackson, John Anderson..The Judds, perhaps Gene Watson..

    This doesn’t even include the latter day non-performer, songwriter and instrumentalist categories..

    But, folks, that can’t all happen at once. None of those deserving performers would get much attention if it did!

  9. bob
    October 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Re HOF omissions, I agree about Travis and Ronstadt. I would add Milsap and John Denver, even though I realize that JD has no chance.

    Besides Striking Matches, I see that John Grady manages Ashley Monroe and Kristen Kelly. Hope he does a good job promoting them.

  10. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    What I object to (and sometimes mock) about the way people talk about who’s not in the Hall is the notion that they’re “omissions” or “oversights” or even “slights,” as if nobody had noticed these names or sue conspiracy was afoot to keep them out–until they get in. But I do understand that fans are impatient. I’m a fan, too, in case that’s not obvious. Just a little more patient.

  11. Arlene
    October 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t think the comments about CMHOF omissions necessarily reflect “impatience.” Juli asked: “Who do you think is long overdue for induction?” As requested, people are identifying candidates they feel are overdue. Most of us recognize that there is a backlog, not to mention legitimate differences of opinion about (a) priorities for candidates, and (b) the weight to be afforded various factors relevant to consideration for induction.

    That is all.

  12. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I hear you, Arlene, She didn’t ask Gray, though, whose blog brought it up his way..

  13. Rick
    October 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Congratulations to Ashley Monroe for tying the knot! I sure hope she is a baseball fan! (lol) Were her Pistol Annies cohorts all there dressed in their Wild West prostitute outfits? Yee Haw!!

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry features Darryl Worley, Marty Stuart, Brandy Clark, Lady Antebellum, Love and Theft and the Opry Regulars. Grade: B+
    The Saturday Night Opry will feature Del McCoury, Elizabeth Cook, Steve Wariner, Chuck Wicks, Mallary Hope, and Opry Stalwarts. Also Grade: B+
    Schedule Link: http://www.opry.com/shows/ThisWeek.html
    PS – It’s nice to know Ketch Secor also listens to the Opry on a regular basis. I was afraid I was the only one! (lol)

    “Punky Americana Siren” eh? Couldn’t that description also be applied to Lindi Ortega and Neko Case among others? Hmm…

  14. Luckyoldsun
    October 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Looking at the names mentioned above, Johnny Horton pops out as a “Hall-of-Fame” artist. He’s been dead over 50 years, but he’s still “current.” You can be watching TV and all of a sudden, you’ll hear “Battle of New Orleans” or “North to Alaska” in a commercial. Or you walk into Starbucks or Pottery Barn and you’ll notice “Honky Tonk Man” being played over the sound system. He’s still relevant.

    Gene Watson, John Anderson and Keith Whitley were all great singers. I’ve bought a lot of their back catalogs on CD. They deserve all sorts of honors. But I think that for whatever reasons, their careers do not reach Hall-of-Fame level.

    Their has to be a cut-off somewhere. The H-o-F can’t be Grand Central Terminal.

  15. Barry Mazor
    October 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I could certainly make a case for Whitley (whether anybody would listen or not, I don’t know) on the grounds that I’ve hardly met a country singer under 40 who doesn’t mention him as an important vocal influence; it was through him that the Lefty-Jones-Merle filagreed vocal line continued, for them.

    Time will tell. And the Hall timeline does not and should not stop in 1970–which is longer ago now as the earliest country acts were when the Hall was formed circa 1960.

  16. BRUCE
    October 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Skaggs.

  17. A.B.
    October 26, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Don Rich. Buck taught him guitar and he ran with it. He is partially responsible for the Bakersfield Sound and deserves credit for it.

    Other deserving ones are Johnnie & Jack, Maddox Bros & Rose, Jerry Reed, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart.

  18. Luckyoldsun
    October 26, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Don Rich may be “partially responsible for the Bakersfield Sound and deserve credit for it”–but he ain’t a Hall-of-Fame artist. If you want to start inducting back-up players, they’d probably need to triple the size of the Hall.

    Skaggs and Travis are bona fide Hall of Famers. Yoakam may be a bit too left-field. I didn’t think Marty Stuart was a Hall-of-Famer based on his mainstream work, but maybe his later-career stuff and his extracurricular activities should push him over the hump. Whitley’s career was just too short.

  19. Barry Mazor
    October 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Lucky Ol, your point is out of date. There is an entire category for instrumentalists now–see, for instance, recent installation of Pig Robbins–which many many country fans consider a considerable piece of justice at work. It’s not the Hall of Front Men. And Don Rich certainly has a shot at induction in that category.

    By the way. They ARE tripling the size of the Hall. I’ll be at the induction of Bobby Bare, Kenny Rogers, and the late Cowboy Jack Clement tomorrow night, at the inauguration of the brand new and beautiful 800 seat CMA Theater. The new Hatch Show print digs are also open, the new education center for kids (paid for and named for Ms. Taylor Swift, btw) and within months, the new enlarged museum.

  20. Janice Brooks
    October 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    also the relocated Musicians HOF

  21. nm
    October 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    No, the Musician’s HoF is in the old Municipal Auditorium. It’s a short walk from the CMHoF, but a different building (and administration).

    There’s also a Johnny Cash museum in the neighborhood. Maybe they can host traveling exhibits from the Earl Scruggs Center there. The idea that people who I went to hear make music now have museums set up about them makes me feel old.

  22. Luckyoldsun
    October 27, 2013 at 2:54 am

    I could be wrong.
    I’m under the impression, though, that Pig Robbins was a top piano player who played on everyone’s records–from ET to Garth. Don Rich’s entire professional success was backing up Buck Owens.

    I could see Buck’s plaque recognizing “Buck Owens and the Buckaroos,”–and even identifying Rich–but it would be redundant to enshrine Rich separately.

  23. Barry Mazor
    October 27, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Luckyol, there was a decision, back at the beginnings of the Hall, to honor the stars. It is the Hall of “Fame,” after all. But that’s meant that Bill MOnroe but not Bluegrass Boys, Roy Acuff but not Smoky Mt Boys, Bob Wills but not Texas Playboys, etc, are “in” the Hall, and other instrumentalists who changed the course of the music have not gotten the recognition either. So they got to that problem,a s they did the lack of recognition of songwriters. The musician category is designed to honor “touring and recording” musicians; there’s no distinction at all about how many outfits they’ve played with.

    Now, it may be EASIER, as a practical matter, for somebody who’s played with dozens of acts and on thousands of records to get votes, as winners so far like Pig, Harold Bradley and Charlie McCoy do attest, but there’s no rule about it. There are also, f course, a ton of worthy musicians backed up out there.

    If you visit Nashville, the expanding and quite separate Musicians Hall of Fame gets at this issue a different way–and it’s not, though some may imagine so because of the location, particularly about country music, as permanent exhibits honoring musicians who mainly worked out of Memphis, or Motown, or Los Angeles, as well as Music Row, make clear. It’s well worth a visit, (Not that Nashville is just about country music in itself, either.)

  24. Arlene
    October 27, 2013 at 3:53 am

    @NM: “The Stanley Bros. and Doc Watson are ‘could be there, but could be excluded as not quite country.’”

    With respect, did I miss the memo when the CMHOF the memberships of Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs and Merle Travis and The Louvin Brothers were revoked? I get it that the notion of what constitutes country music has expanded– welcome to the Hall, Kenny Rogers– but has it also simultaneously contracted?

  25. nm
    October 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Arlene, are you asking me what music I listen to, or are you asking me who I think gets inducted into the CMHoF? I think that the Stanley Brothers and Doc Watson performed a kind of music that has fallen off the country charts and off the major country labels. And I think that, as a result, enough of the voters now who are presented with a list of several artists including Doc Watson or the Stanley Brothers are going to dismiss them as not quite country, and vote for more mainstream names. Because most of the people who vote on HoF inductions work for record labels, radio, and other mainstream-conscious parts of the music business.

  26. Arlene
    October 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    NM- This may involve an issue of semantics. I agree that candidates, including the Stanleys and Doc Watson, may be excluded from consideration by some for a variety of reasons, including because they “have fallen off the country charts and off the major country labels.” However, in my view, that rationale does not support a conclusion that they have been excluded because they “are not quite country.”

  27. Luckyoldsun
    October 29, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I’m not sure why you insist on challenging NM’s claim–that the Country Music Hall of Fame generally restricts its inductions to artists who have achieved success in commercial country music and whose music is known to fans of mainstream country. That’s a fact.

    Whatever their fame and achievements in non-mainstream activities, Flatt & Scruggs had a dozen top-20 country hits, including the huge #1 theme song for the “Beverly Hillbillies” the Louvin Brothers had at least 8 country top-20 singles–including a #1–and Charlie Louvin had another 8 top-20’s on his own; Merle Travis had a dozen top-20’s–including a #1 as a performer, and wrote “Sixteen Tons,” which was a massive #1 for Tennessee Ernie Ford. Bill Monroe is a towering figure in American music history who might not have been active on the country charts but had a big impact and is well-known to country fans. Oh, and Kenny Rogers only had about a score of #1 country hits.

    For whatever it’s worth, the Stanley Brothers had 1 country top-20 record. Doc Watson had none. Nada. Zilch. He never even had a top-40. So it’s a bit silly suggest that if the Hall does not induct the Stanleys and Doc Watson, that means that figures like the Louvins and Travis et al. should be kicked out.

  28. nm
    October 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Well, Doc Watson had a bunch of big-selling records with a lot of radio play. But he played the folk circuit, got played on radio as a folkie, etc. (Which just goes to show how arbitrary a lot of genre boundaries are, but that’s how things were divided up in the 1960s.) I don’t think he was ever considered a country artist by the people who put artists into categories. But the folk revival sort of tailed off, and he was then taken up as a bluegrass artist, when bluegrass started to be recognized as a subgenre of country or a separate genre of its own (depending on your point of view). And then he was on the Will the Circle Be Unbroken set, so people got to think of him as a country artist after the fact. But the truth is that when he was having his hits, it was in a different genre altogether. So some voters will always see him as not quite country, because he wasn’t.

  29. Arlene
    October 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

    It appears that my two comments were either unclear, misread, or not read at all. I neither stated nor meant to suggest that record sales are not, or should not be, a factor in making selections for the CMHOF. I certainly never denied that most CMHOF inductees who are musicians “achieved success in commercial country music and” and are “known to fans of mainstream country.” I was simply asserting that in my view, it is inaccurate to label either the Stanleys or Doc Watson as “not quite country.” They are “country artists,” even if they are not viewed as vialble CMHOF candidates, for whatever reason, by many who select the members of the CMHOF.

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