Revisited: Who the Country Music Hall of Fame Should Induct Next

Paul W. Dennis | September 2nd, 2010

Since my September 2008 article, Charlie McCoy, Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark, Don Williams, Billy Sherrill, Ferlin Husky and Jimmy Dean have been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

As I noted, for decades the Country Music Hall of Fame was caught in the position where many deserving performers died before their turn for induction arrived. This was mostly due to the Hall’s practice of electing only one new member per year (and in at least one year, electing no one).

At this point the backlog is largely cleared so it is time to assess those in more current memory. Here is my take on who, among living artists, should be inducted, in order of precedence:

  1. Connie Smith
    The genre’s best female singer ever. Period. Not the biggest star but the best singer, and a skilled songwriter who has regained prominence through her collaborations with husband Marty Stuart.
  2. Jean Shepard
    A true pioneer among country females. Unlike Kitty Wells , who stepped back into the traditional role after her initial success, Jean Shepard never gave in. Her Dreams of An Old Love Affair was the first concept album ever, and she was the prototype for Loretta Lynn and other feisty purveyors of in-your-face defiance.
  3. Bonnie Guitar
    Another pioneering woman, maybe even more so than Jean Shepard, although perhaps less important than Jean as a performer. I greatly reassessed my position on Bonnie Guitar as a result of the research I did in putting together the Forgotten Artist article on her. Bonnie Guitar was a true renaissance woman who moved from role to role during the course of her long career. You name it, she did it: singer, songwriter, session musician, producer, executive and record label owner. In the latter four capacities she was the first woman to fill those roles. Her recording of “Dark Moon” remains one of the classic songs. As a producer, she produced the Fleetwoods’ million-seller “Mr. Blue” as well as their other hits.
  4. Bobby Bare
    My failure to list Bobby Bare two years ago was oversight, nothing more or less. If ever a performer can be said to be “the thinking man’s country music singer,” Bobby Bare is that performer. Personable, with a wry sense of humor, Bare recorded some of the most thoughtful songs ever written, in “Detroit City,” “Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn,” “Daddy What If,” “Streets of Baltimore” and “500 Miles,” among others. Many really interesting songs are contained even within Bare’s earliest albums, including songs such as “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Lynching Party.” He had two of the earliest themed albums in A Bird Named Yesterday and Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn (And Other Controversial Songs). He gave significant support to songwriters and up and coming performers alike, being an early supporter of songwriters such as Gordon Lightfoot, Billy Joe Shaver, Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson. Bare was Shel Silverstein’s greatest champion, and he brought Waylon Jennings to the attention of Chet Atkins at RCA.
  5. Reba McEntire
    What more needs to be said about Reba.
  6. Ronnie Milsap
    I’m not a big Milsap fan but the breadth and depth of his catalog reveals a supremely gifted performer capable of handling any genre of music. Fortunately, he chose Country Music as his area of concentration.
  7. Dallas Frazier
    Probably the greatest songwriter not named Merle Haggard or Harlan Howard. I would rate him above any of the other country songwriters living or dead and his catalog is full of huge pop, country and R&B hits. “Alley Oop” or “Elvira” anyone?
  8. Hank Williams, Jr.
    Hank is overdue for induction. So talented a singer and performer is he that even if he had merely continued as a straight-ahead mainstream performer, he would be worthy of induction as his early singles such as “Eleven Roses,” “Divorce or Destroy,” “Pride’s Not Hard To Swallow” and “Standing In The Shadows” still hold up today.
  9. Tanya Tucker
    Very few female performers have left a legacy of great music as deep as that of Tanya Tucker. I would rate Ms Tucker over either Mandrell or McEntire strictly on their musical catalog (Tanya’s best songs blow the best songs of Reba or Barbara out of the water). Her early records were American Gothic’s last stand.
  10. Ray Stevens
    Normally I would not advocate comedians for the CMHOF (I think Rod Brasfield and Duke of Paducah were horrible mistakes), but Ray Stevens is so much more than merely a comedian — record producer, song writer, session musician and major pop and country music star. Ray’s songs ranged from the merely funny to biting satire and social commentary.
  11. The Oak Ridge Boys
    The mighty Oaks started out as a gospel group and a very fine one. Along the way they appeared on records by Paul Simon and Johnny Cash before making the transition to major country music stars. Starting in the middle of 1977, they ran off a string of hits that ran for a dozen years, including some of the most memorable songs of the period including “Elvira”, “Fancy Free” and “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”. Twenty-one of their records made it to #1 on one or more of the major charts (Billboard, Cashbox, Record World).

    They continue to perform to this day. They have largely returned to their gospel roots, but are still capable of making good secular music, even if modern country radio can’t be bothered to play it.

  12. The Browns (Jim Ed, Bonnie & Maxine)
    Jim Ed Brown is a veteran performer with many hits to his credit, but his work as part of the Browns trio is what earns him and the group the nod. The Browns were among the early international ambassadors of country music.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire will be inducted in 2011 or 2012. I was never a big fan of Kenny but his accomplishments are legion in the field of entertainment, from successful movies to gold and platinum selling albums to successful concert tours around the world.

Doc Watson is another special case–is he folk, bluegrass or country? However you classify him, he never made a bad record. At age 87, he continues to perform. He was among the most accomplished guitarists ever, and plays a pretty mean banjo as well. Along the way he has won seven Grammy awards and influenced generations of guitar players. In 2000 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. In 1997, Doc Watson received the National Medal of Arts from then-president Bill Clinton.

In the future I expect the following artists to receive serious consideration:

For a few years Lynn Anderson was the dominant force among female country singers. Even prior to signing with Columbia in 1970, Lynn, the daughter of songwriters Casey & Liz Anderson, had achieved substantial success, appearing as a regular on the Lawrence Welk Show and having 13 charted records including “Promises, Promises” (#1 Record World) and “That’s A No-No” (#1 Cashbox). She ultimately had 60 charted records with 10 #1s. “Rose Garden,” of course, was her biggest hit. Billboard has her among the top 15 female country artists of all time.

Crystal Gayle and Anne Murray both were hugely successful performers, working mostly in the pop-country realm. Murray was a Canadian folk/MOR performer, whose thick contralto crossed easily onto the country charts with 54 charted country records and over 30 charted pop hits. Gayle had 52 charted country hits including 20 to reach #1 on Billboard and/or Cashbox. Ms. Gayle came from a musical family, but unlike siblings Jay Lee Webb and Peggy Sue (both of whom had some chart success), she was able to emerge from the giant shadow of sister Loretta Lynn to be come a major star.

Gene Watson is a “singer’s singer,” the artist that professional singers go see on their night off. “Love In The Hot Afternoon” pushed the limits of where country music was willing to go vis-à-vis semi-erotic material, but beyond that Watson was a skilled interpreter of songs, more so than even Conway Twitty, “the best friend a song ever had.” Watson is still out there playing road dates and thrilling audiences throughout the United States and the British Isles.

Ricky Skaggs re-energized the traditional side of country music that had been washed away during the “Urban Cowboy” era. With his unique hybrid of bluegrass and country, Skaggs helped bluegrass regain a foothold on the charts and on the radio that had been missing for a decade. He had eleven #1 records and another eight that reached the Top 10. He remains active and is one of the driving engines in the current bluegrass renaissance.

Randy Travis spearheaded the “New Traditionalist” movement that made the airwaves safe again for honky-tonk music. Possessed of the most extraordinary voice to hit the genre since Charley Pride nearly two decades before, Travis dominated the charts from 1986-89 before turning his attention to movies and Christian music.

A good case can be made for Patty Loveless, Roseanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Radney Foster, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jack Greene and maybe Mary Chapin Carpenter, but I am not sold on them yet and will let others make the case for them.

The class of 1989 contains several members who future years will find us considering, namely Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black.

Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts and other current chart acts will make it, but their turn has not yet come. The above is what I regard as the proper sequencing of inductions over the next few years. No doubt the actual inductions will be in a different sequence than I’ve suggested, with perhaps a few names included that escaped my consideration.

1 Ping

  1. [...] The Country Music Hall of Fame induction announcement is typically a private press affair, and this year is no different, except for the first time ever, the general public can watch via Ustream as the 2011 honorees are revealed. The event, hosted by Kix Brooks, is scheduled for later this morning, 9:30 AM/CST to be precise, and can be watched at In the meantime, revisit Paul W. Dennis’ piece on who he thinks should be inducted next. [...]
  1. Lewis
    September 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Paul: How could you leave out Dottie West? She belongs in the Hall of Fame more than Bonnie Guitar who only had three Top 10’s and not only that Dottie was the first country female to win a Grammy. What about Skeeter Davis? She belongs in the Hall of Fame also. The Osborne Brothers? Jimmy C. Newman? June Carter Cash, Mother Maybelle Carter, Helen Carter, Anita Carter?

    I think that Rascal Flatts in the Hall of Fame is very laughable at this time. I also find Radney Foster, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rodney
    Crowell, and although not mentioned Carlene Carter
    a hard sell to be in the Hall of Fame. Roseanne Cash has a much better chance of getting there than them.

    Some things that make you go hmmmm is why Garth Brooks is not in the Hall of Fame already. Guess he didn’t find anyone to pay for his Hall of Fame bid like he did for his last #1 record “More Than A Memory”.

  2. Cutting the Treacle
    September 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Eddie Rabbit. If his wikipedia entry is right, every single he released between 1976 and 1988 was a top 10 hit – over 30 in that period. And he was a fantastic songwriter too (Kentucky Rain).

    Also, the Judds.

  3. Ken Morton, Jr.
    September 2, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Others not mentioned that I think deserve consideration include John Denver, Jerry Reed (for some of the same reasons you listed for Ray Stevens), the Wilburn Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Judds. Although less likely, I’d like to see Charlie Daniels receive consideration as well.

  4. wade
    September 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Eddie Rabbitt is clearly due… are Anne Murray, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Gene Watson…

    You could even make the case for Earl Thomas Conley, John Anderson, and Steve Wariner…..

  5. Benny
    September 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

    big boo for not mentioning Jerry Lee Lewis at all, he might be mostly known as a Rock’n’Roller, but is also one of the greatest Country singers ever; had a long run of hits in the 60s and 70s and recorded Country from early on (his first record being a cover of “Crazy Arms”). Additionally he brought Country music across the world and still does, inserting Country songs in his setlists no matter if the crowd wants to hear Rock or not.. maybe not very popular with the Nashville industry for his wild ways, but this man is Country as you get and it’s about time they let him in!
    ..and Charlie Rich! Remember the huge 70s star and one of the greatest Country (and Soul and Pop and Blues) singers ever?
    Agree about Dottie West as well for sure, she should get in before Reba imo..
    Thanks for not overlooking Bobby Bare this time.
    I agree that Bonnie Guitar is a bit too obscure to ever make it to the HoF although I like her..

  6. Razor X
    September 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Paul was only discussing deserving inductees that are still living, hence no mention of Dottie West, Skeeter Davis, Eddie Rabbitt, John Denver, etc.

  7. Paul W Dennis
    September 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Please recall , I stated “Here is my take on who, AMONG LIVING ARTISTS , should be inducted, in order of precedence:”

    I believe on honoring the living while they are still around to appreciate the honor. Most of the names bandied about are DEAD

    Jerry Lee Lewis is a borderline candidate – I like his late 60s early 70s country recordings but am not much impressed by his country recordings for Sun Record

    Bluegrass has its own Hall of Fame so I am not too concerned whether those artists make this Hall of Fame. Among CAREER ‘grassers I’d induct Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Ralph & Carter Stanley, Don Reno & Red Smiley and Sonny & Bob Osborne – in that order

    Mother Maybelle Carter already is in the Hall of Fame, inducted in 1970, as part of the legendary Carter Family

    The entire second generation of Carters has now passed from the scene. I would support Mother Maybelle, June, Anita & Helen being inducted as a separate group

    I agree that Rascal Flatts would be a poor choice BUT check with me in 2030 and let me know if they have made it in. I may still be around then

  8. Ollie
    September 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

    In my view, Ralph Stanley should go in either as a solo artist or as a member of The Stanley Brothers. A case can be made that other than Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, (who are already members), The Stanley Brothers are the most signigicant and influential bluegrass musicians who ever lived.

  9. Lewis
    September 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Razor X: Does it matter whether they are living or dead to be in the Hall of Fame? The people who have passed away much deserve to be in the Hall of Fame no matter how successful they were and what they accomplished during their life and are still remembered by many. The more years they ignore certain people for Hall of Fame means that they will never be in the Hall of Fame regardless and the less likely they’ll be remembered.

  10. Rick
    September 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Even though she’s long been gone (and doesn’t qualify for this list) I still wish they’d induct Rose Maddox! Would Jeannie Shepherd have really sounded the way she did without Rose’s influence over the “Bakersfield Sound” scene in its formative years in the early 1950’s? In the early 1980’s Merle Haggard and Leona Williams recorded a duet of “Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down” showing Rose influenced The Hag as well. When it comes to setting the stage for sassy country female singers with attitude that followed in her footsteps, no one blazed the pioneering trail more than Rose!

  11. Ollie
    September 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Paul: I don’t understand why you are “not too concerned” about the omission of deserving bluegrass artists because bluegrass has its own hall of fame, yet list Dallas Frazier as your seventh choice for induction in the CMHOF even though songwriters also have their own hall of fame.

  12. Lewis
    September 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I didn’t see Paul’s response because he answered as I was posting my 10:40 AM post but this question I posed to Razor X applies to Paul as well.

  13. Razor X
    September 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Razor X: Does it matter whether they are living or dead to be in the Hall of Fame? The people who have passed away much deserve to be in the Hall of Fame no matter how successful they were and what they accomplished during their life and are still remembered by many.

    No one’s arguing that they shouldn’t be inducted. But this article is specifically talking about living performers who haven’t been inducted yet. That’s all I was pointing out.

  14. Trish
    September 2, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I like this article but have one major beef – While I love Connie Smith she is definitely not the genres best ever female singer! I can name three right off the top of my head, two from the past and one from today:

    Patsy Cline – one of the richest and unique voices you’ll ever hear.

    Tammy Wynette – sang with a passion that was mesmerizing.

    Carrie Underwood – probably the most powerful voice along with great range.

    I would put Connie Smith in the next group which would include Martina McBride and Loretta Lynn.

  15. Paul W Dennis
    September 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    The various songwriters’ Hall of Fames are pretty obscure. Not so for entities such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Dallas Frazier was a dominant force in COuntry music for a decade – during the late 60s / early 70s it wasn’t unusual to look at the top 40 country charts and find that he’s written or co-written ten of the songs on the weekly chart. I would place only Harlan Howard, Hank Williams, Cindy Walker and Merle Haggard above Dallas Frazier in importance to modern country music (and please note that Hag has recorded a boatload of Dallas Frazier songs)

    I would refer you to Dolly Parton as to where Connie Smith belongs among the genre’s best singers. Patsy Cline was great. I saw Tammy several times during her vocal prime. She was a great interpreter but didn’t sound quite as good live as on recordings – Billy Sherrill did a great job in covering up her limitations. In 2010 Carrie might have better pipes than Connie Smith, but if so, just barely – and Connie Smith is 69 years old. At Carrie’s current age, Connie would have blown her out of the water, leaving no trace behind, not even an oil slick !

  16. Ollie
    September 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Just my opinion but I can’t see grouping the popularity or notoriety of the IBMA Hall of Fame in Owensboro, Kentucky with the popularity or notoriety of the CMHOF in Nashville or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

    Having said that, I agree that Dallas Frazier is CMHOF-worthy, I just don’t understand the lack of love for bluegrass immortals.

  17. Stormy
    September 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Is there a law against putting Carrie Underwood on the same mantel as Tammy and Patsy? ‘Cause if there’s not there should be.

  18. Paula
    September 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    LYNN!!! YES!!! I hope Lynn Anderson’s in the next group!

  19. Lewis
    September 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I think I could add Wanda Jackson and Anita Kerr to this list since they are both very much alive. Anita Kerr along with her singing group backed up many RCA artists during the 1950’s and 1960’s (Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bare, Skeeter Davis) as well as many non RCA artist (Red Foley, among others).

  20. Michael A.
    September 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Reba will always be my favorite, but that’s an excellent blurb you wrote about Tanya Tucker, Paul. I love her late 80s/early 90s comeback hits and you’re right. Those southern gothic tales she sang in the 70s ARE better than anything Mandrell or McEntire ever recorded.

  21. Bob
    September 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Glad to see Anne Murray, Ronnie Milsap, Gene Watson, Randy Travis and Crystal Gayle mentioned. I find it interesting to read the bios of those already elected on the country music hall of fame website. Quite a few of them, e.g., Pee Wee King, I had never heard of before.

  22. J.R. Journey
    September 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I agree wtih Paul’s list for the most part, but I’d bump Hank Jr. and Tanya Tucker closer to the top of the list. And while I also agree that several of Tucker’s 70s records are near masterpieces, I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re stronger than anything Reba McEntire or Barbara Mandrell ever recorded. I’d also put Kenny Rogers in the top 10 for those living artists who should be inducted soon.

    Outside of performing artists – and I think I said this before back in 2008 when we had this discussion – but I think Ralph Emery was highly deserving and long overdue for his induction in 2007. The next industry person in line IMO should be Robert Oermann. As a historian, he’s contributed so much to preserving the genre’s history and as a journalist he’s written some of the best articles and books I’ve ever read about country music.

  23. t.scott
    September 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Liking ( or not)the Killer’s country recordings from Sun shouldn’t make him borderline.He was a performing force to be reckoned with in his time.

    I don’t recall many artists to have songs charted simultaneously on two different labels .

    When Shelby Singleton bought the Sun catalog,and started releasing Jerry’s Sun country sides,Jerry Kennedy was having hits with him at Mercury/Smash.

    Jerry Lee deserves the HOF

  24. misterw101
    September 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I believe we’re due the first inductee in the new songwriter category next year – they’ve basically dumped the pre-WWII group, even though a handful of acts from that era remain legitimate HoF candidates; Charlie Poole, for example. If not Frazier, I would have thought the late, much-missed Hank Cochran, is the probable inductee.

    Bob Oermann would be an interesting choice for non-performer as there is no journalist/ author/ academic in the Hall. Charles S. Wolfe might make it in – his books are superb – as might Bill Malone who legitimised the serious, academic study of the genre. Fred Foster and Buddy Killen are other possible non-performers.

    That the Stanley Brothers, the Wilburns and Doc Watson are not in, is ridiculous; ditto Jean Shepard and Connie Smith, who is, I agree, one of the finest vocalists country music has had.

  25. misterw101
    September 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Sorry, that should have read Charles K. Wolfe – my bad!

  26. Philip
    September 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Uh, how about Shania Twain, y’all! The Queen of Country Music.

  27. flcowgirl
    September 2, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Tanya Tucker should be closer to the top — her list of hits is utterly amazing. She could have a second career on the songs that never got released.

    Hugely talented; even more under-appreciated and recognized.

    (Yeah, I am a Tanya fan).

  28. Trish
    September 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Hey Stormy, you hatred for Carrie Underwood is borderline ridiculous. There should be a law against grouping Carrie with Tammy and Patsy Cline? Well, maybe in your mind. Carrie Underwood is surpassing just about every female country artist in history in just over five years. Do you have to be reminded:

    – One of youngest to be inducted into the Grand Old Opry
    – The youngest to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music hall of fame
    – 13 #1 singles in five years
    – Over 11 million album sales in just over five years – In todays digital age that is phenominal.
    – Tied for most Female Vocalist of the year awards in just five years
    – numerous ACM’s, CMA’s, AMA,s, Grammys
    – Only country singer in history of American Idol history to win
    – National Anthem at the Super Bowl
    – Lauded as being a great singer by the likes odf Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, and Reba McIntyre.

    Here is what you should have said Stormy: Despite being one of the most recognized and awarded country female artists I prefer Patsy and Tammy.

  29. travis in virginia
    September 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Carrie, Taylor and Shania better NEVER make it in the country music hall of fame, cause if they do that will be the day the music dies!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry if this huts anyones feelings but it’s just the way it is in my world.

  30. Ryan
    September 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I’d love to see Rodney Crowell in the Hall. His work with former wife Rosanne Cash and his excellent songwriting could get him in even if his “Diamonds & Dust” album hadn’t been the first to have 5 #1’s released from it! Also, I’m surprised Dwight Yoakam hasn’t been mentioned yet. He WILL be in the hall one day.

  31. Ollie
    September 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Charles K. Wolfe is deceased but it would be interesting to read prioritized lists by Robert Oermann and Bill Malone of their picks for induction into the CMHOF. Similarly, it would be interesting to read a prioritized list of a weighted poll of living CMHOF members as to whom they feel should join their ranks.

  32. Dan E
    September 2, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    It’ll be a great day when Carrie Underwood gets inducted, a great day indeed!

  33. Rick
    September 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Trish, thankfully they didn’t have American Idol back during the peak years of Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette. Those gals were fighting against a bias towards “girl singers” back in those days and didn’t have massive nationwide pop culture oriented talent contests to launch their careers into the stratosphere upon takeoff. Those gals had to work and sing their asses off to get to the top, not just compete on a combination talent contest and beauty pageant on television.

    Carrie will at some point deserve to be inducted into a “Pop Music / Pop Culture Hall Of Fame” if there is such a thing, but country she ain’t. (And this applies equally to Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum as well among many other current “contemporary country” artists.)

  34. Dan E
    September 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Rick: Carrie has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today.

    By the way, I seriously love your country list. Many great days are ahead of us when Carrie, Taylor, the Flatts Gang, Urban, and Lady A. get inducted. The future is looking brighter already!

  35. luckyoldsun
    September 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    You talk up Dallas Frazier, but you don’t make the case for him. Was he better than Bob McDill? What songs did he write? I never heard of “Alley Oop” and “Elvira” does not in and of itself scream out “Hall of Fame.”

    “A good case can be made for Patty Loveless, Roseanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Radney Foster, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jack Greene and maybe Mary Chapin Carpenter”???
    A good case, if you want to double the size of the HoF.

  36. Lewis
    September 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    LuckyOldSun: Does “There Goes My Everything” written by Dallas Frazier and recorded by Jack Greene and became a 9 week #1 for him in 1966 and later Elvis Presley took to #9 on the country charts in 1971 and it was Elvis’ first Top 10 country hit in 13 years ring any bells?

    George Jones released an album full of Dallas Frazier songs in 1967 as did Connie Smith in 1972.

  37. Jon
    September 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    @Luckyoldsun Actually making cases isn’t really Paul’s style. You can see a long list of Frazier’s songs here:|FRAZIER&sql=11:0bfwxqy5ldse~T32. “(I’m So Afraid) Of Losing You Again,” “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me),” “Back In My Baby’s Arms Again,” “Beneath Still Waters,” “California Cottonfields,” etc. It’s a pretty good list, and while I’ve been a Bob McDill fan since Bobby Bare’s Me And McDill, I’d hate to have to choose between the two. Fortunately, there’s not really any need to; a Hall of Fame that doesn’t double in size – and more – over a reasonable period of time isn’t doing its job.

  38. Jon
    September 2, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    @Paul Please recall , I stated “Here is my take on who, AMONG LIVING ARTISTS , should be inducted, in order of precedence:”

    You also prefaced that statement with one about how ” the backlog [of deserving but dead performers] is largely cleared,” which is manifestly untrue.

  39. Paul W Dennis
    September 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Dallas Frazier songs – a small sample

    Mohair Sam
    Alley Oop
    Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin'(But The Leaves On The Trees)
    There Goes My Everything
    I’m So Afraid Of Losing You Again
    All I Have To Offer You Is Me
    Ain’t Had No Lovin’
    Baby Ain’t That Fine
    Back In My Baby’s Arms Again
    Baptism of Jesse Taylor
    Big Mable Murphy
    California Cottonfields
    Got My Mind On The Border Of Mexico
    I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me
    I’m A People
    I’m Finally Over You
    If My Heart Had Windows
    If It Ain’t Love
    Lord Is That Me
    Mississippi COtton Picking Delta Town
    My Baby Packed Up My Mind And Left Me
    She Wakes Me With A Kiss Every Morning
    She Wants To Be Good
    She’s A Yum Yum
    Son Of Hickory Holler’s Tramp
    Sweetheart Don’t Throw Yourself Away
    Tell It Like It Is
    (Then) Who Am I
    Touching Home
    Until My Dreams Come True
    Where Did They Go Lord
    Where Is My Castle
    White Fences And Evergreen Trees
    Will You Visit Me On Sundays

    Connie Smith claims to have recorded 68 Dallas Frazier songs and George Jones recorded many of his songs a did Charley Pride – Connie & George both did albums of nothing but Dallas Frazier material and almost every major artist of the 60s and 70s recorded his material

  40. Paul W Dennis
    September 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Jon – “@Paul Please recall , I stated “Here is my take on who, AMONG LIVING ARTISTS , should be inducted, in order of precedence:”

    You also prefaced that statement with one about how ” the backlog [of deserving but dead performers] is largely cleared,” which is manifestly untrue.”

    There will always be an endless list for any Hall of Fame of old-timers that someone or the other will believe belongs(I’ve long advocated Lionel Taylor and Art Monk for the NFL Hall of Fame. The backlog of superstar performers has cleared – the biggest stars of the 50s and 60s are now inducted and what remains are mostly singers I would describe as solid journeymen performers, many of whom I do love.

    The one area where there is still a backlog of superstar performers waiting to be induced is in the pre-1950s grouping – Ted Daffen, Al Dexter, The Hoosier Hotshots, Cliff Bruner, Hank Penny, etc

    September 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    As much as I like the guy, sweet and talented as he is, I was shocked when Vince Gill was named to the Hall while Hank Jr stands outside. I was appalled when Barbara Mandrell’s name was announced while The Judds bicker in the parking lot. And crazy as I am about Radney Foster, he has yet to write the trifecta of songs that will unlock the Hall — though there’s still time!

  42. Steve Harvey
    September 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I’m not sure whether Crowell belongs in the Hall of Fame. He’s one of my favourite recording artists, but I think his best work has been done outside the country genre (the trilogy of THE HOUSTON KID, FATE’S RIGHT HAND and THE OUTSIDER).

  43. Ollie
    September 3, 2010 at 3:50 am

    As for Steve Harvey’s assertion that the Rodney Crowell trilogy of albums he mentions are “outside the country genre,” I’ll never understand why some feel that countrified pop is within the country genre while countrified folk is outside of it. In my view, those Crowell albums are definitely “within the country genre.” As CMHOF member Kris K once said– “If it sounds country, man, it is.”

  44. Barry Mazor
    September 3, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Dallas Frazier, and he’s a great songwriter (and memorable singer, btw), but he did not write “Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town;” that was Mississippian Harold Dorman (of “Mountain of Love” fame) and a collaborator.

  45. Baron Lane
    September 3, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Great list – all deserving.

    I would add Gram Parsons to the list for influence on the genre, not singles/record sales. I think using sales as an litmus for the Hall of Fame induction is granted quantifiable, and yet pathetic. it shouldn’t be a popularity contest.

  46. Trish
    September 3, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Rick, Carrie is fighting the same bias today that Patsy and Tammy fought years ago. All you have to do is look at any of the country charts today and you’d be lucky to find three or four females in the top 40. Things have not changed much Rick.

    It is also extremely rare that female country singers record #1 singles. That is why Carrie’s achievements are all the more incredible. As far as Carrie, if she retired today she would make the Country Hall of Fame. Her awards have already surpassed both Tammy and Patsy.

    Lastly, your pop music comment hardly rings true as Carrie is almost never played on pop radio so that is just plain false.

  47. Stormy
    September 3, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Perhaps if Carrie was actually country she would have an easier time being respected as a country singer.

  48. Razor X
    September 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Her awards have already surpassed both Tammy and Patsy.

    Many of these awards (CMAs, ACMs) did not exist in Patsy’s day so it’s not really a valid comparison.

  49. Paul W Dennis
    September 3, 2010 at 9:56 am


    Carrie is NOT fighting the same biases that that Patsy, Loretta, Kitty & Jean did. There have been periods within recent memory in which femle performers dominated the country charts.

    As far as females recording #1 singles, it is far more common now than in Patsy and Loretta’s day. For one thing, the charts churn more frequently now – it is unusual for a single to spend more that five weeks atop the charts – in 1960 only five singles reached #1. Thus far in 2010 females have spent ten weeks in the number #1 slot. 2009 was a down year for women only three weeks (six if you count Sugarland) 2008 – 13 weeks (14 if you count Sugarland). I think if the women would record better material, they’d have more #1s – the product female singers were producing in the 1990s was far better than today’s output

    Patsy Cline, Jean Shepard, Kitty Wells could win only BMI, ASCAP, Billboard and Cashbox Awards, none of which got the big media buzz that today’s. The first CMA awards were given in 1967;
    The first ACM awards were for 1965, awarded in 1966, with a strong emphasis on Bakersfield artists and with very few categories awarded. HAd there been CMA awards in her heyday, Kitty Wells would have won a truckload of them – probably seven or eight female vocalist awards, some duet awards and one or two single of the year awards.

    If Carrie retired today she would most definitely NOT make the CMHOF. Other than her age, Carrie’s career looks remarkably similar to that of David Houston as of the end of 1972. She will make it if she keeps going at her current pace but if she becomes last week’s’ “flavor of the week” due to changing audience tastes, she could have Houston’s fate

    Barbara Mandrell had a far more substantial career than the Judds – in virtually every possible aspect. I am not a fan of either act, but Mandrell was a terrific musician , a fine entertainer, made many hits and had a network television show that ran for two seasons and ended when she pulled the plug on it. I think the auto accident cut short her career as a hit maker. I think a healthy Barbara Mandrell,
    without the baggage of public’s misconception about the lawsuit arising from the auto accident, could easily made the transition required by the “New Traditionalist” movement. Barbara, who plays at least seven instruments well, including banjo, fiddle and steel guitar, could handle real country music with the best of them

  50. luckyoldsun
    September 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    If those are Dallas Frazier’s top songs, then I can’t see how he’s “the greatest songwriter not named Merle Haggard or Harlan Howard.” Off the top of my head, along with Hag and Harlan, I’d rank ahead of him Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Cindy Walker, Boudeloux Bryant, Don Gibson, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Bob McDill, Kris Kristofferson.

  51. Jon
    September 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

    @Paul The one area where there is still a backlog of superstar performers waiting to be induced is in the pre-1950s grouping – Ted Daffen, Al Dexter, The Hoosier Hotshots, Cliff Bruner, Hank Penny, etc

    I’m glad to see that you agree that your original statement -the premise of this particular piece – was, as I said, manifestly untrue.

  52. M.C.
    September 3, 2010 at 11:10 am

    LuckyOS–If you can cite all those songwriters, then I’m surprised you don’t more about Dallas Frazier. Here’s a few of his other credits: “Beneath Still Waters,” “There Goes My Everything,” “If My Heart Had Windows,” “Fourteen Carat Mind,” “Back in My Baby’s Arms,” “True Love Travels on a Gravel Road,” “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” “Mohair Sam,” “Son of Hickory Hollow’s Tramp,” “California Cotton Fields,” and so on. He’s among the favorite songwriters of Connie Smith — “Ain’t Had No Lovin’,” “Just For What I Am” and “If It Ain’t Love (Let’s Leave It Alone)”; Charley Pride — “All I Have to Offer u Is Me,” “Then Who Am I,” and “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You,” George Jones — “I Can’t Get There from Here,” “Say It’s Not You,” and “Honky Tonk Downstairs,” and many more.

    Ranking which great songwriter is better than another great songwriter is a personal choice. But Dallas Frazier has earned his place among those writers you list.

  53. Regina George
    September 7, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Wait.. Hank isn’t in there yet.. and Carrie Underwood is? The guy was huge for a solid 3 years and has one of the biggest country music careers known to man. get him in there!

  54. Regina George
    September 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

    wait sorry. I thought that was Hank Sr!

  55. Brooke
    September 7, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I vote for June Carter. Every time I go there I look for something of hers and there is not even one strand of hair! That is just wrong!

  56. DENIS
    September 17, 2010 at 3:17 am


    I like your list. Almost every person on that list I have said should be in the CMHOF. I would like to add some that I think are worthy, or will be in the next 10 to 15 years.
    Before that, I have to say it is interesting that you threw Brooks & Dunn in the same sentence as Rascal Flatts and other current chart acts, since B & D have been kicking it for almost 20 years. But, I digress….
    in no particular order…
    MARTY STUART- singer, songwriter, ambassador for country music…He wrote some of the best songs in the late 80’s and 90’s.

    DWIGHT YOAKUM- unique in his time. real country without fitting in with the “hat acts”. his music stands out with a sound all its own.

    TRISHA YEARWOOD- it has been almost 20 years already since she graced us with her smooth, rich voice. a great interpreter of songs. one of the biggest female stars of the ’90’s.

    SHANIA TWAIN- yes, i know that there are those who will say she is not “country”. i may agree with that, but it still does not change the fact that she had several number one hits, and the biggest selling album by a female artist ever. and, i believe after garth’s “double hits live”, the biggest selling album by a country artist. in addition, 2 of her other albums are also among the top 10 biggest selling albums by a country artist.

    TIM MC GRAW- remember, these are not people i think should be amongst the next. but, he will without a doubt go in someday. his career has spanned almost 20 years already, and he has a string of hits (54 and counting, including 23 number ones) and some of the best selling albums of the time.

    DIXIE CHICKS- ok, i know this one is a long shot. with the controversy that surrounded them and knowing how conservative the establishment is. but, come on..they brought a breathe of fresh air into country music at a time is was greatly needed. until “the incident”, they were unstoppable. talented, pretty and a force to be reckoned with. there is no denying that these “chicks” left their mark on music. several number ones, 2 albums that sold over 10 million copies and some of the most original songs in a long time.

    DONNA FARGO- not as memorable as some of the other female singers mentioned. but, she was a big star in her day. there are people in the hall of fame less deserving. “funny face” and “happiest girl in the whole usa” are two country classics that were huge huge hits.

    I could keep going and going. But, i do hope that all the ones you mentioned, plus others that people have posted make it!

  57. David B
    September 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Jean Shepard is the most over due “living” artist. It is a disgrace that she was not inducted 10 or 15 years ago. Hank, Jr., Connie Smith, Kenny Rogers, Reba, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown all need to be inducted soon as well.

    I still say Stringbean and Archie Campbell need to be inducted; Why not? Long time members of the Opry and mainstays on Hee Haw. Just the same as Grandpa Jones and Jumpin’ Bill Carlisle (members of the CMHOF and well deserving I believe), String and Archie seems to be just as popular as the two of them.

  58. jamie
    September 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I know this is for the living but Dottie West death anniversary was on september 4th she died in 1991 that was 19 years ago and still she has not been inducted. she was the first woman to win a grammy she should have been inducted the year after she died the way they did tammy wynette.

    Jean shepard should definitly be inducted that should have happened years ago aswell as connie smith.

    There is time for reba yet oh and i might add it’s a travesty that vince gill was inducted at the age of 44.

  59. Razor X
    September 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    My understanding is that the rules preclude someone who recently died from being inducted. The decision to induct Tammy Wynette was made while she was still living. Sadly, she passed away before the induction ceremony and was not even told of her induction because her husband had wanted to keep it a surprise.

    That being said, I do agree that Dottie West deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

  60. Dave
    September 29, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Despite the fact that Donna Fargo was stricken with Multiple Scerosis early in her career, she managed to keep releasing singles and performing in concert throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Donna achieved great success in her earlier days releasing 2 of the biggest songs in country music, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA” and “Funny Face”. I remember how these 2 songs climbed both the Country and Pop charts and established Donna as one of the top singers of the 70’s. Donna also wrote most of her material, which was rare in those days. She released 6 #1 songs and several top 10’s, including, You Can’t Be a Beacon’, “Do I Love You”, “That Was Yesterday”, “Superman” and many more. If you research her charting history, you will find that she had greater crossover success than a lot of the other female country singers of that time. Billboard ranks her as one of the top 5 of the 70’s and she was one of only 5 female singers to host her own TV variety series. In 1977, Donna had 4 singles that were placed in the top 100 for the year. Today, Donna continues to write books and greeting cards and recently released a new single and even had a Highway named after herin 2009. I do believe, this lady deserves to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, as she has demonstrated how she managed to continue her career while battling an incurable disease, all the while contributing great music to the world of Country Music.

  61. Dr. Lee
    December 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I am glad you have added Bobby Bare in your list. He is really underrated. His hit song “Detroit City” won a Grammy for the best C&W song of the year way back in 1964. He also has his own TV show called “Bobby Bare & friends” which he featured songwriters. He is first to have a concept album released “Bird Named Yesterday” than “Lullaby Legends & Lies” and first to gain control of his production. He even have a family album “Singing in the Kitchen” which was very popular. He certainly as you mentioned should be inducted into the Country Hall Of Fame.

  62. David B
    January 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    When will the 2011 inductees be announced? I’m crossing my fingers this is the year for Jean Shepard.

  63. WayneTrain66
    January 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Connie Smith is NOT the greatest female country singer ever. She’s a talented lady, yes, but definitely NOT worthy of the Hall of Fame. Her “legacy” includes one truly great song, “Once a Day,” and a ton of forgettable, overproduced ballads from the schmaltzy late 60s and early 70s. The overwhelming majority of her recordings are not remembered today, and for good reason. They weren’t that great. That’s why the only gig she can get these days is on the Grand Ol’ Opry, along with Jan Howard, Jeanne Seeley and all the other has-beens who continue to milk their 15 minutes of fame….even though their 15 minutes were up decades ago.

  64. Jon
    January 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm


  65. Miss Leslie
    January 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    WayneTrain – Whoever is the “greatest female country singer ever” is a matter of opinion. MY opinion, is that Connie had a pure, robust honky tonk voice, that, like, Johnny Bush, did not equate to commercial viability at the time. I understand that she’s probably not going to be a Hall of Famer simply because of her lack of hits.

    But just because you missed, doesn’t mean you weren’t great. And she’s actually far from forgotten. There is somewhat of a cult following regarding that Connie Smith sound. In Texas, the Connie Smith sound-alikes seem to turn out in droves these days, if you follow those that are currently recording (or should I say re-recording) the hard country sounds of the 1960s. And there are those of us that truly idolize her singing, and consider her or artists (and coincidentally songwriters) like Jeannie Seely to be just as viable as Tammy Wynette, regardless of their chart topping history (or lack of it).

  66. Jon
    January 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Connie Smith had more than a reasonable number of hit, including 12 Top 10s between late 1964 and the middle of 1968, and 31 Top 20 songs between 1964 and 1977, a strong enough record to put her in Whitburn’s top 100 of all time in airplay (she might have slipped just out of that now, as my edition’s almost 10 years old). Her legacy includes not just “Once A Day,” but “I Can’t Remember,” “Nobody But A Fool,” “Cincinnati, Ohio,” “Ribbon Of Darkness,” “I Never Once Stopped Loving You,” “Just One Time,” “Where Is My Castle” and many more. Her visibility wasn’t as high as it might have been for several long stretches because she chose to make family and church high priorities, but I don’t see why that’s something to scoff at. Anyhow, she certainly had plenty of commercial viability.

  67. Bruce
    January 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Both Connie Smith and Jean Shepard should be in the Hall of Fame. As far as the new songwriter category, it has to be either Dallas Frazier or Hank Cochrane.

  68. johnny
    February 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    In 2001 there were 12 inductees.In 2011,there should be 10-12 inductees.My picks are Hank Williams,Jr.,Jean Shepard,Wilburn Bros.,Stanley Bros.,Sam & Kirk McGee,Kenny Rogers,Ray Stevens,June Carter Cash,Archie Campbell,Wilf Carter,Elton Britt.Non-performers are Don Pierce,Horace Logan,producers.

  69. WAYNOE(Jon's Friend)
    February 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    @Johnny – No Connie Smith? Seriously?

    @Jon – Agree with you my friend (really). Add to that an Opry Member, longest #1 held by country singer, and I also believe she briefly owned a publishing company with George Jones.

  70. Barry Mazor
    February 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This is an old discussion, but as for whoever was saying that in the old days, Patsy Cline didn’t have to get through American Idol should be aware that she reached national attention by winning an Idol-like shows of her day, “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. ”

    Oh and Waynoe, you are correct sir. Connie owned a publishing company with Mr. Jones. I can also tell you that she personally owns over 80 George Jones albums!

  71. WAYNOE(Jon's Friend)
    February 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    @Barry – Isn’t George and her mutual personal favorites? I would like some details about the company they owned.

  72. johnny
    February 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    OK I’ll pick Connie Smith with the rest of my earlier picks.As well as Hank Cochran,Hank Locklin,Stringbean,Tanya Tucker,Skeeter Davis,Dottie West.

  73. WAYNOE(Jon's Friend)
    February 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Good list. I wonder how many current fans even know some of those names? Or even some so-called music journalists?

  74. Jon
    February 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I wonder how many current fans even know some of those names?

    Why should they? It wouldn’t take me 5 minutes to come up with a list of country stars of the 20s, 30s and 40s who were largely forgotten by the time the 60s and 70s and 80s rolled around. Including, most likely by you.

  75. WAYNOE(Jon's Friend)
    February 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Once again everyone, Jon opens the door wide. WHERE ARE YOU FIZZ? What a pitiful bitter existence he must live.

    By the way Joooooon, please post the list.

  76. Paul W Dennis
    February 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Well – you could start with Vernon Dalhart, Emmett Miller and Charlie Poole for the 1920s. Carson Robison, Adolf Hofner, Cliff Bruner, Clayton McMichen and Milton Brown for the 1930s.

    I could make a damn good case for Bradley Kincaid as being tremendously important to the genre and suspect it wouldn’t be too hard to make a case for Charlie Monroe

    I’m sure Jon could post a pretty extensive list, Waynoe, but you might find it edifying to do a little research on your own

  77. Jon
    February 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Right, Paul.

    The points are two-fold. In the first place, and in my opinion most importantly, while it’s great when people are interested enough in a musical style to study and learn its history, that’s never been typical of the mass of fans, and there’s no reason why it should be. Fans listen to what’s current, and for the most part don’t feel pressed to dig into the past. That was just about as true 30 or 40 years ago as it is today; I know that when I was listening to country radio in the 60s and 70s, they were playing plenty of George Jones and Loretta Lynn but Hank WIlliams, or Pee Wee King, or vintage Eddy Arnold? Not so much – and there wasn’t exactly a clamor for them to do so. Haggard’s tributes to Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills were heralded precisely because they were out of the ordinary. So for fans of the artists of the 60s and 70s and 80s to dis modern day fans for behaving no differently than their peers of 30 and 40 and 50 years ago is, ah, unrealistic, to put the kindest possible light on it.

    And in the second place, to see people whose knowledge might be said to be an inch deep ragged on by someone whose demonstrated knowledge is all of two inches deep is just ludicrous.

  78. Barry Mazor
    February 19, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Dear Waynoe.

    Whatever he sounds like to you here, I can assure you that in the non-virtual world Jon’s “bitter existence” consists of doing work he loves, being rewarded for it with respect, having an excellent family to whom he’s devoted and who love him back, and a variety of friends. And he ain’t all THAT old either.

    There. I’ve outed him. You now know more of the facts about the guy behind this peculiar hobby voice of his than, as far as I can tell, we’ll ever know about you.

    Speaking only for myself, I wish we could drop all of this petty back and forth comment smack-a-mole, , which is not particularly helpful, enlightening or, for most people, fun, and could, I suspect, send some who’d like to hang here for what’s valuable running from the tone.

  79. Code
    February 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    ARE YOU GUYS SERIOUS?!?!? REBA should be the one getting inducted, it’s her time this year.

  80. Paul W Dennis
    February 19, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Jon – what you say is true, although the extent to which it is true varies by locale. During the 60s and 70s there was (mostly) local ownership of radio stations and many disc jockeys had considerable freedom in the music they played.

    WCMS-AM (“where country music swings”)in Norfolk,VA was a 50,000 watt station that could be heard as far away as Baltimore. My father was US Navy for thirty years and he seemed to land in the Norfolk, VA area every other tour of duty, and when he wasn’t there he was within AM radio range so I spent the period of 1961-1968 within listening range of WCMS (and when he actually was stationed in the Norfolk area I could listen also listen to WTID – “top gun country”). Both of these stations played current hits, recent past hits and oldies – the ratio was about 60-30-10 so we got about three songs ten years or older every two hours of Hank, Lefty, ET, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Kitty Wells or whomever (with the caveat being that for the older Decca artists and for Eddy Arnold, stereo remakes of their older hits were played).

    My college years were spent in Central Florida where I live to this day. WHOO was the area country music station and it played about the same mix as did WCMS – current hits, recent hits and oldies. Both WCMS (Carolina Charlie Wiggs) and WHOO (Clay Daniels) had disc jockeys who were active country music performers so they would slip in an occasional record by Wiggs or Daniels.

    Given the wide play lists of both stations, listeners perforce received a little bit of an education about the history of the genre. That ended in my area in the mid 1980s when local FM country stations (the AM being abdicated to news and talk radio) went digital and would only play music available on CD. In the first decade of the CD very few country music oldies were made available on CD.

    Another thing contributing to the dumbing down of the country music audience – as record stores converted to CD sales, they carried far less inventory. When I would hit a record store in the 1960s I could find under Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Conway Twitty, etc several copies of the current album plus single copies of at least another five titles (and often many more titles) by the artist. For lesser artists, I’d likely be able to find at least the most recent two back issues). Nowadays you’d be lucky to find more than the current and most recent back title for all except the very biggest artists

    I agree that it is unrealistic to expect fans of any era to care much about past music but in the past they would be exposed to at least some of it. Today’s fan needs to go hunting for it, and they may well be hunting blind (or is it deaf)

  81. Jon
    February 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

    we got about three songs ten years or older every two hours of Hank, Lefty, ET, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Kitty Wells…

    But of course, in the 60s, those were records from the preceding decade – the equivalent of playing stuff from the 90s today. To have been playing the equivalent of the 60s and 70s today back then would have meant airing stuff from Eck Robertson, Uncle Dave Macon, the Cumberland Ridge Runners, the Monroe Brothers,

    I mean, I think country radio’s doing a poorer job of playing catalog stuff these days than it used to, but the difference isn’t big enough to be significant with respect to the issue on the table – the propensity of all but pretty passionate fans to be way more interested in current stuff than in digging up the old.

  82. Paul W Dennis
    February 19, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “But of course, in the 60s, those were records from the preceding decade – the equivalent of playing stuff from the 90s today. To have been playing the equivalent of the 60s and 70s today back then would have meant airing stuff from Eck Robertson, Uncle Dave Macon, the Cumberland Ridge Runners, the Monroe Brothers,”

    True enough but we did get the occasional Merle Travis or Floyd Tillman song from the 40s and WCMS played some Jimmie Rodgers, Original Carter Family and Bob Wills. A lot of the other stuff you mentioned would have been very hard to find, except on 78s or albums dubbed from 78s; even back then, radio station listeners expected better fidelity than that.

  83. Jon
    February 19, 2011 at 10:34 am

    And you might get the occasional George Jones or Merle Haggard or Conway Twitty cut on today’s country stations in secondary and tertiary markets, too; that doesn’t seriously affect the main point.

  84. johnny
    February 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    hey Reba has already been in the Hall of Fame since 2008 along with Tom T.Hall,Pop Stoneman,Statler Bros

  85. numberonecountryfan
    February 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    For johnny: Reba McEntire is NOT in the Country Music Hall of Fame. She should, though.

  86. johnny
    February 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Correction.Reba is NOT in the hall of fame 2008.That was Emmylou Harris Sorry.

  87. Paul W Dennis
    February 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I am not sure what you mean by “secondary and tertiary markets” – WCMS reached easily into Washington DC and covered much of eastern North Carolina. Powerful country music stations were pretty rare in the 1960s and 1970s. The other great country station blanketing the area was WWVA out of Wheeling, WV. Cities like Boston, Philadelphia or New York would have been secondary or tertiary markets as far as country music was concerned

  88. johnny
    February 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Cross your fingers.This year will be the time for Reba,Hank Jr.,Jean Shepard,Wilburn Bros.,Stanley Bros. to be inducted in hall of fame.I can feel it.

  89. WAYNOE
    February 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I am really interested in this year’s inductees.

  90. johnny
    February 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I found this on YouTube ”Ttwelve country singers who should be in the Hall of Fame” They are Billy Walker,Charlie Walker,Cal Smith,Connie Smith,Dottie West,Jean Shepard,Johnny Horton,Mel Street,Red Sovine,Stonewall Jackson,Vern Gosdin,Wynn Stewart.Too bad they didn’t mention 10-12 more.

  91. Barry Mazor
    February 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I find that among country fans with enough interest in history to care, the two artists most often THOUGHT to be in the Hall, who aren’t, are Johnny Horton and the Maddox BRothers and Rose. Another from relatively modern times often brought up is Jerry Lee Lewis..

    (In my humble but at least somewhat informed opinion, some of the people on the list above will get in, later or sooner, others are less likely. It’s partly a practical matter of having some people, enough people, among those involved in making the nominations and then those doing the voting, caring enough to get there–and there’s inevitably higher and lower points of attention to any possible inductees.)

  92. Paul W Dennis
    February 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I really liked King Malachi “Mel” Street – I think I have all of his albums and some other stuff that never made it to an album. That said, I wouldn’t put him in the CMHOF due to his short career. If an artist is going in on a short career, it had better be a very brilliant career stuffed with the accomplishments usually associated with a much longer career (Hank Williams, to a lesser extent Patsy Cline) or be that of a pioneer of some sort (Jimmie Rodgers).

    At the time of his death, Mel had been charting for six years, had four top ten singles (his first two, 1972′ “Borrowed Angel” and “Lovin’ On Back Streets” – also his two biggest hits, and then two more in ’76 & ’77. Another nine of his singles reached the top twenty. Prior to 1972 he performed locally in West Virginia. He wasn’t especially known as a songwriter. It is a very thin resume for admission to the CMHOF. His resume, qualitatively, is about that of Cal Smith, another excellent singer. Keith Whitley’s resume is much stronger. I’d love to see all three get in, but I doubt that more than one of them (probably Whitley) ever gets in

  93. johnny
    February 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    They should have a Hall of Fame for those who had a short career like Patsy Cline,Johnny Horton,Keith Whitley,Mel Street,others.They will not be forgotten.

  94. Razor X
    February 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Patsy Cline is already in the Hall of Fame. She was the first woman to be inducted as a solo act.

  95. Barry Mazor
    February 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I have always looked at readiness for the Hall of Fame this way–and I think for a lot of people, it’s the spoken or unspoken way, too–more objective and fair to other people’s tastes, too than just “Well, who do I personally really, really like–or happen to know?”

    It’s this: Is the music different because they came along, because they were there? Some short careers, and some massively popular artists that might not have brought critical raves at the time would get a yes this way, as well as the “must have, Bets-of-the-bests”..

    And I think that’s more or less what happens.

    Remember, a lot of people admitted to the Hall, from the beginning, and by design, were not performing artists at all, popular or otherwise–but people from the industry who’ve made a difference, “famed” to the industry..

    Having made a difference in the story seems a reasonable thing to think about with the performers, too..

  96. Jon
    February 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Yup, and in that regard, I think Paul’s right: Whitley, yep (and don’t forget, his career didn’t begin in the mid-80s, but in the early 70s, giving him nearly 20years), Street and Smith, sorry, guys.

  97. johnny
    February 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    How about Del Wood,ragtime pianist.I love her song ”Down Yonder”

  98. luckyoldsun
    February 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I’ll sometimes play a CD of an old country star when I have one of my NYC friend/acquaintances in my car. I’ve played ET, Foley, Lefty, Faron, Ray Price, Charlie Walker, Cal Smith–I think they’re all fabulous and even people who’ve never heard of them sometimes like them or find them tolerable. (Hank, at least, they’ve heard of.)

    The one disc I would not put on–unless it was for someone with a real sick sense of humor is Mel Street. I’d be afraid they’d either smack me in the head, throw up on the dashboard or exit the car while it was moving.

  99. David B
    February 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Is this the week they will announce the newest members of the Hall of Fame?

    I’d bet money Reba or Kenny Rogers gets in. And they both deserve it for that category. Others who are due from that category/generation are Tanya Tucker, Hank, Jr., Vern Gosdin, The Oaks, Ray Stevens, Ronnie Milsap…..and in the not to near future, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, The Judds..etc..

    For the other category I would really love to see Jean Shepard go in this year. Long overdue. More so than any other artist of the 50’s,60’s or 70’s. Connie Smith, Dottie West, Bobby Bare, The Browns, Archie Campbell, The Stanley Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis…and yes Stringbean….need to go in soon.

    Songwriter I’d say will be Hank Cochrane. Dallas Frazier (probably the next time around, yes for sure, and well deserved). But really who knows who will get in?? This category to me is wide open. Look at the list of Country songwriters from the 1920’s to the present. Is this category open to any Country songwriter of the last 80+ years?

    Non-performers – Buddy Killen will go in soon. (Or he should at least)….and In the not to distant future, what about Lorianne Crook & Charlie Chase?? Country music promoters out of this world for nearly the last 30 years.

    Musicians – I really do not know what all this category covers? Just session musicians? I think a definite consideration must be given to the late Bashful Brother Oswald. His longevity with the late Roy Acuff and on the Opry, as well as solo albums and his influence might be enough to give him a place in the Hall of Fame. This also could be said for the late Don Rich of the Buckaroos. I would say Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Mark O’Conner and the late Pete Drake will all get in someday.

  100. johnny
    February 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I agree with you with all those picks David B.

  101. Barry Mazor
    February 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I’ll be at this year’s Hall of Fame inductee announcements, which is next Tuesday–morning of March 1.

  102. Chuck Dauohin
    February 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    This is a blog I just wrote for NEW MUSIC WEEKLY magazine. I know I will take a few hits for Ray Charles……but see what you think!

    There hasn’t been an official date set yet, but the Country Music Hall of Fame will soon announce their class of inductees for 2011. This is one of the biggest debates in Nashville, as there are plenty of acts from the pre-1970s who deserve induction, and as time goes on…..the 80s and 90s, as well…..Typically, four inductees go in each year. Three artists, and one industry insider / sideman. Here, in my opinion, are 20 artists….and 5 others that I think deserve it. Ten years ago, when the Hall of Fame opened, they inducted twelve….It might be time to play a little catch-up once again…..

    JIM ED BROWN—-A toss-up between him and the Browns trio of which he sang lead. He developed one of the more under-rated solo careers in the history of the format, and also became one of the major TV stars in Country Music of the 60s through the 80s.

    ARCHIE CAMPBELL—-It’s been a while since a comedian was inducted, and Campbell deserves the slot. His style of comedy was very unique and cutting edge when he joined the Opry in 1958, his RCA albums are legendary, and of course, as one of the head writers of Hee Haw, he helped to define Country Comedy long before the “Blue Collar Boys.”

    JUNE CARTER CASH—-You might be surprised to know that June is not a member, but even if she hadn’t married Johnny, her place as a performer was set. With Johnny, they became Mr. and Mrs. Country Music—on a larger scale than George & Tammy or Tim & Faith.

    RAY CHARLES——People get emotional, and rightly so, about who is not in the Hall—-but in my opinion—none of the names on this list did as much to expose Country Music to the masses than Charles’ frequent forays into the genre’s classics.

    COWBOY COPAS—-A favorite of the 40s and 50s, he is wrongly known sometimes as a footnote to being a passenger in the Piper Comanche that killed Patsy Cline, but his King Records of the 40s, and Starday Records of the 60s made him famous on his own merits.

    JOHNNIE AND JACK—-Just like the Louvin Brothers, this duo inspired many including Waylon and the Desert Rose Band. I hope the voters get this oversight taken care of soon so Johnnie Wright can enjoy it.

    JOHNNY HORTON—–You think Dwight and Marty have swagger? They definitely stole a few tricks off Horton’s sleeve. He wasn’t active long—–due to his tragic passing in a 1960 automobile accident after a show—-but “The Battle Of New Orleans” and “North To Alaska” speak for themselves!

    JERRY LEE LEWIS—-Strangely, he is not in the Hall just yet. But, it’s an obvious choice at some point. Whether his Sun classics of the 50s or his traditional Mercury sides in the 60s and 70s, the “Killer” deserves to be in this group.

    REBA McENTIRE—–Dolly? Check. Loretta? Check. Tammy? Check. Aside from those three, has any other female country singer opened more doors since? I don’t think so. This one is going to happen, and it might be soon.

    RONNIE MILSAP—-George Strait, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, and Alabama are four of the five acts with 40 or more number one records. They’re in. Guess who the fifth is? Only one of the most revered performers of the past forty years.

    OAK RIDGE BOYS—-Their story has been ongoing since the 1940s. But, the foursome known as Duane, Joe, William Lee, and Richard have carved out their own legacy and keep on ticking.

    JERRY REED—–Yeah, he was a great sidekick to Burt Reynolds. And, while those movies made Jerry Reed a household name in the late 70s, his guitar licks influenced a generation of pickers, and his records were incredible—all of them. Plus, to my knowledge, he was the only Country singer featured on Scooby Doo! Now, that’s saying something!

    KENNY ROGERS—–This one has been an oversight for a while. Whether you like pop-oriented Country or not….from 1977-1985, there was no Country singer more popular than Kenny Rogers. As my favorite singer, I may be a little biased, but along with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, there may not be a more recognized Country performer in the world.

    JEAN SHEPARD—-She wasn’t the first (Patsy Montana) or the most successful, but Shepard paved the way for female vocalists in the 50s with her classic output for Capitol Records. She influenced many out west in California, and has been the matriarch of female vocalists at the Opry for years.

    RICKY SKAGGS—-We’re getting to the point that the 80’s have to be looked at as closely as any decade now, and that’s created a log jam with some of these artists. But he not only brought traditional Country back to prominence in the 80s, but his return to Bluegrass in the 1990s helped to spark new interest in the format.

    CONNIE SMITH—-Poll most Country acts about their favorite female vocalist, and they will tell you Connie Smith. Dolly Parton will, and that’s good enough for me. But, a listen to her RCA and Monument works prove she was one of the best of all time—-and still is.

    RANDY TRAVIS—–Travis deserves to get in soon before the class of the 90s make their way into the Hall. He took what Skaggs and Strait were doing, and kicked the door down for traditional Country in the late 1980s. Pre-Garth, he was everywhere, and released some of the 80s and 90s more timeless recordings to come out of Music City.

    DOTTIE WEST——-She looked the part of a Country singer, and lived the life of a Country song. Her stage sass and upbeat persona helped to inspire a new generation of Country female vocalists who were a little more saucy in their approach. But, as is the case with all of the above, he recordings—whether RCA Nashville Sound or 80s’ Liberty Country Pop—speak for themselves.

    WILBURN BROTHERS—–Brothers Doyle and Teddy has success with their records, their TV show, and built Sure-Fire music into one of the powerhouse publishing companies in town. Along the way, they helped countless future stars, including Loretta Lynn, Johnny Russell, and the Osborne Brothers.

    HANK WILLIAMS, JR.—-For close to five decades, he’s been a part of the Country Music landscape in so many ways. Yes, he’s brash, cocky, and very much outspoken about what he thinks. But his omission from the Hall is as ridiculous as his one-time duet partner, Ray Charles. Voters, the career speaks volumes for this one!

    MAE BOREN AXTON—–She gave so many Nashville songwriters and performers a helping hand—-from a Tupelo, MS cat named Elvis to current CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton. One of the more unsung heroes in the business.

    JOE GALANTE—-You could make a case for Fred Foster or Jimmy Bowen, I guess. But, stepping into some legendary shoes at RCA, Galante made the company bigger than ever. Yes, he had the talent, but with acts like The Judds, KT Oslin, Keith Whitley, and others, he also proved he had the ears. Country Music wouldn’t be the same without his guidance.

    BUDDY KILLEN—-From an industry standpoint, the fact that the man who co-owned and ran Nashville’s biggest publishing company of all time is not in the Hall aside Dolly, Bill Anderson, and Roger Miller—all people who are in the Hall is complete and utter B.S., and I don’t mean Blake Shelton. This has to get taken care of—soon.

    SAM LOVULLO—–Most people don’t know the name. However, from 1969-1992, he was the producer of Hee Haw. Yes, that might have not been the most glamorous image for Country….Could you imagine Rascal Flatts in Kornfield Kounty? But, it was THE vehicle for exposure for Country artists during that time period. And, how many of today’s biggest stars cite the show as an early example of “Must See TV?”

    DON RICH—–While I don’t think any band leader of a star has ever merited Hall induction, Donald Eugene Ulrich was no ordinary band leader. As a Buck Owens fan, Buck might have made it without Don…..but he wouldn’t have made it as far. His harmony and guitar playing WERE the Bakersfield sound, and though he wasn’t known as much as a fiddler than a guitarist—–there’s never been a fiddler in Country Music any better, and you can quote me on that!

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as I know many have passionate feelings about this,,,,,Who would I induct this year, based on the Hall’s usual criteria?

    PRE-1950 Johnnie & Jack

    PRE-1970 Hank Williams, Jr,

    POST 1970 Reba McEntire

    INDUSTRY Buddy Killen

    Plus a special slot for Ray Charles……You’ve gotta have him in there!

  103. johnny
    February 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Good one Chuck.But I think there are several from 1920s-1940s,several more from 1950s-1960s.

  104. Barry Mazor
    February 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Sensible comments, Chuck, but the category break-downs changed a couple of years ago, not the pre-7-/post/industry ones any more.

    The categories this year, for instance, are “Modern Era” (artists are eligible 20 years after they first became prominent), “Veteran’s Era” ( 45 years after first prominence) and a revolving third–which this year is for “Songwriter.” (In other years, the third would be “Non-Performer” {Where a Buddy Killen could come in} or “Performing/Touring Musician Active Pre-1980 {Won last time it came around by Harold Bradley}..

  105. David B
    February 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Personally, I believe Roy Orbison should be inducted before Ray Charles. I think Roy had the bigger influence on Country performers. I really don’t see Ray Charles ever getting inducted.

    The other names you mentioned I would have to agree they all need to be inducted or least considered. Jean Shepard the most urgent.

    Sadly, with the new induction category rules in affect, I really don’t believe anyone with pre-1950-1959 popularity, will ever get inducted. This will probably leave out Cowboy Copas, Johnny Horton, Johnnie & Jack, Elton Britt, Al Dexter, Bradley Kincaid, Rose Maddox…etc…. George Morgan, Johnny Bond, Pop Stoneman, DeFord Bailey, Bill Carlisle..etc, all made it in “just in time”.

    I have no idea who sits on this “panel” of electors. But I would say there are not many who sits on the panel today that grew up in the generation that would appreciate several of the artists that I have mentioned above. If those artists were going to get elected I would think It would have already been done. Personally, I do not like the situation, but I feel it is just the way it is. I have heard of petitions with thousands of signatures from Country fans for a certain artist to be inducted. They were basically told by the CMA it was a waste of time.

    But lets face it. Not everyone can be in a Hall of Fame, or it would not be special. I love the music of Johnny Russell, Charlie Walker, Ronnie McDowell, Mel Street and Mel McDaniel. Will any of those guys make the Hall of Fame? —- NO —- I do not believe they will. But I will continue to listen and enjoy their music until my last breath.

  106. Paul W Dennis
    February 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    As I sit here reading these posts, I’ve been listening to the recordings Jean Shepard made for United Artists after she left Capitol (No, they are not available on CD – I burned them off the five UA albums in my collection). They are among my favorite recordings and hammer home just why it is that Jean Shepard belongs in the CMHOF. Even during the mid 1970s, Jean was still at full power vocally, which made her 125% of anyone else (except Connie Smith) recording at the time.

    Rather unusual for a female singer Jean held onto her full vocal prowess until she reached about age 70. Since then she’s lost some range and volume, but she can still bring it and the recordings she made after leaving UA are worth obtaining

    Ray Charles and Roy Orbison ?? Magnificent artists both – I can make a case for Ray Charles as a pioneer / contributor , but the case for Roy Orbison is very weak as a country performer

    I’d love to see Bradley Kincaid make it but for most, he’s too obscure. Sam Lovullo I really hadn’t considered – certainly the case for him would be weaker than for the likes of Ralph Emery, Bill Mack, Buddy Killen and perhaps even Merle Kilgore

  107. johnny
    February 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Maybe they should have a hall of fame for the obscure & the almost forgotten.At least they will be remembered [sort of]

  108. David B
    February 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I found “When Two Worlds Collide” and “Tips Of My Fingers” by Jean Shepard on YOU TUBE last night. Listening to them, It almost makes you speechless. It is a pure travesty she is not in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

    I also found several of Bradley Kincaid’s recordings as well. Being a big Grandpa Jones fan myself, I can hear Grandpa’s style in Kincaid’s recordings. Reading interviews with Grandpa, there is no doubt Kincaid was a BIG influence on him. Bradley Kincaid should have been considered for induction at the conception of the Hall of Fame, and not only being “talked about” some 50 years later.

  109. Jon
    February 24, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Maybe they should have a hall of fame for the obscure & the almost forgotten.

    That wouldn’t really be a hall of fame, would it?

  110. Barry Mazor
    February 24, 2011 at 7:09 am

    On this “less famous than others” thing: Remember, the Hall of Fame is also a museum, and walking tour of the history of country music in all of its facets. Virtually all of the artists people bring up as potential inductees ARE “in the Hall of Fame,” in the sense that what they did is raised, sometimes prominently, within the museum. And with expansion now slated for the place over the next few years, there will be even more of that.

  111. Waynoe
    February 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

    @Barry – More recognition for those who were influential in the genre other than being a singer would certainly be welcomed. Not that none have, but more would be nice to well-round the history.


  112. johnny
    February 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Maybe that’s why I have my own private country hall of fame since 1990.I not only have the greats and well known singers who are NOT in the offical hall of fame,but I also have the obscure & almost forgotten.In my book that’s offical and they won’t be forgotten.

  113. johnny
    February 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    We should have more comedians in the hall of fame like Cousin Jody,Lonzo & Oscar,Jerry Clower,Ray Stevens,Archie Campbell,Junior Samples,Jamup & Honey [a blackface comic duo from the 1940s],Brother Dave Gardner,the Hoosier Hot Shots.

  114. Kathleen
    February 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    For all those people going on about Reba getting a spot there is plenty of time for her she is relatively young, it’s the people that started country music that should be put in first the hall are so far behind.

    There’s Dottie West- Dead for 20 years first woman to win a grammy, broke so many boundaries and opened doors and did what she wanted.. The Hall could use a little country sunshine.

    Jean Shepard- 78 years old was the youngest person to have a number 1.

    Stonewall Jackson- Got opry membership before he got a recording contract, but they probaly won’t induct him because he sued the opry for ageism.

    Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins- Died in same plane crash as Patsy Cline she got inducted so it’s only fair they be put in.

    Skeeter Davis- Her amount of hits and acheivements speak for themselves.

    Connie Smith- Number one hit that debuted at number one and stayed at the top for 8 weeks, she had plenty of other hits and has been a big influence.

    Anyway there are countless others

  115. David B
    February 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

    One artist that Chuck mentioned that slip my mind was June Carter Cash. I would not induct her as a solo act, but I think a strong consideration could be made for The Carter Family group of the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s, consisting of Mother Maybelle, June, Helen & Anita. They were long time Opry members and very popular.
    People assume they are all included in the Original Carter Family inducted in the early 1970’s. They are not.
    If this induction ever does happen, it would make Mother Maybelle the second artist to be inducted twice. The other of course, Roy Rogers, as a member of the legendary Sons of The Pioneers and for his solo career.

  116. Paul
    February 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Stonewall Jackson, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins made some very decent records, but none of them are HoF material. I have doubts about Skeeter Davis, too, especially when Jean and Connie are much more obvious candidates.

  117. johnny
    February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I agree with David B. & Kathleen.I also think they should induct 10-12 every 2-3 years,then go back with 1-3 people every 2-3 years,keep doing that until everybody’s in.

  118. johnny
    February 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Hey Paul would it something if Skeeter,Jean & Connie go in together?

  119. Barry Mazor
    February 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Again, for Kathleen and anybody else not following the Hall induction categories–Reba getting in would have no effect on Connie or Jean Shepherd getting in whatsoever, since she’s in a different category by time than they are.

    There is a category set aside for relatively more receent stars, whose careers took off 20-44 years ago, and Reba’s in that, the other two greta ladies the 45 years ago plus category. The Hall wants–and as an all-inclusive attraction, needs– to include people from the more contemporary–yet tried and proven–era. It’s easy to forget that a Roy Acuff or a Johnny Cash were not ancient, and not been around forever when their time came to get in either.

  120. Paul
    February 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    We all have our wish-lists, but putting that aside, who do you think will make it this year?

    Songwriter: The newest category and one that boasts several really strong candidates. Dallas Frazier has been mentioned as a possibility, but I have a feeling that Hank Cochran’s death last year might tip it in his favour
    Veteran: I agree with those who think that recent changes have shut the door on people like Charlie Poole, the Blue Sky Boys and Bradley Kincaid, which is a shame. so, based on the fact that both acts are long-past due, I’ll plump for Jean Shepard, who has a certain ‘buzz’ about her, and the Stanley Brothers who get in on the back of Ralph’s autbiography.
    Modern: The buzz on this board and elsewhere revolves around Reba, but then Garth was named to the Songwriters HoF the other day and I started to second-guess myself. that said, I think I’ll go for Reba with Ricky Skaggs as a possible tied vote.

    Over to you folks and remember, this isn’t about your favourite, it’s about who you think they’ll name on March 1st.

  121. David B
    February 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    We agree on Hank Cochran. I really think he’ll go in this year. But how far back into Country history can this category go? 80+ years??? That’s a lot of songwriters, just to now have a category for, some 50 years after the Hall of Fame was organized.

    Modern era – Reba, Ronnie Milsap or Kenny Rogers. But you never know. I was shocked last year (but thrilled) that Don Williams got in before Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap.

    Veterans – Like you I would love for it to be Jean Shepard. But I have been thinking “this will be the year” for the last 10 or 15 years. So who knows. I’ll say it will be Jean Shepard, Connie Smith, Bobby Bare or The Browns (I really can’t see Jim Ed getting inducted without Bonnie & Maxine).

    Now, what about Hank, Jr. ??? He could go in either category couldn’t he? It was like he had two different careers. 60’s thru the mid 70’s and then when he really became a superstar in late 70’s thru the early 90’s. Which category will he be inducted under? We all know he will be inducted someday.

  122. Barry Mazor
    February 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Re: Hank Cochran–whom I’m sure will be in there sooner or later: I believe that there’s a rule that nobody goes in within the year they died, to prevent short-term sentimental votes.

  123. Vickie Crowe
    February 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Jean Shepard, Connie Smith, Gene Watson. Hank Williams Jr. and Dottie West….those are my votes for inductees this year…Espically Dottie West!

  124. Paul
    February 26, 2011 at 1:00 am


    I am aware of the rule about the recently deceased and sentimental voting, but they’ve overlooked it on a number of occasions (Wynette, Montana, Nolan, Spencer). I’m not certain I wholly buy into the “we made the decision beforehand” response that’s then trotted out.

  125. johnny
    February 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Speaking of overlooking people for the Hall of Fame,there are some who should have gone in before they died.Stringbean,Faron Young,DeFord Bailey,Boxcar Willie,Homer & Jethro,etc.Or they should have had a Hall of Fame type of award starting with Jimmie Rodgers in 1930.

  126. Paul
    February 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I really don’t think Boxcar Willie was ever a HoF candidate.

  127. David B
    February 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper have not been mentioned. They had a very unique style of music that has never been matched. I could see them going in before some of the names mentioned above.

  128. johnny
    February 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Wilma Lee & Scotty were great.It’s their turn for the hall of fame.

  129. Barry Mazor
    February 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Wilma Lee and Stoney . Lulu Belle and Scotty.

    Which pair do ya mean, suh?

  130. johnny
    February 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hey Berry I made a slight boo bo.They are both great and they both derserve to be in the hall of fame.

  131. Chuck Dauphin
    March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Bobby Braddock—-A surprise, but how can you complain?

    Jean Shepard—–Congratulations to a lot of people, including Jean, on this. I know for many, this was the most glaring omission to the Hall. Very well deserving! Her emotion was so touching.

    Reba McEntire—Again, possibly the most deserving of the modern era…..

  132. johnny
    March 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Happy to see Reba,Jean & Bobby go in,although I was surprised about Bobby.I was looking for somebody else.If fact.I was really hoping for 10-12 inductees like it was in 2001.

  133. Barry Mazor
    March 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    My name is Barry. Not Berry. thanks.

  134. johnny
    March 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    OK now that the 2011 hall of fame inductions are over,who do you think will be the next inductees for 2012? I know what youre all going to say;Hank Jr.,Dottie West,Wilburn Bros.,Stanley Bros.,Bobby Bare,Hank Cochran,Wilma Lee & Stoney,Lula Belle & Scotty,many others.

  135. Waynoe
    March 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Well, Connie Smith of course, Duh.

  136. Bruce
    March 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    2012 will be a sideman. I am hoping for Buck Trent,Don Rich or Bashful Brother Oswald. I like the idea of Connie Smith, Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Jack Greene or Stonewall Jackson in the Veterans category. In the Modern Category, I think that Ronnie Milsap is a possibility, along Randy Travis. Ricky Skaggs or Alan Jackson.

  137. Chuck Dauphin
    March 1, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I know it’s early, but I love the speculation!

    Sideman—-Don Rich
    Veterans—Jerry Reed or Dottie West
    Modern—–Ricky Skaggs or Kenny Rogers

  138. Kathleen
    March 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Well I’m delighted jean shepard got inducted that omission for all those years was disgraceful and i’m proud she said that the cma should give the other singers their dues.

    I’m just praying that Dottie West and Skeeter Davis go in next.

  139. johnny
    March 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    yeah they should have a hall of fame for sidemen like Oswald,Don Rich,Billy Byrd,others.

  140. Barry Mazor
    March 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Well Johnny, there is, in that the Country hall of Fame has a revolving category precisely for musicians like those–and, though it’s had to move and, we can hope, restart, to get out of the way of the new Convention Center, hotel and Country Hall expansion going on in down town Nashville, there’s been The Musicians’ Hall of Fame as well, also for sidemen..

  141. Jon
    March 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    How about a Hall of Fame where they just put everybody? That would make induction simple!

  142. luckyoldsun
    March 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Have to agree with the above point.

    As in baseball, the for the HoF to have any value it has to keep some good or admired players/performers out.

    Skeeter Davis and Dottie West seem to fall into that class of performers who enhance the stature of the HoF by being kept out.

  143. Paul W Dennis
    March 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Why not speculate ??

    For 2012

    Sideman—-Don Rich or Josh Graves
    Veterans— Connie Smith or Bobby Bare

    Modern—– I suspect it will be Kenny Rogers’ turn. I’m not saying it should be Kenny Rogers but I’m sticking with my comment at the end of the article: “If I were a betting man, I would bet that Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire will be inducted in 2011 or 2012…”

  144. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    For 2012 Recording Or Touring Musician Don Rich Veterans Connie Smith Modern Garth Brooks Shoo-in Now Since Alabama Strait Gill & Reba Are All In

  145. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Are You Guys Serious??? Garth should be the one getting inducted its his time next year

  146. Barry Mazor
    March 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Will Garth get in, in that modern category, before, say, Charlie Daniels or Alan Jackson or Hank Jr. or the Oak Ridge Boys or Ricky Skaggs or Tanya Tucker or Kenny Rogers or Ronnie Milsap, for examples?

    Who knows! But you can probably bet that it happens at some point..

  147. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Barry You forgot Randy Travis Too

  148. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Who Will Definitely Be In The Hall Of Fame This Decade And Who Probably Be In The Hall Of Fame This Decade Too Barry

  149. Barry Mazor
    March 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Could well be, on Randy, eventually. Wasn’t trying to think of all who could be up for that now; there are no doubt more. The point is, it’s especially hard to predict an order on the more recent artists. And it’s hard enough with the earlier ones who’ve had to wait!

  150. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Barry Whats Your Predictions For Next Year

  151. Barry Mazor
    March 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I’m trying to explain why I don’t try to predict those things much! But I’ve already expressed the idea earlier, above somewhere, that in the veterans field, finally inducting Jean Shepard this year might well increase Connie Smith’s chances, on the grounds (an educated surmise) that they may have been splitting some votes who were for both of them…

  152. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Whats This For A List??? Ronnie Millsap Kenny Rogers Tanya Tucker The Oak Ridge Boys Vern Gosdin Hank Williams Jr The Bellamy Brothers Gene Watson Dottie West David Allan Coe Johnny Paycheck Patty Loveless Charlie Daniels Marty Stuart Ricky Skaggs Keith Whitley The Judds As Far As Comedians Go Archie Campbell Ray Stevens Jerry Clower

  153. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    And Yes Eventually Randy Travis Alan Jackson And Yes… Garth Eventually

  154. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Also Connie Smith Bobby Bare Jerry Reed Jim Ed Brown Or The Browns Jack Greene Stonewall Jackson All Deserving

  155. Barry Mazor
    March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I suspect that it would be very tough for comedians to get in any more, since their roles have changed so. And I say this as the researcher and writer of the Jerry Clower marker going up, in his town Liberty, on the Mississippi Country Music Trail–tomorrow. Ray Stevens may be a special case since there’s also hit music involved.

  156. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I Forgot Skeeter Davis

  157. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    And In The Not To Near Future Brooks & Dunn Trisha Yearwood Martina Mcbride Tim Mcgraw And Yes Shania Twain Etc.

  158. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Barry If They Do 12 Inductees Next Year Just Like In 2001 Whats Your Predictions For The Veterans Era 4 People Modern Era 4 People And Recording Or Touring Musician 4 People

  159. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    My 12 Inductees Are Veterans Era The Browns The Willburn Brothers Bobby Bare And Connie Smith Modern Era The Judds Randy Travis Ricky Skaggs And Ronnie Millsap Recording Or Touring Musician Don Rich Buck Trent Uncle Josh Graves And Bashful Brother Oswald

  160. Barry Mazor
    March 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I have no reason to think they’ll be doing 12. Do you? Maybe as a special thing when the Hall is finished being expanded, but that’s several years away. And I don’t know that they’ll do it then either!

  161. luckyoldsun
    March 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Richie represents the “Every-country-star-belongs-in-the-Hall-of-Fame” school.

    Jack Greene? Dottie West? David Allan Coe? Jerry Clower Trisha Yearwood? Marty Stuart?
    Sure, why not? And throw in Shelly West, Joe Diffie and “Larry the Cable Guy” while we’re at it. There’s plenty of acreage surrounding the Hall of Fame and they can always add more wings. Or they can build up! The building could definitely use a tower!

  162. richie leitner
    March 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Barry Its The Halls 50th Anniversary This Year I Would Think They Should Do 12 Next Year 4 Each In The Veterans And Modern Era And Recording Or Touring Musician Categories

  163. richie leitner
    March 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    My Predictions For 2012 Are Veterans Era Connie Smith Modern Era Randy Travis For 2013 Veterans Era Bobby Bare Modern Era Ronnie Milsap For 2014 Veterans Era The Browns Modern Era Ricky Skaggs And For 2015 Veterans Era The Willburn Brothers And Modern Era The Judds

  164. richie leitner
    March 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I Really Think These Will Get In Next Year Veterans Era Bobby Bare Connie Smith The Browns And The Willburn Brothers Modern Era The Judds Ronnie Milsap Ricky Skaggs And Randy Travis In 2013 Veterans Era Jerry Reed Modern Era Kenny Rogers And In 2014 Songwriter Don Schlitz Veterans Era Hank Williams Jr Modern Era Charlie Daniels The Oak Ridge Boys Alan Jackson And Brooks & Dunn

  165. richie leitner
    March 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    And In 2015 They Will Induct The Biggest Selling And Best Internationally Known Country Star Of All And The #1 Best Selling Solo Artist Of All Time In Usa History And Worldwide In The Modern Era Category…Garth

  166. richie leitner
    April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Hey LuckyOldSun Thanks For The Compliment.I Do Believe Every Good Country Artist Deserves To Be In But Not The Bad Have A Great Day

  167. Casey James Putnam
    May 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I have ten names that should be in the hall of fame before I take the Hall of Fame serious anymore.Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich,Charlie Rich and Charlie Rich.

  168. Paul W Dennis
    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I very much like Charlie Rich, but his best work wasn’t country at all. A self-described acolyte of Stan Kenton, Rich was at his best when walking the border beteen jazz and R&B. His country treacle was okay, good even, but his very best work lay outside the realm of country music including his final master piece PICTURES AND PAINTING. If there was an American Music Hall of Fame for all genres of music, Charlie would definitely belong in it. As for the Country Music Hall of Fame, Charlie is a marginal candidate

  169. richie leitner
    May 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    @BarryMazor Will Garth get in that modern category before say Charlie Daniels or Alan Jackson or Hank Jr or The Oak Ridge Boys or Ricky Skaggs or Tanya Tucker or Kenny Rogers or Ronnie Milsap for examples?
    Who knows But you can probably bet that it happens at some point
    Barry He Should And Will Go In Before Daniels Jackson Hank Jr The Oaks Skaggs Tucker Rogers And Milsap He Should And Will Go In Before Them Hes The Top Selling Solo Artist Of All Time With 128 Millon Record Sales Alone His Record Sales Will Ensure His Place He Has To Be Inducted Along With Randy Travis Within The Next Year Or Two Randy In 2012 Because Hes Celebrating 25 Years In Music This Year He Saved Country Music In 1986 And Garth In 2013 Both Garth And Randy Have To Be Inducted As Soon As Possible Alabama Got In 2005 George Strait In 2006 Vince Gill In 2007 And Reba This Year So The Next 80s And 90s Superstars That Have To Go In Are Garth And Randy Randy Saved Country Music And Garth For His Record Sales Alone Both Deserve Their Place In The Country Music Hall Of Fame Randy Has To Go In Next Year And Garth In 2013 No Doubt About It They Both Have To Be Inducted As Soon As Possible

  170. richie leitner
    May 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    The People Who Must Enter The Hall In That Modern Category This Decade Are
    Garth Brooks 2012
    Alan Jackson 2013
    Hank Jr Kenny Rogers Ronnie Milsap Randy Travis 2014
    Ricky Skaggs 2015
    Tanya Tucker 2016
    The Judds 2017
    Brooks And Dunn 2018
    Tim McGraw 2019

  171. Dr. No
    May 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Garth Brooks before Hank Jr, Randy Travis, Ronnie Milsap, and Kenny Rogers?! SERIOUSLY?!?!

  172. richie leitner
    May 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

    @Dr.No I Want Garth Inducted Within The Next Year Or Two Hes Countrys Biggest Star Hes The #1 Best Top Selling Solo Artist Of All Time Hes The Biggest Need-To Be Hall Of Famer What He Has Achieved Is Remarkable Hes A Glaring Omission From The Country Music Hall Of Fame Bet He Gets In Within The Next Year Or Two

    May 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Garth should definitely be inducted before Hank Jr, Randy Travis, Ronnie Milsap and Kenny Rogers. Garth did a lot more for country music than those artists, although most those artists deserve induction eventually.

    If merit is a major part of the qualification for induction, Garth should be inducted as soon as he is eligible. Everyone else has to wait until After Garth.

  174. richie leitner
    May 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    @Planking He Is Eligible They Changed The Criteria In 2009 From 25 Years To 20 Years So He Is Eligible In The Modern Era Artist Category

    May 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Then Garth should be in now. He is way more deserving than Randy Travis and Hank Jr. How can any of those lesser artists be in before Garth? I hope they get in but Garth should go in first.

  176. richie leitner
    May 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    @Planking His Current Wife Trisha Once Worked For The Hall Of Fame And Museum So I Have A Big Feeling And Keeping My Fingers Crossed That Garths Gonna Be One Of The Next Few Inductees Next Year And In 2013

  177. richie leitner
    May 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Heres What I Think Will Happen This Decade
    Kenny Rogers 2012
    Charlie Daniels Ronnie Milsap The Oak Ridge Boys Tanya Tucker Hank Williams Jr 2013
    Ricky Skaggs 2014
    The Judds 2015
    Randy Travis 2016
    Garth Brooks 2017
    Alan Jackson 2018
    Brooks And Dunn 2019
    Thats What I Think What Will Happen In The Modern Era Artist Category This Decade

  178. Dr. No
    May 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm


    There would be no Garth Brooks if it weren’t for Hank Jr.

  179. richie leitner
    May 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    The Country Music Hall Of Fame cant keep doing the 3-a-year tradition There are too many modern era legends that eligible including Kenny Rogers The Oak Ridge Boys Ronnie Milsap Charlie Daniels Hank Jr Tanya Tucker Ricky Skaggs Randy Travis The Judds Alan Jackson Brooks & Dunn and Garth Brooks Theyve got the 20s through the 60s covered but now its time to focus on the 70s 80s and early 90s

  180. richie leitner
    May 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Heres My Top 20
    Kenny Rogers
    Charlie Daniels
    Ronnie Milsap
    The Oak Ridge Boys
    Tanya Tucker
    Hank Williams Jr
    Garth Brooks
    Alan Jackson
    The Judds
    Ricky Skaggs
    Randy Travis
    Ray Stevens
    Vern Gosdin
    Brooks And Dunn
    Alison Krauss
    Patty Loveless
    Trisha Yearwood
    Shania Twain
    Tim McGraw
    Martina McBride

  181. richie leitner
    May 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thats My Top 20 For The Modern Era Artist Category For The Next 10 Years 2012 To 2022

  182. janie boyd
    June 21, 2011 at 9:50 am


  183. richie leitner
    July 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I Want Garth Brooks To Be Inducted In The Modern Era Artist Category Next Year In 2012 Into The Country Music Hall Of Fame

  184. janie boyd
    September 25, 2011 at 12:45 am


  185. Andrew
    September 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    DOTTIE WEST!?!?! SHE HAS BEEN DEAD FOR HOW LONG?? SHAME ON THE BOARD. She better get in before those country wannabees like Taylor Swift and all those fake people out there. Shame..

  186. janie boyd
    October 2, 2011 at 2:14 am


    March 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Argghh! They just chose Connie Smith for the Hall of Fame….over Dottie West, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Horton, Moon Mullican, Al Dexter, Spade Cooley, Jimmy Wakely, Ralph Stanley, and about a dozen other MORE DESERVING ARTISTS. I stand by my opinion (see above). She was a pretty Opry singer with a pretty voice…but she did not impact Country Music in a significant way as to merit this honor. She’s more on a level w/ Barbara Fairchild, Lynn Anderson, and Sammi Smith, and does not belong in the Hall of Fame. Sorry, but them’s the facts. I don’t think Connie had enough good songs to have influenced anybody. I think perhaps her marriage to CMA insider Marty Stuart had something to do with this induction…and that’s coming from a big Marty Stuart fan.

  188. Bruce
    March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Wayne, I must respectfully disagree about your assessment of Connie Smith. She was long overdue for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

  189. Paul W Dennis
    March 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Wayne – I couldn’t disagree more

    I can make a good case for some of the others you named but excellence in itself is worthy of recognition and there has never been a female vocalist better than Connie Smith and very few that were her equals – certainly Reba M, Barbara M, Dottie W aren’t even close

    The CMHOF has shorted the stars of the 40s such as Daffan, Dexter, Wakely but that’s a whole ‘nother matter

  190. Tom
    March 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Most deserving for 2013:

    LULU BELLE AND SCOTTY – they were radio LEGENDS in the 30s and 40s, known not just to country fans but the general public

    SKEETER DAVIS – first woman after Kitty Wells to score a third solo top ten hit in BILLBOARD; one of the first country acts to crossover to the pop market with frequency; she had an international following for decades; in the last few years she has had some of her classic hits covered in chart-topping pop albums by Susan Boyle and She & Him, had songs featured in major movies, television episodes, even a video game. What more do you want CMA???

    JOHNNY HORTON – this guy was huge in his time, his hits albums have always sold and been available and he had some of the biggest hits ever in country music history. His omission is just bizarre.

    LYNN ANDERSON – she was as big as Loretta and Tammy for many years and bigger than Dolly and Barbara during that period and surely one of the most famous country stars with the general public in the 1970’s. She’s also about the only winner of one of the big three CMA awards pre-1980 that isn’t yet in the HOF.

    DOTTIE WEST – at the top or near the top for about 30 years, how many HOFers are going to have a TV movie biography done on their lives as Dottie has?

    JUNE CARTER CASH and/or THE CARTER SISTERS/CARTER FAMILY second generation – June is an icon on her own but the sister act were in demand for decades and many consider Anita Carter the best ever female country singer, yes even over Connie Smith.

    WANDA JACKSON – What a crying shame that the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame has shown more appreciation for this country legend and inducted her into their HOF before the CMA has even put her yet on their short list of possibilities.

    JOHNNY AND JACK – probably the most popular and successful of the many male duets of the 40s/50s.

    HANK COCHRAN – easily the most deserving of the songwriters not yet inducted; only Harlan Howard ever topped him as a nonstar songwriter.

    JOHNNY GIMBLE, DEL WOOD, PETE DRAKE – truly trailblazing musicians and incredibly important to the industry.

  191. Jeff
    July 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I didn’t see Curly Putman’s name mentioned. He wrote The Green, Green Grass of Home, a country music standard. He co-wrote “He Stopped Loving Her Today” with Bobby Braddock, who has been inducted.

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