Who the Country Music Hall of Fame Should Induct Next

Paul W. Dennis | September 25th, 2008

For years the Country Music Hall of Fame was caught in the position where many deserving performers had died off 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).

By the time the Hall of Fame opened up in 1961 with the election of Hank Williams, Fred Rose and Jimmie Rodgers, there was already a significant backlog of deserving inductees. Roy Acuff was the first living inductee in 1962 and then, inexplicably, no one was elected in 1963. Tex Ritter was elected in 1965 followed by Ernest Tubb. In 1966 and 1967 there were multiple members selected, then back to one a year unless there was a tie in the voting. In the early years, election of a comedian, producer or executive meant that no singing star would be elected.

Finally, in 1996 the CMHOF started consciously electing three new inductees per year, using categories to sort the candidates. In 2001, an attempt was made to clean up the backlog with induction of ten acts, including the grotesquely overdue inductions of Webb Pierce and the Louvin Brothers.

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

  1. Connie Smith
    The genre’s best female singer ever. Period.
  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. Jimmy Dean
    Known today for his breakfast sausages, but was a pioneering television personality who brought country music to the attention of national audiences through his CBS television series in 1957-1958 and his ABC television series from 1963-1966. Jimmy introduced many acts to the American public, including Rowlf the Muppet. Along the way, Dean had several major country hits, including “Big Bad John” and “PT 109,” both of which were also major pop hits.
  4. Barbara Mandrell
    A leading performer and television personality and a top flight musician who could play virtually any instrument and play it well.
  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.

All of the artists named above are still alive, as I feel the time to honor someone is while they can still appreciate the honor. Wynn Stewart and Jerry Reed both belong in, as does Skeeter Davis, but since they are no longer here, the urgency is gone.

There are two journalists worthy of consideration: Chet Flippo and Robert K. Oermann. I could also make an argument for John Morthland.

A great case can be made for Mac Wiseman–maybe the best bluegrass vocalist ever–and for the Osborne Brothers. I would be delighted to see Jimmy Martin inducted, but bluegrass has its own inner circle and all of these fellows are in it.

Wanda Jackson requires special consideration. I think the case for inducting her into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is much stronger than for her being in the CMHOF, however, I would not object to her being inducted into the CMHOF.

I can make a decent argument for Jim Ed Brown, Jack Greene, Crystal Gayle, and Anne Murray, but won’t at this time.

Future years will find us considering Gene Watson, Patty Loveless, Rodney Crowell, Randy Travis and countless others, but this is what the pecking order should be for the next few years.

2 Pings

  1. [...] 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. [...]
  2. [...] my favorite, Paul W. Dennis’s post on who should be in the Hall of Fame. It was just such a post by Mr. Dennis that contained a comment I’ve never forgotten – that song for song, [...]
  1. Chris N.
    September 25, 2008 at 9:47 am

    That’s a mighty solid list. I’d give the Oaks the priority, though.

  2. Thomas
    September 25, 2008 at 9:53 am

    in general, i find posthumous appreciation/recognition one of the saddest cases of missed opportunity.

    hence, i’d give preference to still active artists that managed the considerable achievement to count among the greatest of their genre, while they’re still fully able to enjoy it with their fans.

    tanya tucker, reba, connie smith, hank williams jr. and ronnie milsap would be among my first picks.

  3. Razor X
    September 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Can’t argue with any of the names mentioned, but I’d add Dottie West to the list of those who are deserving of induction, but no longer with us.

  4. Blake Boldt
    September 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Fascinating article and terrific list. This discussion develops from time to time, and it always sparks interesting conversation. The selections have been far from perfect in the past (George Morgan springs to mind), but I still use the Hall as the measuring stick of greatness, even in analyzing today’s stars and their future legacies.

    I would induct Wanda Jackson into the R&R Hall, but not the CMHOF. I’d move the Oaks up on my list, too. I don’t think they receive quite the credit they deserve for their extended run and their terrific harmony work.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Smith and Shepard at the Opry this past weekend. Both (especially Smith) would sing circles around many of today’s crop of singers.

  5. TimeO
    September 25, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Garth Brooks doesn’t even make your “sometime in the future” list? He certainly is as deserving as Gene Watson or (gag) Chet Flippo. I will say, a few years ago, it was downright criminal some of the artists overlooked by the Hall of Fame. (Brenda Lee before the Louvins, Carl Smith, Porter Wagoner or Webb Pierce?!) But, they’ve done a pretty good job of catching up the past few years.

  6. Chris N.
    September 25, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Oh yeah! I want to change my vote: forget “sometime in the future,” Garth Brooks should be in the CMHoF right now.

    I’m ready to defend this stance, should anyone care to fight about it.

  7. Razor X
    September 25, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Chris, lay off the coffee, would ya?? ; )

  8. m.c.
    September 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I’d say the Country Music Hall of Fame, with only 105 members after 47 years of inductions, errs on the side of too few, which is better than on the side of too many, which has made the Rock Hall a bit of a travesty. It should feel like an exclusive club, and artists should have earned the right to stand next to Hank, Monroe, Wills, Cash, Wills, Cline, Loretta and Hag.

    I’ll add a few:

    The Stanley Brothers
    Billy Sherrill
    Ferlin Husky (I heard him announced on the radio recently as a Hall of Fame member, but he’s not)
    Kenny Rogers (like Milsap and Mandrell, maybe not the most artistically valid, but the hits and long-running status deserves it)
    Cowboy Copas
    Don Williams
    Jerry Lee Lewis
    Bobby Bare
    Charlie Daniels
    Hank Cochran

    I’ll argue with Chris and say I think there should be a 20- or 25-year period between an artist’s introduction and their Hall of Fame induction. Garth should be the first of his generation to go in, but he shouldn’t be inducted before Hank Jr., Milsap, Mandrell, or Reba. He probably will be, though.

  9. Marc
    September 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Hall of Fames are such a weird american institution, like all star games.

  10. Kelly
    September 25, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    ..and freedom.

  11. J.R. Journey
    September 25, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Very impressive list indeed. And I’ll second Chet Flippo and Robert Oermann. I have learned so much from those two individuals through their writings about the workings of the music business (Flippo) and the rich history of the music as it crawled out the hills and onto national stages (Oermann).

    After seeing an interview with Oermann a little while back, I realize the man is a walking, talking, breathing encyclopedia of country music. Neither man’s contributions to this artform should be taken lightly.

  12. Blake Boldt
    September 25, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame requires 25 years between an artist’s first recording and their induction. I’d like to see the CMHOF follow suit once they catch up (why they moved so glacially slow in the past is beyond me) so there is a certain order to the whole process.

    M.C. is correct. Quite a few Halls throughout music and sports are bloated. I road tripped with a friend this summer and we saw the Baseball and the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, and both institutions have that problem. The CMHOF is not perfect, but it could stand to open the gates just a tad more.

    Garth Brooks belongs in the Hall of Fame, sometime between 2015-2020. His induction could coincide with his 178th comeback. I’d love to argue the Hall prospects of a number of ’80s and ’90s artists, but that’s another discussion for another time.

  13. Hollerin' Ben
    September 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    first off…
    ..and freedom

    now then….

    great article, really informative and well done.

    My two cents on things are as follow

    this whole three inductions a year thing is a horrible idea. even one induction every year is silly. In the long term that assumes that a hall of fame worthy member will debut at the rate of one per year, which there is no objective reason to believe.

    second, the hall of fame isn’t really for the artists, so the idea of making sure to induct them while they are living doesn’t mean much to me, the hall of fame is for the genre. By elevating the greatest artists, and attributing the glory and mystique that an induction to the “hall of fame” should attatch, the hall will assumably inspire upcoming artists to work at that level, thus helping to keep the genre healthy.

    Which is why the statement
    I’d say the Country Music Hall of Fame, with only 105 members after 47 years of inductions, errs on the side of too few, is shocking to me.

    105 is a lot of people. 105? wow. too few?

    The danger of a hall of fame in Nashville with close ties to the industry is that it quickly becomes a seasonal promotional opportunity and a way for an industry propped up around a compromised artistic genre to legitimize itself. The Hall of Fame is supposed to legitimize great country music, not pander to the whoever moved the most units in the “country” radio format.

    and finally Chris N.

    Garth Brooks huh? well let’s hear it. I like Garth, I have all his records, he was my first favorite country artist, even now I think he has a few really good country songs, but other than his sales numbers, what is hall of fame worthy about him?

  14. Corey
    September 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Almost single handedly launching Country Music into the period of its greatest commercial success, putting out the record tours (American and World), 4 CMA entertainer of the year, 6 ACM entertainer of the year, 19 #1 Singles, songwriters hall of fame… i could go on

  15. leeann Ward
    September 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I’m with Crhis on Garth. I think he’s more “country” than people give him credit for. He’s who brought me into country music in the first place though, so I’m admittedly biased.

  16. Hollerin' Ben
    September 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I said
    but other than his sales numbers, what is hall of fame worthy about him?

    let’s see how you replied.

    “Almost single handedly launching Country Music into the period of its greatest commercial success”

    well that’s true, I think we refer to Garth as the “Father of Country Music” don’t we? Garth, and all other contemporary country artists benefit from the cache, fanbase, and infratructure that artists from the past laid out for them. Hank and Jones and a hundred others sowed it, Garth reaped it. Plus, this is a sales argument, which I reject out of hand.

    “putting out the record tours (American and World)”

    another commercial argument that has nothing to do with quality of music.

    4 CMA entertainer of the year, 6 ACM entertainer of the year

    we all know that who wins those is based LARGELY on who sells the most records/has the most commercially successful tour.

    19 #1 Singles

    this is fair to take into consideration, the next step would be to look at those 19 songs and see if they are, yaknow, any good.

    songwriters hall of fame

    I’m guessing that he made the songwriters hall of fame for the same reasons you are arguing he should make the country music hall of fame, namely, in commercial terms his popularity was unrivaled.

    Here’s the thing, you can’t prove artistic merit with sales numbers. It’s well known that a lot of really terrible music has been incredibly profitable.

    I think it’s silly to sit back and assume that we can’t tell if music is bad, mediocre, good, or great, and then say “well, since we have no way of knowing, I guess we’ll see what ‘the market’ has to say. let’s see, yup, this guy sold the most records, sold the most tickets, and was given the most rewards recognizing record sales by the trade organizations, he must be the best.”

  17. Hollerin' Ben
    September 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    note, I can be convinced that Garth should make it, I think Garth is kind of rad, but it’s not sales numbers that will do it.

    and whatever pros that are named for him, have to be balanced against the wholesale destruction of legitimate country music that accompanied his success.

  18. leeann Ward
    September 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Ben, I’m not so sure you can be convinced.:)

  19. John Maglite
    September 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Nice article, Paul. I agree with most of your choices.

    This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I think it’s pretty rad that you’re still using the word rad, Ben.

  20. Dictionary anyone
    September 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Garth is also somewhat gnarly.

  21. leeann Ward
    September 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Dude, I think rad is rad too.

  22. m.c.
    September 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm


    The 105 people in the Hall of Fame reach back to the 1920s. A decent percentage of those 105 aren’t artists, but industry executives, record producers, songwriters, musicians, deejays, booking agents, concert promoters, and so on. To say there have been 105 people who have made indelible contributions to country music and its success isn’t a huge number. Compare it to any other Hall of Fame–music, sports, what have you–and you’ll see it’s likely the hardest Hall to crack of any of those entities. That’s a good thing, I’d say.

    It’s only been 12 years now that the CMA has been electing three people a year. In two out of every three of those years, someone other than an artist–musician, executive, deejay, songwriter, etc–is inducted.

    I’ve heard a lot of arguments about the CMHOF over the years, including that there are people who have been inducted who don’t belong. (I agree). But the argument that there are too many people isn’t one that’s I’ve eve heard raised, until now. Usually the argument focuses on those who aren’t in there yet that should be. That argument usually gets a passionate response, as it has here.

    I’m also wondering how it has become a seasonal promotional activity for the country music industry? Hall of Fame induction isn’t even televised anymore, as the CMA removed the announcement of the new inductess off its television show. The winners get a short paragraph in the newspaper or a line on the CNN roll. How did electing Pop Stoneman, the Statler Brothers, Tom T. Hall and Emmylou Harris promote the contemporary country industry all? The only active entertainer in the group, Emmylou, isn’t a part of the mainstream industry at all at this point.

    Also, your statement that the Entertainer of the Year award goes to the artist who sells the most records and tickets in that given year is just flat wrong. You can go through the list year by year, and more often than not, the person voted Entertainer will not be the person who sold the most. This year’s nominations support that: By your definition, Rascal Flatts would win this year’s award, as they’re the top record seller and second to Chesney in concert ticket sales. They weren’t even nominated. Neither were the next biggest record sellers: Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.

  23. Hollerin' Ben
    September 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    “Ben, I’m not so sure you can be convinced.:)

    I totally can be. If I were on the Hall of Fame decision board or whatever, it’d be like “well, he’s the most commercially successful country artist of all time, and he’s not un-talented, and his stuff was rarely awful, of course it was rarely great….hmm….the thing is, he’s completely ridiculous and over the top a lot. and his music was super yuppie corporate music. Buck included him in the statue thing at the Crystal Palace though..hmmm…tough call”

    see?!?! I’m on the fence man.

  24. Hollerin' Ben
    September 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm


    the 105 thing is a good point, it’s not unreasonable to think that 105 people have made hall of fame worthy contributions. and I think you’re right that this”
    including that there are people who have been inducted who don’t belong. (I agree).

    is the important thing, not the actual number of inductees.

    I can’t illustrate that the hall of fame has been reduced to nothing more than a seasonal promotion opportunity, so I’ll withdraw that criticism of it.

    “How did electing Pop Stoneman, the Statler Brothers, Tom T. Hall and Emmylou Harris promote the contemporary country industry all? The only active entertainer in the group, Emmylou, isn’t a part of the mainstream industry at all at this point.”

    I’m certainly not claiming that the hof has lost all legitimacy. I think it still means something and they’ve done a lot to retain credibility. They’ve also done a lot to cede credibility.

    By refusing to promote any hall of fame worthy artists for some time, the industry has put them in a tough spot. Do they go ahead and induct Alabama, Vince Gill, and George Strait (I know I know, everyone loves George Strait, not me man!), and down the line Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and down the line Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood, and down the line Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker?

    I don’t know, it’s a tough spot for them.

    Also, your statement that the Entertainer of the Year award goes to the artist who sells the most records and tickets in that given year is just flat wrong.

    according to ACM here is the criteria

    “This award is presented to the individual, duo or group who showed the most overall success in the country music industry during the preceding calendar year. The factors to be considered in arriving at this award include, but are not limited to, success at radio, sales of prerecorded music, success of music videos, live concert ticket sales, artistic merit, appearances on television, appearances in films, songwriting, writing and contributions to the country music industry.”

    not the best artist. the most succesful. and the first four criteria? radio, sales, video airplay, ticket sales.

    so there.

    but all and all, a well reasoned response from you. you officially changed my mind about the 105 members thing.

  25. Chris N.
    September 25, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I actually wound up “working” all day instead of hanging out here and defending my opinion, but I’m sure I would have said something about Garth’s massive influence over the current generation of country artists, the way in which he triggered country’s explosion into the mainstream in the 1990s (which gave the genre a boost it hadn’t had in a long time), his support for other artists and songwriters, his role as an ambassador from country music to the rest of the world. And the sales, natch.

  26. Matt B.
    September 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Don’t call it a comeback, Rad’s been here for years…At least for us native 20-30 something left coast natives…

  27. m.c.
    September 25, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Me, well-reasoned? Can I get you to tell that to my kids?

    I can agree with you that success is definitely important to the Entertainer award. I was just disagreeing that the artist with that year’s top ticket and record sales largely wins the award. That’s not always, or even regularly, the case, because respect, longevity and other intangibles go into why people in the industry vote the way they do. That’s why Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and Alan Jackson, to name a few, won on years when they weren’t the top-selling artist. They were up there, but others sold more. So there’s an intangible in the mix, and that element probably changes from person to person.

  28. Troy
    September 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    What are the qualification needed to be up for CMHOF

  29. Amazace
    September 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    That certainly is a loveley bunch of Pop Country acts you have listed, and it seem the CMHOF is following suit, however I prefer some of the pioneers who virtually invented certain country music genres. Such as Townes VanZandt, Gram Parsons, Doug Sahm and Billy Joe Shaver.

  30. David
    September 25, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard, Connie Smith and Hank, Jr. should go in next.

    I disagree with with Mr. Dennis on country comedians being the the Hall of fame however. How big was Minnie Pearl? She is in the Hall. You can’t think of the country music industry without thinking of Minnie Pearl (the “Queen of the Grand Ole Opry”). Rod Brasfield was a huge opry star in the 40’s and 50’s. I believe he was a well deserving Hall inductee. I also believe Archie Campbell and Stringbean should be in the hall. They made us al laugh every Saturday night on “Hee Haw”.

    The Stanley Brothers, Mac Wiseman, The Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse..let’s face it the Bluegrass catagory has just been overlooked totally.

    If I was on the nomination board I would even have to look at considering gospel songwriter Albert E. Brumley. Why? How many country artists were influenced by his songs? “I’ll Fly Away”, “Jesus, Hold My Hand”, “I’ll Meet You In The Morning”, “This World Is Not My Home”, “Turn Your Radio On”…i’ll stop there, the list is too long.

    And yes I agree, Reba, Garth, Randy Travis, The Oaks, Tanya Tucker, Ricky Skaggs….soon…should all all go in very soon…they all deserve it.

    They are way behind. Something is going to have to be done soon.

    Since the CMA awards (which I will never watch again) is now only dedicating about 3 minutes of a 3 hour show to Country music’s highest honor, why not have a “Hall of Fame” show and concert on its own? Say 2 hours. That way they could have several multipal inductions every year.

  31. Razor X
    September 25, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    “… I would have said something about Garth’s massive influence over the current generation of country artists, the way in which he triggered country’s explosion into the mainstream in the 1990s (which gave the genre a boost it hadn’t had in a long time) …”

    That’s a double-edged sword, though. I’m with Ben in that the boost Garth gave to the genre has led to the wholesale destruction of it that we are experiencing today. Garth raised commercial expectations to a level that were unsustainable, and in doing so, he inadvertently did a lot of damage to the genre.

  32. Troy
    September 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Razor X said he inadvertently did a lot of damage to the genre

    I think that he did a lot of good an allowed for country to expand and be more listen to with acts like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift so your “damage” has been a good thing for me.

  33. Paul W Dennis
    September 25, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I approve of the 25 year rule for eleigibility as it does prevent “flavor of the week” inductions into the CMHOF. I have no problem with allowing “Lou Gehrig/Roberto Clemente” type exceptions to the eligibility rule.

    I didn’t enumerate all of the future inductees – “countless others” almost certainly encompasses names such as Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks, may encompass Clint Black and Trisha Yearwood and who knows who else – it’s simply too soon to tell

    I like both Cowboy Copas and Bobby Bare – solid journeyman performers – I think Bare may get in some day, and I would be delighted to see it. I doubt that Copas will get in. Dottie West may get in some day, too

    I am not necessarily anti-comic – I simply think Brasfield and the Duke of Paducah were misguided selections, particularly at a time when there was such an extrewme backlog of deserving singers. The Duke was essentially a vaudeville performer (as was Doctor Lew Childre, not in the CMHOF but mentioned as a candidate in he past). Their connection to Country Music was tangential.

    Brasfield was an Opry member for all of 9 years and if you think of him at all, it was in conjunction with Minnie Pearl. I would rather see Jerry Clower in the Hall. I suspect Jeff Foxworthy will get inducted some day

    I really don’t see Townes Van Zandt , Gram Parsons or Doug Sahm going in – they were more significant to the world of rock music than to the world of county music. Billy Joe Shaver, however, is an interesting suggestion that I think has merit. Maybe someday …

  34. Corey
    September 26, 2008 at 12:03 am

    I don’t think we can cast off the record sales of someone who has only been outsold by The Beatles. It is unlikely that someone can sell over 120 million albums without making music that mattered. Also, record sales and commercial viabilty don’t also have that much to do with tours, evident by the huge tours off Dave Matthews and Jimmy Buffett, who do sell many cds(but not record breaking amounts), but do not have large radio play. Also, CMT listed him as the #7 greatest man in country music history, well ahead of many people already in the Hall. Granted, this list is arbitrary, but still is an indication of his influence and importance. Whether you agree/disagree, like/dislike what his music was, what it became, or what it spawned, you can not deny his tremoundous influence in expanding the number of people at least delving into counntry music (and hopefully coming to appreciate the heroes of country that have been forever carrying the torch of country music and are now represented by the Hall).

  35. J.R. Journey
    September 26, 2008 at 1:42 am

    If for only his sales numbers, Garth Brooks belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    But he’s so much more than a platinum ceiling artist. Garth Brooks brought more listeners to country music than probably any number of artists in the last 50 years combined. And isn’t that what every artist – country or otherwise – aspires to? To reach as many people as possible with their music?

  36. Amazace
    September 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Well obviously I disagree. People here are just throwing names out left and right. Just because they some (or a lot) of Pop Country hits? I know the CMHOF is going to the Pop side as far as inductees, but I look at their overall contribution to country music, not how many times they were played on the radio. Granted Parsons had an influence on Rock, but go back and listen to his music. He’s country through and through. From The Shilos, International Submarine Band, his work with The Byrds, and his solo and duet work with Emmylou is a music history lesson. he virtually invented a genre on his own now known a Americana. And don’t forget two of the most influential artists in country music are in the Rock and roll hall of fame too. Bob Wills, and Hank Williams.

  37. nm
    September 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    No love for the Maddox Brothers and Rose?

  38. Paul W Dennis
    September 26, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I love the Maddox Brothers and Rose – but you can’t put everybody into the CMHOF – in my estimation, they fall a bit short

  39. Drew
    September 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    What about Kenny Rogers?

  40. Amazace
    September 27, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Hey? Why not? Put everybody in. What the heck. It really doesn’t matter anymore. Lets drop out Hank and Merle, and put in Chesney and Urban.

  41. David
    September 27, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Johnny Horton! I believe his passing so many years ago has led to the CMHOF overlooking him as a pontential member.

  42. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    what about Keith Whitley, does his legacy not give him any thought for induction. Connie Smith deserves induction and so does everyone else on the list but so does Don Williams and Jerry Reed. Kenny Rogers also deserves this.

  43. Razor X
    September 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I’m a big Keith Whitley fan, but honestly, I don’t think he had a big enough impact to warrant induction into the Hall of Fame.

  44. Rita Warren
    November 4, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Tayna Tucker should be in the Hall of Fame…..If Conway Twitty isn’t in it, then he should definitely be. FIRST AND FOREMOST…


  45. Paul W Dennis
    November 4, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Conway Twitty was inducted years ago

    Tanya Tucker is on my enumerated list.

    Keith Whitley was a great singer, about on a par with another singer I like, Mel Street. I’m not advocating either for induction to the CMHOF although I’d rather listen to them than Alabama, Barbara Mandrell, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap or anything Reba has recorded since 1992. Neither artist had a sufficiently substantial career to justify induction

    I’m sure Kenny Rogers will go in some day. I regard much of his output as dreck, but it did sell well

    Ferlin Husky falls just short in my opinion – two big hits (one a gospel classic) and a bunch of songs that made the top twenty, not a one of which 99% of the audience can name. He was one heck of an entertainer, however, a really funny fellow.

    Bluegrass really has become a field separate and apart from Country Music. I’m okay with that. I like bluegrass and have a lot of it in my collection but have it sorted on shelves with folk music since the line between folk and bluegrass is thinner than that between bluegrass and country (that and I needed space on my country music shelves). When I listen to AKUS I am not hearing country music, I’m hearing folk music or (sometimes) shimmering pop.

    Re: Gram Parsons – if he “virtually invented” the Americana genre, put him in the Americana Hall of Fame ! Truthfully, I don’t have much use for the Americana format – it’s far more rock than country. I drink my coffee black and prefer my country to be straight country, not watered down with rock, hip-hop, disco or whatever. I agree Parson’s vocals were (mediocre) country but his career was too short and his chief proponent Emmylou Harris, has been inducted. I am not in favor of inducting the Byrds, The Iggles, Poco, Pure Prairie League, CCR, Marshall Tucker or any of the other peripherally country acts

  46. David B
    January 4, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Ok Dennis, What about Wilf “Montana Slim” Carter? Will he ever go in? I’m not a big fan of his, but He was a Country pioneer from Canada. He was a star of the 30’s and 40’s, and performed up into the 1990’s. I read an article on him, which mentioned his consideration into the CMHF. Maybe the pre-WWII catagory?

  47. David Carroll
    January 4, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I visited the HOF yesterday. I find it amusing that various people who produced Jimmy Dean, or were discovered on the Jimmy Dean show are in the HOF…but Jimmy Dean is not. I guess Jimmy made someone mad along the way, but in the 1960’s, he WAS country music to millions of Americans, via his nationally televised ABC show. I guess they’re waiting for him to die. Unbelievable.

    I agree wholeheartedly on Mandrell, Milsap, Jerry Reed, Ray Stevens and Hank Jr. The omission of those artists is an embarrassment to the Hall of Fame. They’re not in, and Emmylou Harris is. Huh?

  48. Jeff
    January 19, 2009 at 8:43 am

    In addition to those names mentioned above, my list would include:

    The Wilburn Brothers
    June Carter Cash
    The Hee Haw Ensemble (Why not? At least, producer Sam Lovullo and co-star Roy Clark)
    Fred Foster
    Cowboy Jack Clement
    Curly Putman (If the only song he ever wrote was The Green Green Grass of Home, I think he would deserve a place.)
    The entire A-Team of session musicians. (At the rate of 1 every 3 years, and 8 more to go, it’s going to take another 24 years.)
    I think that it can be argued that Ray Charles deserves a spot in the Hall, too.

    There needs to be a second mass induction.

  49. Mike Sparrow
    February 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Of the names mentioned, I think Bobby Bare, Jean Shepherd, Connie Smith and Ferlin Husky are the most qualified.

    I’d like to add a couple,
    MOON MULLICAN, a great, unique performer, extraodinarily popular in his time and all but forgotten in ours and JOHN D. LOUDERMILK whose songwriting has crossed genres but has left dozens of great country songs.


    February 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Top seven acts still with us:
    Jimmy Dean
    The Browns
    Connie Smith
    Bobby Bare
    Hank Williams Jr.
    Oak Ridge Boys
    Reba McEntire

    Top seven acts no longer with us
    Slim Dusty
    Wilf Carter (Montana Slim)
    Wilburn Brothers
    Al Dexter
    Dave Dudley
    Johnny Horton
    Jerry Reed

    Others to consider include Johnny & Jack, Ferlin Husky (Simon Crum), Stonewall Jackson, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Osborne Brothers, Bill Mack, Garth Brooks.

    Bluegrass acts such as Mac Wiseman & the Osborne Brothers must also be considered.

    February 11, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Connie Smith the greatest female singer in the history of country music? No way. She’s been in the biz for 40+ years, and I can name only one or two of her songs (and I’ve been a country fan for 30+ years). She didn’t make a very big impact (except on Marty Stuart) or influence any of the female singers who came after her. She was simply one in a long line of pretty female singers with nice voices. That’s about it. Nothing remarkable about her. If there’s a “Grand Ol’ Opry” Hall of Fame, then she should be inducted into that.

    And speaking of Halls of Fames, I’m against them. Way back in ’61 when they started the CMHOF, what they should have done INSTEAD was just establish a museum to honor EVERYBODY. Why create an exclusive club that celebrates only the careers of a select few?

    Because once you say, “Here’s a Hall of Fame and only a few of you can get in,” then you’d better be ready to back it up with a rigid set of criteria for induction. The fact that George Morgan, Johnny Bond, Bill Anderson, Porter Waggoner, and Homer & Jethro were inducted into the CMHOF is proof positive that they do not have rigid standards.

  52. Ruchard
    February 19, 2009 at 7:23 am

    What about Don
    the Don of country
    the gentle one

  53. james
    March 8, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    garth is good but let him earn his dues

  54. Randy
    March 15, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I’d love to see Skeeter Davis and Dottie West inducted, both ladies drew people to country music that never listened to country music. I would have thought Dottie would have been a great choice since her young passing at 58 in 1991. Since Skeeter’s death in 200 at 72 from breast cancer, I keep hoping to see her inducted, but I get disapponited every time. I have every Lp by both ladies, plus autographed items. Both ladies, when you met them in person, talked to you like you were a long lost friend, you don’t get that access from the stars of today!

  55. Veatch
    April 3, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Reading the above, it’s obvious that much of the argument has to do with what is “country” and what isn’t. . .and who built their legacy on blurring the lines between rock/pop/country, thus making them culpable for the dilution of “country” over the last couple of decades. Who belongs and who doesn’t is subjective, but while I’m not a fan of Ronnie Milsap and Hank Jr., it sure it hard to discredit their contributions when people like Barbara Mandrell (who was RARELY “country” in her hits)and Alabama are inducted. However, their sales numbers and longevity don’t lie. What about Dwight Yoakam? One of the reasons why country radio didn’t play him on a sustained basis is that he was TOO honky-tonk. However, you cannot deny the quality of his work and all he has done to keep the genre alive. Randy Travis? He had a sustained career that didn’t go too “pop”. Rodney Crowell? An long-time artistic favorite who is still valid to this day and a prominent songwriter, to boot. These debates can go on forever, but it is readily apparent that adding more comedians or two-hit-wonders who have played the Nashville game of industry politics and still stick around the Opry years after their “moment” are not “qualifications” for a credible Hall of Fame.

  56. Garbriel
    May 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Hank Williams Jr shoud be inducted as soon as possible he should have been in the dang 70’s or 80’s after his career i mean how mnay people begin touring at the age of 14 yrs old. Go Hank Jr

  57. DRK
    May 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    With the new categories established this year, Garth Brooks is eligible in the Modern category (20-45 years in national prominence.) There sure are a lot of others that are more deserving. Garth and Reba really expanded on Kenny Rogers’ formula – huge sales of “now” music that is easily forgotten in ten years because it lacks that “timelessness” that many of the members had about their music. I think that many artists with much smaller sales have produced a catalogue of interesting music that will still be a thrilling surprise for new fans in twenty or thirty years. Reba and Garth have to be members some day but will be like the big selling Vernon Dalhart or Alabama rather than the revolutionary and still very listenable Hank Williams, Carter Family or Patsy Cline. (Louvin Brothers, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, etc. etc.)

    I would really like to see the New Carter Family (Mother Maybelle and her daughters – three new members for the price of one), Bobby Bare, Hank Jr., Johnny Horton, Johnny and Jack for veterans (and maybe Tanya Tucker if it takes her thatlong to get in).

    For future membership there’s got to be Reba and Garth, of course, but also Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell (thank God for the new Songwriter category), Patty Loveless, Randy Travis – some of these artsists aren’t my favorites but i acknowledge their influence. I also think from an influence point of view that Gram Parsons and Linda Ronstadt should get in – Gram’s music is much more country than a lot of what we hear today and he was the link between Country of the 40s and 50s and country rock of the 70s and 80s; Linda has sung all over the map but her country music (a good example is I can’t Help it if I’m Still in Love with You from Heart Like a Wheel but there is a whole string of marvelous country songs) honored the genre and was sung with love and dignity. Probably will be long time before that will ever happen.

    Others to consider with smaller sales but big influence include Gail Davies and Vern Gosdin.

  58. Paul W Dennis
    May 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Glad to see the discussion still going forward. I stand by my comment that Connie Smith is “[t]he genre’s best female singer ever. Period.”

    She is not the most influential or biggest hitmaker (although if she hadn’t pulled the plug on her own career she might have been the biggest hitmaker). She has (or had, she’s lost a little over the years) the best voice. Even today, only Rhonda Vincent’s pipes can compare to what Connie Smith had 40 years ago. Reba, Trisha, Martina and Dolly are lightweights in comparison.

    Bill Anderson was fully deserving of induction. Not only did he have scores of hit records, but songs he’s written continue to be recorded for major hits by today’s hot acts.

    Australian legend Slim Dusty is almost completely unknown to American audiences. He is in the Australian equivalent to the CMHOF and rightly so. His influence on American Country Music is nil, as is that of Tex Morton or Gordon Parsons. I could make a better case for Frank Ifield, but as much as I like Ifield, he is far short of induction worthy

  59. Chance
    September 4, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I think the next inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame should be these…

    Garth Brooks
    Reba McEntire
    Randy Travis
    The Oak Ridge Boys
    Ricky Skaggs
    Patty Loveless
    Steve Earle

  60. Dennis
    November 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Stanley Brothers,Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,Don Williams,Hank Jr.,Ricky Skaggs,Connie Smith,Rodney Crowell.Roseanne Cash,Tanya Tucker,The Osbourne Brothers are my top ten.

  61. Dennis
    November 13, 2009 at 7:37 am

    I also would put the Seldom Scene in there as well as New Grass Revival..

  62. knoxvillekid
    December 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    There are far too many names being thrown around and I agree there does not seem to be any cohesive criteria for induction. Deserving members such as Webb Pierce and Carl Smith were overlooked for decades after the Hall was established, even though they were already obvious choices in 1961. It is a disgrace of major proportions that Al Dexter has still not been inducted. The only reason I can think of at this point in time is that they are afraid of bring humiliated by calling attention to this colossal error.
    Jimmy Wakely had a long career with many important hits and deserves to be recognized
    Ferlin Husky had three major hits. not just two.
    “Dear John Letter”, “Gone” and “Wings of a Dove”
    were hits of major proportion, plus “Country Musis Is Here To Stay” as Simon Crum. In any event he is much more deserving than Cowboy Copas or George Morgan, Johnny Bond, Roy Clark or Brenda Lee.
    I have expressed the opinion before that the Hall should be reserved for the creme de la creme, for those who have actually achieved wide and lasting fame.
    The Oak Ridge Boys should be included along with Hank Jr. and Let us not forget The Judds, who in a short career made a major impact on Country music.
    Other deserving names at present would be Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis. Brooks and Dunn, Charlie Daniels, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Reba McIntire, and yes, Garth Brooks.

  63. Steve from Boston
    December 28, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Ricky, Patty, Garth, Clint, Alan, Ralph and Carter, Connie, Reba, Dwight,Trisha,and Barbara…among others and in no particular order. All are worthy of eventualy induction based on what they have already achieved, and some are still going strong, continually adding to their legacy. And the fact that I used only first names and everyone knows who I’m refering to (right?)is evidence in itself that they have already made a significant impact and an honored name for themselves. They are all worthy, not only of future consideration, but of certain induction.

  64. Lucy
    December 28, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I think I’d give priority to artists Jean Shepard and Dottie West. Further down the road, a spot should be made for country interviewers Lorianne Crook & Charlie Chase. They’re underrated industry pioneers.

  65. Waddy
    December 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Always amusing to see some members/candidates dismissed as unworthy only to have inferior acts suggested. The individual who believes that Bill Anderson and Porter Wagoner aren’t HoF calibre acts obviously has a very limited understanding of the history of this music.

    A couple of suggestions form the old pre-War grouping, though the recent category shift has probably shut the door on their candidacy: Charlie Poole, the Skillet Lickers, the Blue Sky Boys.

  66. Lisa
    December 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Let’s make room for Charlie Daniels, too!

  67. CB
    December 29, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Jean Shepard should have been in long ago. Also… where is Kenny Rogers?!?!? I can’t believe Statlers made it in before the Oaks… I love the Statler Bros, but they have had nowhere near the influence that the Oaks have had.

    Also, it still bothers me that Alabama, George Strait, and Vince Gill are in. Now that they have to include people from the last 30 years, why not start at the top with folks like Reba McEntire. George Strait and Alabama may be big to people who know Country Music, but people like Reba (and her heroes Dolly Parton & Barbara Mandrell) brought Country Music to the world.

  68. Lisa
    December 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Waddy- Bill Anderson was inducted in 2001 followed by Porter in 2002. Justice has been served. :)

  69. knoxvillekid
    December 30, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Maybe they ought to change it from the Hall of Fame to the Hall of Familiarity. When I see names like Stve Earle, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rodney Crowell, Bobby Bare, Allyson Krause, Dottie West, ad finitum bandied about, I know there is no serious critique being applied to these selections.
    Now Rodney Crowell and some others mentioned would be excellent additions to the Songwriter”s Hall of Fame, but the big show ought to be reserved for thoise who can actually stand in the presence of Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams,Bob Wills, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, etc and not be ashamed.
    Since Roy Clark made it, I’m waiting for someone to suggest Lulu Roman. Junior Samples, Kathy Baker, or the immortal Hager Twins.
    Oh, wait, someone already has suggested them.

  70. Bruce
    January 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Has anyone heard when the 2010 announcement will be? In 2008 and 2009, the announcement came in February. I am rooting for Connie Smith, Jean Shepard, Hank Locklin and Jack Greene. Let’s hope that they keep it Country and not a lot of of this crossover “non country” stuff.

  71. Jamie
    January 18, 2010 at 12:10 am

    THE Country music hall of fame is funny, they inducted Vince Gill and Alabama, which is much too soon for them, When Dottie West has been dead for 19 years, the first female country singer to win a grammy.
    More deserving artists:
    Jan Howard
    Skeeter Davis
    Connie Smith
    liz Anderson etc the list is endless

  72. Paul W Dennis
    January 18, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Roy Clark was a worthy inductee by any standard you care to choose – musician, live performer, recording artist, international ambassador of country music , TV star

    It’s hard to make a good case for Liz Anderson. She is a personal favorite but had limited success as a recording artist. Liz was more successful as a songwriter, but not nearly as prolific as many other good songwriters such as Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard, Dean Dillon, George Strait or Loretta Lynn

  73. Bruce
    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

    How about Justin Tubb for his songwriting ability?

  74. Larry L Stout
    January 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Skeeter Davis is long overdue. She took Country Music to the world with “The End of the World” in 1963. First on the Country Charts in 1953 as half of the Davis Sisters with “I Forgot More” that was #1 Country and Top 20 Pop. Nominated 5 times for Grammy from 1959 to 1972. ONLY female to be nominated in C&W catagory from 1958 to 1963 when there was no separate category for women .. and not for “The End of the World” but for “Set Him Free” in 1959, her first Country Solo top 10. But sadly forgotten when the history books are written about the “girl” singers of country music. She was labeled “pop.” It was alright for Patsy Cline to cross over but not Skeeter.

  75. Brenda
    January 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    This is so obvious to me: Induct DWIGHT YOAKAM, please!! He’s my favorite country music artist. Great songwriter, singer, performer who gets better and better! Has anybody else seen him play a show lately? Simply amazing for 53 years of age. He’s influenced many other artists and was highly regarded by legends like Buck Owens and Johnny Cash. He’s not a traditional crooner, but is very creative, edgy and unique. One of the few who breaks boundaries and keeps it Country. DWIGHT, DWIGHT, DWIGHT!!!!

  76. Samuel Smith
    January 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Without a doubt Stonewall Jackson and Johnny Horton should be inducted as soon as possible. I can tell you it is a crime that each doesn’t have a plaque on the wall.

  77. Larry L Stout
    January 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with Samuel about Stonewall Jackson and Johnny Horton. Both are l-o-n-g overdue. But it is all about ratings now and money. The CMA is all political. The current so-called country music fans have no idea who either of these are … so why bother with them? And because of Stonewall’s law suit against the Grand Ole Opry a few years back, he is blackballed now. Same is true for Skeeter Davis. She also didn’t go along with the system so they turned against her. Jean Shepard also belongs in as does artists from the ’40s such as Lulu Belle and Scotty. The CMA is a joke.

  78. Waddy
    February 7, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I have long liked Stonewall Jackson’s music, but I’m not convinced that he’s HoF material. Johnny Horton seems a stronger candidate.

  79. RLM
    February 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    There are lots of good names mentioned here, but I for one would like to make a case for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Some might say that they are more rock and roll than country, but with a 43 year history (and counting) they are very deserving.
    “Will the Circle be Unbroken” brought traditional country and bluegrass music to a new generation.
    As a teenager in the 70’s that album introduced me to Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Vassar Clements, Jimmy Martin, and Mother Maybelle.
    NGDB had a great run on country radio in the 80’s, and they have even poked fun at themselves in the song Partners Brothers and Friends with the line
    “Is it folk, or rock, or country, seems like everybody cares but us”
    When I walked into the Hall for the first time and saw the words “Will the Circle be Unbroken” above me I got chills. I would love to see the NGDB receive their due with a very deserving plaque in the hall

  80. Waddy
    February 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Further to RLM’s comment, how about Doc Watson?

  81. t.scott
    February 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I wouldn’t have considered NGBD until they were mentioned.
    I listened to the original “Circle” album thousands of times.I was aware of Doc Watson,Merle Travis,Mother Maybelle,et.al.,but that album made them seem like old friends.

    The music after that,while not earth shattering,was definitely country.

    Many of the artists in the hall are less well known,even in there time.

  82. Lynette
    March 4, 2010 at 7:23 am

    The shunning of Dottie West is a disgrace, her election i hope will come in 2011 and it would be great to see jean shepard be put in now that ferlin has gone in.

    But next year it will probaly be the likes of reba and randy going in, just wish the people that made country music would be recognised.

  83. Dave from Mass.
    March 9, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    In my opinion, Connie Smith should definitely go in, and soon. What a beautiful star and what a singer! Hank Williams, Jr. is ready for his spotlight, too; his presence has been so strong for so long. I do think the Hall should really be for truly outstanding country greats, the ones who should be in books referencing country music, and that group should certainly include Carter and Ralph. Gram Parsons was great, but he should be in the Rock Hall (that place is very short-sighted, it seems). George Strait should be a shoo-in some day, but I think some of the folks mentioned in this discussion don’t rise to the level of necessary inclusion. Being named to the Hall is a supreme career achievement and lasting honor, and care should be taken to keep the standard high.

  84. Daniel
    April 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I think that is the first time I have ever heard someone say “I’m not a Ronnie Milsap fan”…you are an American right? :)

    If Vince Gill is in the HOF, how is the singer with the 40 #1 hits not?

  85. numberonecountryfan
    April 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Dave from Mass: George Strait IS in the Hall of Fame (as of 2005!).

  86. WayneTrain66
    April 23, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I stand by my opinion. There’s no way Connie Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame. She was big on the Grand Ol’ Opry but a very minor star overall. Few of her songs have stood the test of time as classics. She was merely one in a long line of pretty faces who happened to have a nice voice. I hear NOTHING in her voice which makes me feel she’s the best female singer the genre has ever known. She’s not even close, IMO. If you induct someone like Connie Smith, then you’re opening the door for the future inductions of Donna Fargo, Lynn Anderson, and Helen Cornelius. And we don’t want that, do we?

  87. Jon
    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

    And yet there are quite a few people, myself included, who feel that Connie Smith had – and has – not only a very expressive voice, but a very distinctive one.

  88. Bruce
    May 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Connie Smith and Jean Shepard are both long overdue for the Hall of Fame.

  89. Jack
    June 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Why on earth was Vince Gill Put in when he is in his 40’s.

    Dottie West Should have inducted immediately after she died in 1991 the same for skeeter davis.

    I’m not to sure on Connie Smith as she pulled the plug on her career in the 70’s.

    And for everyone ranting about reba there will be time for she is only in her 50’s, the people that made country music need to recognised.

  90. johnny
    August 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Here is what I think the Hall of Fame should look like.Starting in 2011,3 pioneers from 1920s-1930s,5-8 singers,songwriters from 1940s-1950s,10 singers,songwriters,executives from 1960-2006.Do that every year until everybody is in.Of course you might make a few exceptions along the way.

  91. Barry Mazor
    August 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    First of all, (and maybe someone’s caught this by now) Jimmy Dean was selected for the Hall this year, and knew that before he died. He’ll be formally inducted, along with Don Williams, in October.

    I’ve found that Johnny Horton and Rose Maddox are the two acts the most people mistakenly think are already in the Hall but aren’t.

    And one central reason for the Hall’s existence, hate to break it to you folks, has always been promotion of the industry and artists working within it.

    There’s been an additional emphasis on getting some newer artists in, in recent years, because the time lag between, say, Massive Impact and getting into the Hall had actually increased.

  92. luckyoldsun
    August 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    One expects the guy who writes the thread to be an expert, but then he goes and calls George Strait a prolific songwriter. How many songs has the guy written–about 4?

    Two who belong in the Hall for their long careers and slew of quality hits: Bobby Bare and Ronnie Milsap.

    One who should get in simply because he was good: Keith Whitley. (He also influenced singers for the next 20 years.)

  93. Leeann Ward
    August 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Where does Paul say that Strait is a proliffic songwriter?

  94. Jon
    August 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    In his comment of January 18th.

  95. Stephen H.
    August 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    He may be inducted now, but the post was originally written in 2008 …

  96. Stephen H.
    August 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Rather, selected. Had the wrong word on my mind.

  97. Paul W Dennis
    August 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    January 18th entry was pure vaporlock – I always think of Dean Dillon in association with George Strait. George hasn’t proved to be a very prolific songwriter, although the few he’s written have been decent enough

  98. johnny
    August 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    how about 4 women [Connie Smith,Jean Shepard,Barbara Mandrell,Rose Maddox]in the Hall of Fame next year as well as 4 pioneers before 1960 and 4 men after 1960.

  99. johnny
    August 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Does anybody know who got inducted in the hall of fame’s ”open category”? I know dolly parton,Porter Wagoner & Charlie Pride got in thru the open category,but who else?

  100. Razor X
    August 31, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Johnny: Barbara Mandrell is already in the Hall of Fame.

  101. Ollie
    September 1, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I still find it hard to believe that The Stanley Brothers and/or Ralph Stanley aren’t members.

  102. johnny
    September 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I agree with Ollie that the Stanley Brothers are long overdue for the Hall of Fame.Sorry,Razor X,I forgot Barbara Mandrell is a Hall of Famer.I meant to say the Wilburn Brothers.How about groups like the Texas Playboys,Drifting Cowboys,Smoky Mountain Boys,Bluegrass Boys,etc.

  103. Paul W Dennis
    September 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Groups such as the Texas Playboys,Drifting Cowboys,Smoky Mountain Boys,Bluegrass Boys, Texas Troubadours, Buckaroos and Strangers are too inextricably linked to the headliner to have much of a chance for induction. Also, there often are too many in band membership. Then too, most of these groups really don’t establish a self-sufficient idenity apart from the leader except when the leader has passed from the scene as in the case of the Drifting Cowboys and the Texas Playboys, both serving a function in later years similar to the “ghost bands” of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, etc

  104. johnny
    March 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Here’s one for the hall of fame in 2012:Vito Pelletterie,Opry manager for 42 years [1935-1977]

  105. janie boyd
    June 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm


  106. johnny
    September 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    What they should do is have a mass induction like they had in 2001.in 2012,elect as many as 15 from the 1920s,1930s,1940s.Then everybody from 1960s on elect at least 5.

  107. johnny
    November 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    My picks for 2012 would be Hank Jr., Stonewall Jackson,Dottie West,Tanya Tucker,Wilma Lee & Stoney,Lulu Belle & Scotty,Sam & Kirk McGee,Alan Jackson,Ricky Scaggs,Stanley Brothers,Charles K.Wolfe,Brother Oswald.

    January 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    In the early spring of 2012, three new inductees will be announced.

    One artist from before 1975. One artist from after 1975. And one musician.

    My picks (who deserves it, not who I think they’ll actually pick) would be:

    Pre-1975 — Al Dexter
    Post-1975 — Hank Williams, Jr.
    Musician — Hargus “Pig” Robbins

  109. johnny
    January 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I say pick at least 8-10 people for the hall of fame in 2012.A mass induction like they had in 2001.

  110. johnny
    February 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    My hall of fame picks for 2012 would be Hank Jr., Dottie West,Stanley Bros.,Wilburn Bros.,EltonBritt,Brother Oswald,Bobby Bare,Jimmy C.Newman,Tanya Tucker,Wilma Lee & Stoney,Lulu Belle & Scotty,Al Dexter,Skeeter Davis.

  111. Fred
    June 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    My father is a huge old country fan, He thinks it’s a shame that the Wilburn Brothers are not in the hall of fame. My father eats, lives and breathes two things. Trucks and old country. Many millions of miles driving down the road, and listening to country. If he says they should be put in, they should. Get busy guys and do what needs to be done.

  112. Fred
    June 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    For your FYI my father sat in with Bill Mack, Ralph Emery and Mike Hoyer and WHO, WSM, WBAP. Also listened to Billy Cole. He loved them all.

  113. g boyd
    September 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    mac wiseman should be in hall of fame let the newer ones wait their turn has any one check this man track record lately

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