Country Veteran (25)

The Country Music Hall Of Fame began simply as a way to record and remember the history of country music, but has grown into one of the world’s most extensive musical collections for one of America’s oldest recorded music genres. The first country music recording was in 1922. Country music is a distinctly Southern American sound; a genre that combined blues, ranchera, Cajun, Appalachian, African-American music, folk, Celtic and many other styles into an important musical tradition. But what country music sounds like has changed throughout it’s over 100 year history. From the cowboy westerns of the 1930’s, to the rockabilly of the 1950’s, to the countrypolitan of the 1960’s into the outlaw movement of the 1970’s, even to the bro-country of the 2010’s, with various other sounds, styles and subgenres in between. It can get very difficult to pinpoint exactly what country music is (though the common expression “three chords and the truth” is what most people seem to lean on). The Hall Of Fame came along in the 1960’s to make sure every bit of that sprawling genre history is marked and preserved.

So with that large history, it can be extremely tough trying to determine who is going to be picked each year, since Country’s Hall Of Fame is notoriously one of the hardest to get inducted into. And unlike the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the country genre is a lot more focused on being a part of the Nashville machine to judge achievements (like radio career length, charting hit singles, awards from the industry, etc.). For the most part they only induct 3 people per year: one in the “Modern” category, one in the “Veteran” category, and one in a rotating group (either “Musician”, “Songwriter”, or “Non-Performer”, which rotate every year). A performer is eligible for the “Modern” category 20-40 years after they achieved ‘national prominence’ and a performer is eligible for the “Veteran” category 40 years after they achieve ‘national prominence’. For this list of predictions I am putting together, I will only be focused on the “Modern” and “Veteran” categories. One additional rule: nobody can be inducted for a stretch of 12 months after they die.

On that note, let’s get started with the predictions. Here are 25 predictions for the “Modern” category:

Sincerely,

 

The Not in Hall of Fame Rock and Roll Committee.

With everything she has done in the last 50 years of being in the country music industry, Tanya has to make it in the Hall Of Fame soon. Bursting onto the scene at the age of 13 with her very mature debut single “Delta Dawn”, Tanya was an instant hit within the industry but nobody knew what kind of legend…
I don’t really have to explain about Jerry Lee Lewis’ life. Everyone knows Jerry Lee Lewis. But I feel a bunch of people know him as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who had a couple hits in the 1950’s and that was it, without knowing about his country music career. Jerry was a rock pioneer, but one of the earliest…
In the mid 1930’s, Fred Maddox got tired of picking fruit in the migrant camps and gathered four of his six siblings together (brothers Cliff, Cal and Don and 11 year old sister Rose) to form a musical group. After Fred was able to get a radio spot for the group, they began travelling around California’s barns and festivals using…
Like various other artists on this list, Linda was known for recording in multiple different genres and multiple different styles across her prolific career. But she did so much within the country genre that she would be very deserving to get an induction in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Growing up in Tucson where her parents surrounded her with…
The Stanley Brothers are seen as a defining act in the bluegrass-side of country music, so them still being missing from the Hall Of Fame is a glaring omission that hopefully gets fixed in the future. Ralph and Carter Stanley came from a musical family, and once both brothers came back from serving in World War II they started up…
Crystal got her musical inspiration very early in life, since she is one of the many younger siblings of the legendary Loretta Lynn. She began her singing career in the 1960’s as a background singer in Loretta’s band, and even got to replace her sister for one performance at the Grand Ole Opry when Loretta got sick. Once Crystal graduated…
Lynn got the bug for performing at a young age, and her musical interests were helped by her parents who were aspiring songwriters themselves. Lynn’s other passion was horse riding, which she soon became a champion of. Once she was an adult, she would spend a lot of her time riding in equestrian competitions. And then when she would watch…
And here we have someone who is on both the Rock Hall Of Fame and the Country Hall Of Fame predictions list. Even with such a short life and career, he was able to build up enough of an impact to influence both the rock and country worlds. After falling in love with country music in university, Gram joined up…
Even though he was older than the average country star by the time he got his first hit, Vern was able to get a string of barroom hits and became known by the nickname “The Voice”. Born in Alabama, he was a big fan of country music growing up and in his mid 20’s he made the decision to move…
Born into the famous Carter Family, June was a part of country music history without even singing a note. The Carter Family is known as the first family of country music, because they were one of the first popular acts in the genre during the 1920’s, and they set the standard. June was born in 1929, and by 1937 she…
Being born in Mississippi, Mickey grew up close by to his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry taught Mickey his piano technique, but Mickey didn’t really have an interest in going into the music business until he saw Jerry become a huge star. So he recorded songs on various small labels in his new home of Texas, and became a popular…
Anne Murray is a soft-spoken lady that came from a small town in Nova Scotia, and she also ended up being a musical superstar who kicked down doors to allow Canadian females achieve huge success on the international stage, including paving the way for the massive careers of Shania Twain and Celine Dion. While going to university, she auditioned for…
Now John Denver is an interesting case. Starting out his musical journey in the folk-pop realm (similar to a group like Peter, Paul & Mary), he joined the Mitchell Trio in 1965 and then went solo four years later. During these first few solo years, he was recording folk songs that were becoming massive pop hits like “Take Me Home,…
Being the 3 youngest of six children, Tompall, Jim and Chuck Glaser began singing together and were playing county fairs when they were just preteens. From a modern perspective, their radio career was never one that set the charts on fire, but they were always firmly planted in the ‘outlaw scene’ of the 1970’s country music industry. Their harmonies were…
As a child, Slim enjoyed the country music he heard on the radio but didn’t even think of a musical career for himself. Singing only came up while he was in the Navy. He’d sing to entertain the members of his on ship. His singing was so well received that his captain blocked his transfer to another boat (this saved…
Since he was a young teen, Jack was able to slowly move up in the industry, step-by-step. Starting as a teenage disc jockey, by 18 he was working on the “Tennessee Barn Dance” show. Then he moved to Atlanta to form his own band, which lasted for 8 years. Moving back to Tennessee, he headed to Nashville this time and…
Eddie was deep into music very early. He was proficient on the guitar by 12, and was considered a “walking encyclopedia of country music” as a child. Once he was an adult he moved to Nashville, where he worked as a truck driver, soda jerk, fruit picker, but most importantly: a songwriter. Eddie ended up writing songs for George Morgan,…
Coming from a family of California fruit-pickers and dropping out of multiple post-secondary schools didn’t exactly say “hit country singer”, but Johnny certainly became that exact thing. Seemingly unsure of what to do, he traveled around: getting a job in a California mail room, then studying geology in Seattle, then searching for gold in Alaska. While in Alaska, he began…
Founded in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fit in perfectly with the folk-rock movement that was happening in California at that time. Mainly a jug band at the beginning, they used that novelty to do various things: appearing in the film “Paint Your Wagon” and doing concerts with acts like Jack Benny, Bill Cosby and The Doors. Switching to…
By the time he had his first hit record in the mid 1960’s, Donald Lytle had run away from home at 15, rode the trains, performed in plenty of clubs, joined the Navy, played instruments on other artist’s recordings, recorded solo music on various labels and changed his name to Johnny Paycheck. From that point, he had a few hits…