2015 Country Music Hall of Fame Picks & Prognostications
The Country Music Hall of Fame inductees are selected through a committee process appointed by the Country Music Association, or CMA. Since 2010, the selection process has been split up into three categories. 1) Modern Era (eligible for induction 20 years after they first achieve “national prominence”). 2) Veterans Era (eligible for induction 45 years after they first achieve “national prominence”). 3) Non-Performer, Songwriter, and Recording and/or Touring Musician active prior to 1980 (rotates every 3 years). With a songwriter, Hank Cochran, selected in 2014, and a non-performer in “Cowboy” Jack Clement selected in 2013 (though he was a performer and songwriter, it was more for his producer role), it would a recording and/or touring musician’s turn up to bat in 2015.
Since 2001, anywhere from 2 to 4 names have been added to the Hall of Fame each year. Usually one name from the above mentioned categories makes it per year, but if no name gets enough of a majority vote, a category may not be represented in a given year. Or, if two names get enough votes from a category, then both may come from that category.
Potential Modern Era Inductees
”Last year’s inductee – Ronnie Milsap
”Saving Country Music Prediction: Alan Jackson
”Saving Country Music’s Final Ballot: Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam
Alan Jackson 2013 was Jackson’s first year of eligibility, and there was a sense he just missed out on being a first year Modern Era inductee like Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. A huge commercial success, Jackson has sold 80 million records and amassed 35 #1 singles, and the whole while always payed homage to the roots of the genre and the artists who came before him. Jackson is a shoe-in for The Hall eventually, and should be considered this year’s strongest candidate. He’s well-liked, with little to no baggage (there was that whole George Jones “Choices” thing back in 1999 at the CMA Awards, but hey, that was a long time ago), but he also has a total of 16 CMA Awards, including three Entertainer of the Year wins. Though being named the Hall “Artist-in-Residence” is in no way associated with induction, it sometimes has been a precursor to the distinction, and Jackson was named to the residence post in 2014. Coinciding with his big 25 Year Anniversary tour, Jackson would be an excellent choice.
Ricky Skaggs Ricky Skaggs is the artist that has felt like he’s been right on the bubble of being inducted over the last couple of years. Skaggs has bookened his career as a mandolin maestro, studied under Bill Monroe, and is now firmly ensconcing himself as a country music elder. In between then, he had tremendous commercial success in the 80”²s when country was searching for its next superstar. Few could argue with this pick and Skaggs is very well liked across country music. And just like Alan Jackson, Skaggs was named a Hall of Fame “Artist in Residence” in 2013. Skaggs has to be considered a frontrunner.
Brooks & Dunn A commercial powerhouse whose career was somewhat overshadowed by the success of Garth and their strange place as a non-familial country duo, their first album Brand New Man sold 6 million copies, and they won the CMA for Vocal Duo of the Year every year but one between 1992 and 2006. Their success is not debatable, but did they have the type of influence it takes to be Hall of Famers this early in their eligibility window, and with an ever crowded of a field? And does the fact that they’re no longer a functioning act hurt them, or is their upcoming Las Vegas residency with Hall of Famer Reba McEntire and Dunn’s signing with NASH Icon make it a good excuse to make it their year? A few more names may have to tick off the list before its their turn, but they have to be considered contenders.
Randy Travis – There is no question he will eventually be in the Hall of Fame, but with the star continuing to battle with health issues in what might be a very long recovery after a serious stroke, the committee may still wait for a more appropriate time in the future to honor Randy with this distinction. Randy’s role in reigniting interest in country music as a commercial enterprise laid the groundwork for the “Class of ’89.” He’s sold over 25 million records and had 22 number one hits. Many of the eligible and inducted members to the Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category directly owe at least a portion of their success to Randy Travis. Regardless of his short round of strange behavior where the star faced multiple arrests for drunkenness, he’s still a much loved and respected artist who deserves this honor.
The Oak Ridge Boys – With the induction of Ronnie Milsap last year, this brings into focus some of the more veteran acts in the Modern Era window as strong possibilities, either for this year’s selection, or for selection in the coming years. The Oak Ridge Boys hold a special place in the hearts of many country music listeners for their invaluable contributions like “Elvira,” and “(I’m Settin’) Fancy Free,” but will their history as a predominantly gospel band hold them back from this country music distinction? What nobody can take away from their Oak Ridge Boys was their massive influence on vocal arrangements with their unique baritone, bass, tenor, and lead lineup. The Oak Ridge Boys took singing to an entirely new level for groups in the mainstream, and they continue to hold a special place in the hearts of many country music listeners.
Kenny Chesney – That’s right, as crazy as it seems, it was 20 years ago that Kenny Chesney released his first major label album with BNA and had two Top 10 singles, “Fall In Love” and “All I Need to Know,” making him officially eligible for Hall of Fame distinction. It’s hard to see him seriously considered until a few other names tick off the list, principally Alan Jackson, but stranger things have happened. Consider this: Chesney has been country music’s only active and consistent stadium draw for the last decade or so. Taylor Swift and George Strait have moved on, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan only recently reached the stadium level, and even the returning Garth Brooks is settling for arenas (though in fairness, usually on multiple nights.) Chesney’s sold 30 million albums and had 30 Top 10 singles. Get ready for a reality where Kenny is a serious contender for Hall of Fame distinction.
Other Potential Modern Era Inductees:
- Dwight Yoakam You’d think with 25 million records sold, his name would be more associated with this distinction. Maybe in the coming years.
- Keith Whitley Garth Brooks a couple of years ago said he deserved induction before him.
- Clint Black If it wasn’t for his career’s disappearing act, his name would be right up there with Travis, Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn
- Toby Keith Officially eligible because he had his first success in 1993, but probably on the outside-looking-in for the next few years since he didn’t start to peak until the 2000’s.
- Marty Stuart – With all Marty has done and continues to do for the music, it’s time to start considering him to join his wife Connie Smith in The Hall.
- Travis Tritt
- Tim McGraw
- The Judds
- Charlie Daniels
- Tayna Tucker
- Crystal Gayle
- Gene Watson
- Mickey Gilley
Potential Veterans Era Inductees
”Last year’s inductee Mac Wiseman
”Saving Country Music Prediction – Jerry Lee Lewis
”Saving Country Music’s Final Ballot – The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Jerry Reed, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck.
Predicting the Veterans Era nominees is notoriously foolhardy because they pull from such a wide field of potential inductees. Mac Wiseman from last year came in as a complete surprise to some, but apparently was a final ballot name for years leading up to his induction.
The Maddox Brothers & Rose The Maddox Brothers & Rose was a name that probably wasn’t on many people’s radar until the last couple of years. With their prominent place at the very beginning of the Hall of Fame’s current Bakersfield Sound exhibit, it is hard not to see how important their influence was on country, especially West Coast country, and the flashy dress of country performers that still influences the genre today. It may be a long shot, but if groups like The Jordanaires and The Sons of the Pioneers are in The Hall, certainly The Maddox Brothers & Rose should be. And it would be great to see happen while the final member, the 91-year-old Don Maddox, is still around. Rose Maddox as a sole inductee is also a possibility.
Jerry Lee Lewis He felt like the front runner last year, and with the lack of a clear front runner this year, this might be his opportunity. He may be held back some since he came from rock & roll, and his antics on The Grand Ole Opry and other places over the years. But his contributions as one of country music’s preeminent piano players cannot be denied. If Elvis is in the Country Hall (and he is), his old Sun Studios buddy can’t be counted out.
Jerry Reed Such a great ambassador over the years for country music from his work with Smokey & The Bandit to Scooby-Doo, but Jerry Reed should be inducted for his stellar and influential work as both a performer, songwriter, and a musician. There weren’t many better guitar pickers back in the day than Jerry Reed. And his work as a session musician with so many of country music’s big names made him a well-known and likable character throughout the genre. And yes, let’s not discount the possibility of putting him in as a session player since 2015 is the year for such a distinction in the rotation. It may be the best way for Jerry Reed to get in.
Hank Williams Jr. It’s somewhat hard to know if Hank Jr. should be considered a Veteran or Modern Era candidate because of the double-era aspect of his career, but he’s a contender either way. However despite his two CMA Entertainer of the Year awards and millions of albums sold, you don’t get the sense it’s his time just yet. Only playing around 18 shows a year these days, and generally being once removed from the moving and shaking of the country genre while he pursues a quasi political career, Hank Jr. could be passed over this year by others pushing harder for the distinction.
Lynn Anderson & Dottie West Lynn and Dottie are the two ladies that likely lead the field for female veteran inductees. Both of these women are right on the bubble, as they have probably been for many years. Since there wasn’t a woman inductee the last couple of years and there’s no strong female contenders in the Modern Era category, the pressure to include a woman from the veteran field in 2015 might be greater.
Gram Parsons Gram’s inclusion here is always a topic of great discussion. In 2013 there was a greater push than ever to induct him, with influential country music writer Chet Flippo personally making the case for him, and other chatter that 2013 might be his year. But it wasn’t, and it may be years before it is, but his name is always in the field for this accolade, and looking at the influence Gram had showing millions of rock and roll fans the beauty of country music, it should be.
John Hartford This is a long shot pick, but he deserves induction. As I said in my prognostications from a couple of years ago, “The Country Music Hall of Fame works like a timeline as you walk through the displays that weave around the massive archive in the center of the building. As you start from the beginning, each artist and their impact is displayed on a plaque that includes their Hall of Fame induction date. When I came to the John Hartford display on my last visit to The Hall this summer, he was the first to have a display, but no Hall of Fame induction date.”
Tompall Glaser & The Glaser Brothers Probably another long shot, but one that has to be considered a more legitimate contender with the passing of Tompall last year. It probably helps that his brothers-in-Outlaw-country-arms Bobby Bare and “Cowboy” Jack Clement were inducted last year, moving folks like Tompall and other Outlaw-esque country music personalities one step closer in the process.
Johnny Paycheck and David Allan Coe These names come up every year from hard country fans, and are names regularly held up as evidence of the Hall of Fame’s illegitimacy. The simple truth is that with these two performer’s shady pasts, Hall of Fame induction is going to be difficult. Johnny Paycheck has a more distinct possibility than David Allan Coe, because Coe could create a public relations nightmare for the Hall of Fame from people (correct or not) who label Coe a racist, sexist, etc. etc. Patience mixed with persistence is what Coe and Paycheck fans need to see their heroes inducted, as time heals all wounds. One positive sign for them was the induction of Bobby Bare and “Cowboy” Jack Clement in 2013. This means the CMA committee is willing to pick Outlaw artists and personalities for the Hall, and those two inductions move Paycheck and Coe two steps closer.
Other Possible Veterans Era Inductees:
- Jimmy Martin
- Vern Gosdin
- Ralph Stanley
- Johnny Horton
- The Browns and/or Jim Ed Brown
- June Carter Cash
- Wynn Stewart
- Jimmy C. Newman – Should be considered in future years, but a stipulation in the rules saying recently-deceased performers have to wait a year will keep him off the ballot in 2015.
Potential Recording / Touring Musician Inductees
”Last year’s inductee – Hank Cochran (songwriter)
”Saving Country Music Prediction – ??? Grady Martin maybe.
”Saving Country Music’s Final Ballot – Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, Don Kelley, Redd Volkaert, Ralph Mooney.
This is a hard one, but as said above, this may be a way to put Jerry Reed in the Hall without having to wait in line in the overcrowded Veteran’s category. Jesse McReynolds is another maestro of his instrument who may be known just as much as a performer, but might be a solid consensus pick for this position. Guitarist Grady Martin is a real possibility, as is steel guitarist Pete Drake. Don Kelley and Redd Volkaert are some older names it would be nice to see get some attention, and nobody did more for the steel guitar than Ralph Mooney. Mac McAnally is the perennial winner of the CMA’s Musician of the Year, so maybe he has a shot. In a few years, Sam Bush and “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan should start to be considered. But really, this is a wide open field, and it’s anyone’s guess.
February 11, 2015 @ 12:23 pm
Pardon my ignorance, but how come Hank Jr hasn’t been inducted before when he was a Modern Era inductee?
February 11, 2015 @ 12:31 pm
He may actually be considered a Modern Era candidate. Since the voting process is closed, it’s hard to know. Hank Jr. especially is one of those artists that’s hard to know if to call them Modern or Veteran.
As for why he hasn’t been inducted already, you’d have to ask the committee. From the outside looking in, I’d say because he doesn’t really remain that active, probably isn’t lobbying for it, and his recent role as a political lightning rod probably has some voters shying away from him. One thing the HOF has been consistent with is not inducting controversial names. “Man who once compared Obama to Hitler gets HOF nod” would be some paper’s headline. Not saying it’s right or even what’s happening, I’m just explaining the potential logic.
Eventually though, he gets in.
February 17, 2015 @ 7:50 pm
Hank Jr. merits induction for his accomplishments, but I have a feeling that his behavior has been sufficiently boorish to turn voters off to him. He strikes me as the kind of artist who will get into the Hall when he’s 75-plus and dying from some illness.
February 11, 2015 @ 12:41 pm
I can’t narrow it down to one each yet. These are my predictions as of right now.
Modern: Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, or Dwight Yoakam
Veteran: The Browns, Dottie West, or Ralph Stanley
Musician: Don Helms, Bashful Brother Oswald, Ralph Mooney, or Don Rich
February 11, 2015 @ 12:42 pm
If they even think about putting Toby Keith in the HoF before Johnny PayCheck I give up. On everything.
Enjoy Every Sandwich
February 11, 2015 @ 12:49 pm
The records that Jerry Reed did with Chet Atkins are among my absolute favorite guitar records.
February 11, 2015 @ 12:53 pm
They are starting to get backed up with worthy candidates again because of the trend of very small classes. I agree that Alan Jackson is the most likely in the modern era and I agree with your pick of Jerry Lee Lewis who had a huge impact with his early work and then had a several year stretch of hits in the late 60s early 70s.
One name that you listed but didn’t really elaborate on is Tanya Tucker. I believe the HOF is preparing to have a major display of her (or already have?) and that has been an indicator of future nominations in the past.
Plus with all the consternation with the lack of female representation in modern mainstream country maybe there will be a move to nominate a woman. And her career is very worthy with two huge runs first as a teenager then as an adult.
And yes to the late, great Don Rich. Buck Owens would not have been the same without Don Rich and in fact was never the same after Don’s tragic death.
February 11, 2015 @ 12:58 pm
That’s a good point about Tanya Tucker. We may need to consider her a little more stronger than some other candidates. Alan Jackson also recently had a major display.
February 11, 2015 @ 1:09 pm
These stupid categories really annoy me too. In Tucker’s case her first hit (Delta Dawn) charted in May 1972, so approx. 43 years ago. And she had only one top ten after 1994 (in 1997 to be exact) so in my book that makes her a veteran but if we go by what they say she is modern. Think we had this exact convo about Ronnie Milsap last year who I think they called modern.
February 11, 2015 @ 1:18 pm
Tucker very well may be a Veteran consideration, but if Milsap goes in as Modern, so would Tanya Tucker…hypothetically. These are just my best guesses when it comes to categories. They’re not coming down from on high.
I think the spirit of the two eras is 1) Artists who are still around performing. 2) Artists who were passed over and deserve distinction.
February 17, 2015 @ 7:55 pm
Kenny Rogers managed to qualify as modern only a couple of years ago. I think they must not have counted his hits with the First Edition like “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” to avoid putting him in the Veteran category.
February 11, 2015 @ 1:28 pm
Tim McGraw started in 94 and became popular before Kenny Chesney did. With his acting and general iconism it’s surprising Kenny Chesney would be above him. But this year it’ll be Alan Jackson.
February 19, 2015 @ 11:59 am
They both are a long while from getting in. To many more ahead of them.
February 11, 2015 @ 2:52 pm
We’ve seriously reached a point where these idiots spend more time honoring themselves than they do making music.
Which honoring festival is on the menu for tomorrow?
February 11, 2015 @ 6:21 pm
I agree about the countless awards shows but I think the Country Music Hall Of Fame is on a much higher level and deserves a lot more thought.
February 11, 2015 @ 3:41 pm
We need country music that truly represents the country we all live in – this planet earth. I think Lennon and McCartney were the first real country music artists in this sense. Especially that I Feel Fine/I’m A Loser period. Thank God Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash did not attempt country music but just good music.
February 11, 2015 @ 5:06 pm
February 11, 2015 @ 9:21 pm
Country music represents a very specific sonic and lyrical style. You can invent whatever genre you want, but that doesn’t make it “country music”.
February 12, 2015 @ 6:19 am
Wow man. How’d you get out?
February 11, 2015 @ 4:23 pm
I did a poll last year after they announced the inductees with people I know who are familiar with the genre enough to pick names. I didn’t separate the artists into the categories. 20 people voted in my poll. I provided a list of potential inductees non of whom were from the 3rd category so this poll only was for the “Modern” and “Veteran” categories. There was 150 options given, some definitely more worthy than others but all were eligible. We each got 10 points.
Here’s the list we came up with:
01. June Carter Cash – 12 votes
02. Alan Jackson – 10 votes
03. Tanya Tucker – 10 votes
04. Patty Loveless – 9 votes
05. Ricky Skaggs – 9 votes
06. Randy Travis – 9 votes
07. Brooks & Dunn – 8 votes
08. Oak Ridge Boys – 7 votes
09. Dwight Yoakam – 7 votes
10. Linda Ronstadt – 6 votes
11. Anne Murray – 5 votes
12. Jerry Lee Lewis – 5 votes
13. Keith Whitley – 5 votes
14. Shania Twain – 5 votes
15. Hank Williams Jr. – 5 votes
16. Charlie Rich – 4 votes
17. Mickey Gilley – 4 votes
18. Stonewall Jackson – 4 votes
19. Skeeter Davis – 3 votes
20. Martina McBride – 3 votes
My personal picks were
01. June Carter Cash
02. Tanya Tucker
03. Oak Ridge Boys
04. Jerry Lee Lewis
05. Charlie Rich
06. Skeeter Davis
07. Jeannie Seely
08. Dottie West
09. Alan Jackson
10. Rose Maddox
For the modern category I’m thinking Alan Jackson is getting it this year, but Tanya Tucker is my second guess. I can see Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Brooks & Dunn, or Martina McBride getting it though.
For the veteran If they don’t pick a female for the modern I think Lynn Anderson or Dottie west will get it but I think June Carter should.
March 2, 2015 @ 10:55 am
I think Keith Whitley should be inducted sooner as opposed to later. His active hit-making career was as eerily short as Hank Williams Sr. and another artist who over the years has been a topic of HOF induction and whose life was cut tragically short: Mel Street.
The Browns as a group will get in this time if for no other reason than Jim Ed is recovering from major illness and has his first album in years out. It’s just time and it’s long overdue.
As far as the Recording / Touring Musician Inductees goes, I think Jerry Reed’s time is coming but probably in the Veterans Era and not this one. Three names – all fiddlers – that nobody is really mentioning are Buddy Spicher, Tommy Williams, and Johnny Gimble. A fiddler needs inducting and if inducted this year then my money is on Johnny Gimble.
March 20, 2015 @ 10:32 am
How can anyone forget Crystal Gayle off this list? She’s had 18 #1 Billboard Singles alone, not counting additional #1’s with Radio & Records / Cash Box bringing her total to over 20 #1 songs. She was the 1st Female in Country Music to achieve platinum status with an album. “We Must Believe in Magic”… Not taking away from anyone else on this list, but Crystal should be a part of it.
February 11, 2015 @ 6:10 pm
This ballot is so crowded that it seems to me that they should change the voting process. What’s wrong with voting the way baseball does? If you get 75% of the votes, you get in. That way more people would get voted in. They could cross a lot of these names off the ballot and keep the line moving along.
Clint Black is an artist that always puzzled me. I don’t know what happened to his career. It seemed like he was here one minute and gone the next. Very strange.
February 11, 2015 @ 9:43 pm
Just to clarify, this is not the Hall of Fame ballot. This is simply a list of people who I believe are in serious consideration from my personal views, and from chatter and sources who know about the artists being considered. In the end, the voting is a closed process and we don’t know who was considered.
February 12, 2015 @ 9:28 am
“What”™s wrong with voting the way baseball does? ”
The problem is that you end up with a watered-down roster filled with people other than the “best of the best”. Like the Baseball Hall of Fame.
February 11, 2015 @ 9:17 pm
My personal picks would be:
ME: Dwight Yoakam
VE: Jerry Reed
3rd Category: Jerry Jeff Walker (I know it’s a pipe dream, but I really think he deserves consideration)
February 11, 2015 @ 11:57 pm
Keith Whitley deserves it before Alan Jackson even.
February 17, 2015 @ 7:43 pm
Alan Jackson has been a country music superstar, selling millions of albums, having dozens of #1 hit records and selling out concerts in major arenas across the U.S. He’s a no-bout-adout-it Hall-of-Famer.
Whitley was a very talented singer who, unfortunately died while he seemed to be on the ascension but before he could make it really big. If they continue to restrict admission to one modern and one veteran per year, it doesn’t look like there will be room for Whitley.
March 2, 2015 @ 11:06 am
Tim McGraw’s hero was Keith Whitley and in fact Tim moved to Nashville the very day Keith passed away to begin his career. It doesn’t make sense to have the guy influenced to be inducted before the influence is. And even Garth Brooks was man enough (and I thought it was at least 5 years too soon to induct Garth but oh well) to say that Keith needed to be in there before him. That says a bunch.
Most importantly, consider that Keith actually lived the lyrics he sang and/or wrote. You probably can’t even say that about Brother Brooks, much less 98% of the so-called country acts on the Billboard Top 40 today.
February 19, 2015 @ 11:49 am
To short of a career never happen..
February 12, 2015 @ 1:38 am
Man, this is fun. I love the Country Music Hall of Fame.
My personal preference:
Modern Era: Ricky Skaggs
Veteran Era: Jerry Lee Lewis or The Browns
Other: Don Rich / The Buckaroos
The third one is probably not going to happen, so I’ll say Jerry Reed or Ralph Mooney I guess.
I’m not the biggest Alan Jackson fan, but I would be fine if him being inducted.
Also, I would love to see Dwight Yoakam get some more serious consideration.
February 12, 2015 @ 1:43 am
Speaking of Elvis, I have never actually understood why he is the Hall.
No disrespect. I know he performed on the Louisiana Hayride and all, and had a few songs on the country charts, but I think it is clearly a stretch to call him a country artist. He is known as the King of Rock and Roll, after all.
Was his induction mainly a publicity thing?
February 12, 2015 @ 8:42 am
Well, for one thing, he had more than “a few songs” on the country chart. Much of his early and late success was on country radio, with the middle part of his career – the movie era – generating more hits in the pop realm.
Mainly, though, I think he was inducted for being a game changer because he made country music “cool” for young people to listen to. That’s not all good of course; without Elvis we might not have Florida-Georgia Line. But we might also not have Waylon Jennings.
February 12, 2015 @ 6:41 pm
I looked it up and you’re right, Elvis had a lot of hits on the country charts in the 50’s, and some more later on in the 70’s.
Regardless of the fact that rockabilly is often considered a sub-genre of country music, I just don’t consider Elvis to be a country artist on the whole, whereas I think Jerry Lee Lewis has a more legitimate claim since he recorded a string of specifically country albums in the 60’s and early 70’s. To me, Elvis’ sound was much more influenced by R’n’B than hillbilly / country and western.
February 12, 2015 @ 5:57 am
If The Killer is announced as an inductee, I will watch my first CMA show in about 20 years. As for Elvis he could be put in any music HOF except maybe Classical/Opera!
February 12, 2015 @ 6:08 am
II think it’s at a point where they need to 86 this 3 category thing until all the people who were prominent stars 50+ years ago are in (like they were doing around 2000). It’s absolutely ridiculous that some of the people who have recently got in did so before other (strictly Country) artists (ahem Garth Brooks, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap).
*JOHNNY HORTON was pretty prolific for as short a time that he was big (not Hank or Patsy prolific, but still).
*After you count Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, & Tammy Wynette, of the major female stars, you’re pretty much left with DOTTIE WEST as next in line. The fact that she hasn’t been inducted yet, when she literally died “for” Country Music, still blows my mind.
*2 of the 3 artists involved in one of the worst days in music history (certainly Country history) are not inducted (ie. COWBOY COPAS & HAWKSHAW HAWKINS). Hawk may be a long shot (though I’m majorly pulling for him as a “Westylvania” native), but from what I gather Copas was a pioneer in the 40s, right up there with Ernest Tubb for a time. JOHNNIE & JACK were pretty big stars as well (Jack also killed in relation to that whole tragedy), and without them there would’ve been no Kitty Wells.
Also on my list:
Justin Tubb, Goldie Hill, Skeeter Davis and/or The Davis Sisters, Jerry Reed, Johnny Paycheck, Jack Greene, Jimmy C Newman, Hank Locklin, Homer & Jethro, Oscar & Lonzo, Carl & Pearl Butler, Don Helms (or the Drifting Cowboys as a whole), Don Rich, The Buckaroos (Don, Doyle, Tom, & Willie), The Smoky Mountain Boys, Leon McAuliffe, Billy Byrd, Hank Garland, Leon Rhodes, Buddy Emmons
*At some point I’d make a case of DOOLITTLE LYNN in the non performer category. There would almost certainly have been no Loretta without him, plus he acted as her manager, promoter, etc in the beginning.
If they’re gonna continue with this 3 category deal I seriously think, in the very least, they should add a Bluegrass category. I mean Mac Wiseman’s a pretty big deal in the genre, a FOUNDING member of the CMA, & it took him almost 70 years to get in. Not to mention the other glaring omissions (“The King of Bluegrass” Jimmy Martin, Chubby Wise, Vassar Clements, Ervin T Rouse, Reno & Smiley, The Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, Doc Watson, The Osborne Brothers, Del McCoury etc)
Imo, in no way should June Carter be getting consideration as of now with all the huge omissions there still are. You don’t get (or shouldn’t get) HOF induction based on who your husband/parents are. Maybe somewhere down the road in a Minnie Pearl capacity (but let’s face it, she was no Minnie Pearl either). However, I’d totally make a case for ANITA CARTER. That girl had pipes
My picks for the current rules
Also, I haven’t checked in a while but didn’t Jim Reeves get in fairly soon after his plane crash (ie sometime in the 60s)?
February 12, 2015 @ 6:49 am
Jim Reeves is on your list for possible induction for Veterans Era, but he’s been in the Hall of Fame since 1967. Did you mean a different Jim?
February 12, 2015 @ 9:23 am
I actually added Jim Reeves to this list after it was published, and after being chided by someone via email for such a ridiculous oversight. Obviously, the oversight was that Reeves has indeed been inducted, and his name has been removed.
February 12, 2015 @ 8:53 am
February 12, 2015 @ 9:17 am
I hope that either Randy or Alan get new era, although I did love the old Kenny C. The Judds would be another one. I would love to see Horton get picked for the vets.
February 12, 2015 @ 9:48 am
Tanya should have been inducted years ago.
February 12, 2015 @ 3:38 pm
Jim Ed Brown and the Browns. He has been ill, let’s get him in the hall while he can enjoy it.
Alan Jackson should be in.
Jerry Reed should have been in a year after Tom T. Hall got in, and prior to Don Williams.
So many older artists should be in, one year they should induct 20 again so they could all enjoy it while they are still here.
Jack Greene should seriously be considered and so should Vern Gosdin.
Randy Travis and Clint Black.
Dwight Yoakam sure sounded and looked good on the Grammys singing with Brandy Clark
One day Clint is going to have a big comeback.
February 12, 2015 @ 4:51 pm
(Pulling hair)…here we go again. I cannot believe it’s been a year. We all have our “favorites” or just artists we just really like and would love to see in the Country Music Hall of Fame. But in reality, it’s a “Hall of Fame”. The best of the best. What makes the Country Music Hall of Fame so special is that it is exclusive. Yes, there are questionable inductees, but they are already in and they (or their family or friends) had enough pull to make it happen, so we must move past that.
My biggest gripe is the fact that once a artist/person passes away their chances of induction is almost zero to none. Since the mass induction in 2001, the only posthumous inductions have been Floyd Cramer, DeFord Bailey, Pop Stoneman, Lew DeWitt (of The Statler Brothers) and Hank Cochran. That’s five in nearly 15 years. Of those five, DeWitt was the only person not from one of the “rotating” categories. A posthumous category at some point will have to be added. If not there will never be a chance of deserving artists from the 1920’s through present day to ever be inducted, or little to none to say the least. Some I believe that need to be considered are; Bradley Kincaid, Cowboy Copas, Johnnie & Jack, Stringbean, The Wilburn Brothers, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Jimmy C. Newman, Archie Campbell, Wynn Stewart, George Hamilton IV, Dottie West, Jerry Reed, Charlie Rich, Jerry Clower, Vern Gosdin and Keith Whitley. And many from the “rotating” categories; Musicians alone; Bashful Brother Oswald, Don Rich, Tommy Duncan, Grady Martin, Hank Garland, John Hughey, Pete Drake, Don Helms. Not to mention non-performers and songwriters; Jenny Lou Carson, Buddy Killen, Carlton Haney..etc.
But this article is about 2015 predictions; So I would say the Veterans ballot is more than likely; The Browns, Dottie West, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stonewall Jackson and Hank Williams, Jr. They all need inducted. But I will say that this is the year for The Browns. Stonewall Jackson is not talked a lot about, but like Mac Wiseman last year, he is well enough loved (by artists and others, not the Opry management), that I truly believe he will eventually get in. And in reality he is the last solid “honky tonker” that had a well established hit making career that has not been inducted.
On the Modern category I will say the ballot is more than likely The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis and Alan Jackson. The Oaks are in this year is my prediction.
Musician ?? Who knows… I would love to see it be Bashful Brother Oswald; But from the past Don Rich and Tommy Duncan desperately need to be members as well. Let’s not forget 2 time CMA Musician of the year Johnny Gimble and also it is possible that Mark O’Conner could be on the ballot.
Aside from the 10 I listed in the Veterans and Modern Categories, future considerations will also be Crystal Gayle, Ray Stevens, Anne Murray, Mickey Gilley, Gene Watson, Steve Wariner, The Judds, Marty Stuart and Tanya Tucker. I think we’ll see all if not most of these inducted before we get to Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney.
Just my thoughts..
February 12, 2015 @ 8:12 pm
What about George Strait’s Ace in the Hole band? I don’t really know if backup bands like that are considered, but they ought to be, given that they’ve been together so long. Just like how the rock HOF inducted Springsteen’s e street band.
The backlog of non-inducted talent is staggering, but I like the Hall’s exclusivity. I’m guessing Alan Jackson gets in. Personally, I’d vote Dwight Yoakam.
February 12, 2015 @ 9:37 pm
No backing bands have been inducted, and even if they were, I think we’d probably see Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, or Hank’s Drifting Cowboys first. But it makes for an interesting discussion point.
February 12, 2015 @ 10:30 pm
Good point on Hank and Bill’s bands, and maybe even Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Three. I think it’s something the voters should consider in future years.
February 17, 2015 @ 8:09 pm
There are way too many headline star artists who are not in the H-o-F to start inducting backing bands of certain superstars. Backing bands should be recognized on the plaque–or maybe right under the plaque–of the artist that they’re associated with.
I’d rather see a plaque for Johnny Horton and Cal Smith and Jerry Reed and Moe Bandy than see what would essentially be two plaques apiece for ET and Hank and Ray and Buck.
February 12, 2015 @ 8:52 pm
Red Volkaert is the boss of current era of guitar but not yet to the HOF. Any thoughts about Bob Moore
Will agree on Alan Jackson for Modern
Classic possibles Madox Brothers and Rose, Dottie West, The Browns and I would wish for Asleep At the Wheel.
Musician Bob Moore or anyone from the A team lacking induction.
February 12, 2015 @ 10:33 pm
Pardon my ignorance, is Paul Franklin in the Hall yet? I’m guessing some other musicians/artists are ahead of him on the list, but he’s a hell of a talent.
February 12, 2015 @ 10:49 pm
Paul Franklin’s a good name for the musician slot.
February 13, 2015 @ 7:35 am
Still don’t know why Clint Black’s career crashed and burned. Of all the “Class of ’89” singers, I think he had the most distinct voice of any of them. Killing Time is one of my all-time favorite country albums.
February 15, 2015 @ 12:25 pm
I think Hank Jr will have to die before they let him in…. He gave the hall of fame all the stuff for the family tradition exhibit witch was there most popular exhibit in history and preformed a acoustic show at the hall of fame and the hof charged 500 bucks a head to get in. Ive said it before who else toured with patsy cline and in the year 2015 can still go out and fill up a15000 seat ampetheatre I cant think of any other artist who has been around that long that has his drawing power… they should also get jim ed brown in there hes still sounds is good as ever and is 80 years old and just had a cancer scare what the hell are they waiting for.. Imean garth brooks is in there lots of guys should be in there ahead of him Garth started in what 89 and retired in 01 personly I think garth sucks but I realize he belongs in the hof but not yet to many others deserve it more
February 26, 2015 @ 10:30 am
What about John Denver? He should be there
February 26, 2015 @ 7:21 pm
Veterans-Jack Greene, Jim Ed Brown, Dottie West or Wilburn Brothers.
Modern-Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis or Keith Whitley.
Musician-Buck Trent, Bashful Brother Oswald, Don Rich or a Steel Guitar player.
Keep it Country…not the crossover stuff.
March 6, 2015 @ 1:58 pm
In the musician category what about Ray Edenton? He was one of the original A-Team pickers, his sound along with a few other guys created the Nashville sound everyone came here to get. He has been on most every ones’ work even listed. Look up how many hit records the guy has played on. It would be nice to see him get this well deserved honor since he helped to put so many of the members in there
March 21, 2015 @ 8:35 pm
Modern era choices – Marty, Tanya, Keith
Veteran era choices – June Carter Cash, Hank Jr, Johnny Horton
not sure about the 3rd category.
March 21, 2015 @ 8:36 pm
how would one post a ballot for the Country Music Hall of Fame nominees?
March 21, 2015 @ 8:43 pm
Become a big cheese with the CMA and get elected to the selection committee.
March 23, 2015 @ 7:18 pm
1. Keith Whitley 2. Keith Whitley 3. Keith Whitley.. and so on and so on.. the best country music singer that ever lived. This man could outsing any 5 of the people on these projected lists here. I mean..seriously people!
March 24, 2015 @ 6:05 pm
Okay. I finally have it narrowed down to one each.
Modern: Marty Stuart
Veteran: The Browns
Musician: Don Helms
Can’t wait to see who gets in tomorrow!
March 24, 2015 @ 8:25 pm
In my humble opinion. Its disgusting that the Hall of Fame doesn’t honor Jimmy Work while he’s still with us. He wrote Making Believe, and Tennessee Border. He deserves recognition.
March 25, 2015 @ 2:49 am
I haven’t done my homework (required for such a task) but if Kenny Chesney or Tim McGraw ever make the HOF then I’m going on a 2-week bender. Neither of them can write a good song without help or sing for shit.
March 25, 2015 @ 7:30 am
Just think, in 25 years, you will be writing this same story debating whether Sam Hunt or Luke Bryan gets inducted… lmao
April 19, 2015 @ 5:41 pm
Jerry Reed not being in the HOF is such a crime. He was THE guitar player during sessions in the 60s and 70s before he hit it big. Waylon, Bobby Bare, Willie Nelson, The Browns, Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Ringo Starr and of course Elvis. He was Chet Atkins favorite guitarist and Waylon Jennings said, “If I could play guitar like Jerry Reed, I’d quit singing.” Singer, song-write, guitarist and one of the first in country music to become a successful actor. To this day, people are listening to Eastbound and Down as if it were the American Anthem. Rest in Peace Jerry…you ‘re still remembered by the faithful. Son!
July 27, 2015 @ 9:38 am
How about Stonewall Jackson & The Wilburn Brothers?
July 31, 2015 @ 12:30 pm
How about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band? 50 years together, a good run of hits, and the Circle albums that opened the door to country music for a new generation of fans
Frank the tank
August 14, 2015 @ 7:01 am
I’d love to see them get in.
August 13, 2015 @ 8:57 pm
It is truly baffling how Hank Jr is not in. I grew up in the 80’s and he was the biggest country star on the planet at that time. He transformed country music almost single handily and opened the door for other artists that have already gotten in themselves. I still remember people camping out for days to get tickets to his concerts. Hank Jr. made country cool to many of us that didn’t even listen to that genre of music.There is obviously some beef with someone. I do realize that he made political comments that were not popular with the news media, but he should have already been in the hof long before any of that.
November 13, 2015 @ 7:41 am
I wonder if the rumors are true that the Wilburn Brothers did some many people wrong thats why they can’t get elected?
November 18, 2015 @ 12:21 pm
Well, here is my two cents worth. I selected two from the Modern Era and two from the Veterans Era. I also selected one other pick who should be voted in right away. I’m speaking of June Carter Cash. She needs to have her own room at the museum. The picks are Alan Jackson and Tanya Tucker in the Modern Era, and Ralph Stanley( Stanley Brothers) and Skeeter Davis in the Veterans Era.
December 16, 2015 @ 11:07 pm
Commenting from afar , Sydney Australia i cannot believe that the sensational Linda Ronstadt has not been admitted. The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame belatedly admitted her recently after some very questionable admittances before her. Saw her live in Sydney in 1979……absolutely fantastic !