2023 Country Music Hall of Fame Picks & Predictions
It’s that time of year again to consider who might be in the running for the precious few spots as the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A secret committee commissioned by the CMA is going over their final ballots and whittling down the names to the few who will make it into one of country music’s most hallowed institutions.
Unlike other Halls of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame tries to keep the institution distinguished by letting only a few names in each year. This way a bad name never slips through the process, hypothetically. This has also caused a glut of good names being left out in recent years, stirring controversy in itself. But it also keeps the Hall of Fame honor exclusive and distinguished.
The Country Music Hall of Fame inductees are selected through a committee process appointed by the Country Music Association (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 40 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. If there is a tie in voting in any category, two names can be selected, as we saw in 2021.
With musicians Eddie Bayers (drummer) and Pete Drake (steel guitar) selected in 2021, and a non-performer, Joe Galante, selected in 2022, it would be a songwriter to be selected in 2022. Though this could also be a performer, the point of this category is to highlight someone primarily known for songwriting, and someone who may not get into the Hall of Fame otherwise. The last songwriter inducted was Dean Dillon.
Another important rule to note is that no candidate is eligible for the Hall of Fame a year after they pass away. This is to avoid sympathy votes in the aftermath of an artist dying, so check the 2022 In Memoriam List for those who would be ineligible. In recent years, this has accelerated artists being inducted before they die to avoid the one year penalty, and to honor them while they’re still living.
READ THE FULL HALL OF FAME RULES
Potential Modern Era Inductees
2023 is the year when we legitimately need to begin thinking about artists that many country fans may consider more “modern” than their tastes allow to be considered legitimate contenders for the Hall of Fame—Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, and more. Dwight Yoakam and Clint Black feel like old timers in the category. They’re also top contenders.
• Last Year’s Modern Era Inductee: Keith Whitley
• Saving Country Music Prediction: Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Allison Krauss
• Saving Country Music’s Picks: Dwight Yoakam, Clint Black.
Clint Black: If it wasn’t for his career’s disappearing act, his name would be a no brainier for the Hall of Fame. Instead, Clint Black’s impact is commonly overlooked, and unfairly so. Nobody was more successful in country music in the 90’s decade than Clint Black, save for Garth Brooks. A whopping thirteen #1 singles including his first four consecutively, and a total of 29 Top 10 hits puts Clint Black in an elite class in regards to numbers. Clint Black also kept it (mostly) country, and was always seen as a good guy in the industry.
When Clint Black’s wife Lisa Hartman had their first child in May of 2001, he decided to take three years off to enjoy his young family. Aside from “Spend My Time” in 2003 that peaked at #16, the rest of Clint’s singles all stayed outside the Top 40 after the hiatus. “It ended up not being a smart career move, but it was a real smart dad move. … I wouldn’t go back and try to do anything for my career in exchange for that,” Black says. It shouldn’t cost him a Hall of Fame induction either.
Dwight Yoakam: You’d think with 25 million records sold, Dwight Yoakam should definitely be considered for Hall of Fame distinction. But being based in California as opposed to Nashville may put him a bit out of the purview of voters—an always important factor. Yoakam’s greatest contribution beyond the gaudy sales numbers comes in the influence he had in country music in his time, and that he still wields today over generations of performers. Dwight Yoakam made country music cool to millions, just like Hall of Famer Buck Owens and other Bakersfield legends did in their time.
Dwight’s also not showing any signs of slowing down, and has earned additional stripes as a country music ambassador through his acting career. With his own SiriusXM station where he’s hanging out with Post Malone, it feels like Yoakam has finally graduated from a future hopeful for the Hall of Fame to a bona fide front runner, though it still may take a few years for him to get in.
Alison Krauss: There may be not other single performer who did more for spreading the love and appreciation for bluegrass throughout the 90s and 2000s than Alison Krauss. The solo albums, the work with Union Station, the collaborations with Robert Plant and others have made her one of the most critically-acclaimed artists of our generation, with enough commercial success to also make her a household name.
Krauss has won 27 Grammy Awards, putting her only behind Beyoncé, Quincy Jones and classical conductor Georg Solti as the most-awarded artist in Grammy history. She has also received 42 nominations. This includes the all-genre Album of the Year for Rising Sand with Robert Plant. Krauss was also critical to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, as well as the soundtrack to Cold Mountain. She’s also a National Medal of Arts winner. Krauss most certainly has the resume to be a Hall of Famer.
Kenny Chesney: Though it may feel like Kenny Chesney is more of a current artist than a Hall of Fame candidate, he was officially eligible for the Hall of Fame starting in 2015. Chesney released his first major label album with BNA in 1995, and had two Top 10 singles, “Fall In Love” and “All I Need to Know.” With 4 out of 5 CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards between 2004 and 2008, 32 #1 hits, and over 30 million albums sold, Chesney’s resume for the Hall of Fame is undeniable.
Consider this: Kenny Chesney has been country music’s only active and consistent stadium draw for going on 20 years. From the mid to late aughts before Taylor Swift came onto the scene, Chesney was far and away the biggest artist in country music. Possibly the only thing keeping Kenny Chesney back is that he feels like a current artist as opposed to an aged-out performer that deserves to be venerated. But there’s no denying Kenny is getting in, and probably in the next few years.
Tim McGraw: McGraw never had that consecutive string of years when he was the biggest thing in country music like many Hall of Fame inductees, but he has shown a longevity in his career that few others have matched. McGraw’s had 27 #1 hits, and in a span covering over 20 years, and some well-recognized hits within there like “Don’t Take The Girl,” “Live Like You Were Dying,” and even more recently with Lori McKenna’s “Humble and Kind.” McGraw also won the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year in 2001.
Here in recent years though, Tim McGraw’s success commercially and on radio has slowed down. Though this may not be great for his pocketbook, it might be a great time for McGraw’s career to be honored by the Hall of Fame. Some Modern Era nominees may not want the distinction yet, almost like it symbolizes the end of their popular career. McGraw would be in the sweet spot where it would give him a boost of attention right as he reaches a twilight.
Shania Twain – Make no mistake about it, Shania Twain will be in the Country Music Hall of Fame some day. During her era, nobody was a bigger commercial success than Garth Brooks. With over 100 million records sold, she is the best-selling female country artist of all time, and one of the best selling music artists in all of music, period. She is the undisputed queen of country pop, and though traditionalists love to shake their little angry fists at her for ushering in the pop era of country, her influence is undeniable.
Something to always consider when talking about the Hall of Fame is proximity to voters. As a Canadian living in Switzerland, Shania may not be in the best position to lobby for her spot in the rotunda. But make no mistake, it’s coming, and likely sooner than later.
Trisha Yearwood: It’s the timeless songs, and how Yearwood was one of the most important women throughout the 90s that makes her an eligible candidate for the Hall of Fame. Her debut single “She’s In Love with the Boy,” is a bonafide country music standard, and one of five #1’s she enjoyed. Her 1991 self-titled album became the first debut female country album to sell one million copies, and has since gone double platinum. She followed that up with “Walkaway Joe,” and a Platinum sophomore album. Trisha’s also had five #2 songs, including the country version of “How Do I Live,” and a total of 18 Top 10 hits in the 90s.
Trisha Yearwood definitely has the Hall of Fame numbers. It probably also doesn’t hurt that she’s married to a big voice in the Hall of Fame voting room and an inductee himself in Garth Brooks.
Martina McBride: With five #1 singles, and twenty Top 20 singles, Martina McBride has comparable numbers to other recent Modern Era inductees and current candidates, even if they were earned while being more of a country pop crossover star as opposed to more loyal to the country genre.
Nonetheless, country was loyal to Martina McBride, bestowing her with four CMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards, and nominating her for 14 Grammys to go with her 14 million records sold. Similar to Trisha Yearwood, McBride helped define 90s country, but didn’t push it completely into the pop realm like Shania Twain. It wasn’t just the numbers when it comes to Martina. It was the voice, and the emotion it carried that makes Martina McBride a viable Hall of Fame candidate.
Travis Tritt: Since two of his brethren from the “Class of ’89” are in (Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson), as well as his “No Hat” buddy in Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt will start to be much more heavily considered in the next few years. There’s probably still a few names ahead of him, and since his commercial career cooled off somewhat quickly—and he hasn’t kept completely free of controversy by speaking his mind on the ills of the industry (and politics)—his induction ceremony may still be some years away, but it’s inching closer.
And why not consider Tritt, with two Grammys, four CMAs, five #1 singles, and 19 Top 10’s? Travis Tritt helped put the drive into country, both sonically and commercially. Also, with a new Dave Cobb-produced album released recently, it makes for a good reminder he’s still out there doing his thing.
Other Potential Modern Era Inductees:
Other Potential Modern Era Inductees:
- Patty Loveless – One of the defining artists of country music in the 90s, Patty Loveless was commercially successful with music that included neotraditonal and bluegrass influences, while also being a critical favorite—something the Hall of Fame loves to highlight.
- Steve Wariner – With a surprising nine #1 singles throughout the 80’s, Wariner is not one of those flashy characters that immediately jumps out at you as a Hall of Fame contender, but he quietly put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He’s also a guy who hangs around the right places in Nashville to make sure selection committee members don’t forget about him, so don’t be surprised if his name pops up as an inductee. He’s been rumored to be on the final ballot the last couple of years.
- Toby Keith – Officially eligible because his first success was in 1993, Keith is probably on the outside-looking-in for the next few years since he didn’t start to peak until the 2000’s, and he remains a fairly controversial character.
- Lorrie Morgan – With 6 millions records sold worldwide and 40 charting singles, she’s a contender for the future for sure.
- Earl Thomas Conley – (Petition)
- Patty Loveless, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, The (Dixie) Chicks, and Alison Krauss are some other names that are officially eligible.
Potential Veterans Era Inductees
This feels like Tanya Tucker’s to lose in 2023. Similar how it felt with Hank Jr. for many years with the Hall of Fame kicking his clearly-deserved nomination continuously down the road, Tanya Tucker is the name on the tip of more people’s tongues than anyone else’s when it comes to the Hall of Fame. However, the Veteran’s Era can be wildly unpredictable, so we’ll have to see.
• Last Year’s Inductee: Jerry Lee Lewis
• Saving Country Music Prediction: Tanya Tucker, The Stanley Brothers/Ralph Stanley, John Anderson
• Saving Country Music’s Picks: Tanya Tucker, Maddox Brothers & Rose
Tanya Tucker: Though hypothetically, the selection committee is supposed to be agnostic on current events when making Hall of Fame decisions, often a resurgence in an artist’s career can coincide with an induction. Tanya Tucker would certainly meet that distinction with a comeback record in 2019 that received two Grammy awards in 2020, and great critical acclaim, along with a new documentary that was released recently, an big sets at important festivals.
But beyond the short term, Tanya Tucker’s career has spanned five decades, with amazing longevity. Starting as a a prodigy star with her debut hit “Delta Dawn” in 1972, she amassed ten #1 singles, another nine #2’s, and 35 total Top 10 hits, including 24 from the mid 80’s into the late 90’s in her career’s second resurgence, starting as more of an Outlaw singer, but landing big mainstream hits. Tanya Tucker has lived many lives and seen it all in country over the last 50 years. Her career has certainly been Hall of Fame worthy.
John Anderson: One of the most beloved living characters in country music, John Anderson was never a hit machine, but he had a solid mainstream career for some 20 years, staring in the late 70s, and still finding success into the late 90s. The John Anderson story is just too good for the Hall of Fame to pass up. He started as a construction worker building the roof on the new Grand Ole Opry House in the 70s, peering down at the stage, hoping some day he could play there.
“Straight Tequila Night,” “Swingin'” and “Wild and Blue” are bonafide country standards, and they may have never been without John Anderson’s voice. One of the most unique singers in country history, it was once described as a voice being run through a volume pedal. Knowing how to put the emphasis on the right notes is what has made Anderson so legendary. It also helps that he’s had a resurgence in his career, with a tribute album released by Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in 2022.
The Maddox Brothers & Rose: The Maddox Brothers & Rose set the very foundations for both The Bakersfield Sound, and California Country at large that would become wildly influential in the future. Their flamboyant stage dress inspired by the cowboys of the silver screen directly sparked the Nudie Suit craze in country music that is still en vogue today. And Rose Maddox was one of the very first successful women in country music, and opened up the role of women as country entertainers for generations to come.
If groups like The Jordanaires and The Sons of the Pioneers are in The Hall, certainly The Maddox Brothers & Rose should be. Their worthiness for the Hall of Fame was underscored in the 2019 Ken Burns country music documentary where the group was featured prominently. Unfortunately, this band getting in still feels more like a wish than a potential reality.
Ralph Stanley / The Stanley Brothers: Ralph Stanley and The Stanley Brothers continue to be a glaring omission in the ranks of Hall of Fame members. A seminal figure in the emergence of bluegrass in both the original era, and during its second wind after the success of O Brother Where Art Thou, Ralph Stanley and his brother Carter are the type of influencers and ambassadors the Hall of Fame rotunda was built for. Universally beloved inside Nashville and beyond, a former Grand Ole Opry member, and a powerful name to represent the bluegrass side of country, The Stanley Brothers would be a strong pick few would quibble with, and is well past due.
Johnny Paycheck: For many years it’s felt like a fairytale that Johnny Paycheck would ever get into the Country Music Hall of Fame. But as other guys with checkered pasts have seen their musical legacies supersede these concerns and finally see induction, it has moved Paycheck further up in contention to the point now where he’s been rumored to have made it as one of the finalists for consideration. If Jerry Lee Lewis can get in, so can Paycheck.
Johnny Paycheck (real name Donald Eugene Lytle) was never a hit machine. He only had one #1, but it was a massive one in “Take This Job and Shove It”—which might be one of the most recognized country songs of all time. “She’s All I Got” was also a big hit. But similar to inductees like Keith Whitley and Marty Stuart, it is the intangibles, and the work with others that make Paycheck Hall of Fame worthy. While playing bass and steel guitar for George Jones, it’s said that Paycheck helped influence George’s singing (some dispute this). Either way, Johnny Paycheck is synonymous with country music, and seems like a glaring omission in the Hall of Fame.
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers: With 33 Top 40 singles and 15 Top 5’s and three 1’s, Larry Gatlin likely accrued the numbers throughout the 70’s and the 80’s to be a Hall of Fame contender, not to speak of the influence he wielded in country music through that period, both as a solo artist, and with brothers Steve and Rudy. But also bolstering Larry Gatlin’s case is he’s one of these “men about town” types that seems to be at every function and gala in the country music realm, is active in the community, and is willing to help keep the legacy of country music alive, which the Hall of Fame selection committee often rewards. Larry Gatlin is a name that is hard to forget, and rumors have had his name on the final ballot over the last few years.
Linda Ronstadt: Of course it could be easy to cast off Linda Ronstadt as a legitimate candidate for being a country artist who eventually crossed over into pop and rock. But few paid their dues as much as Linda did early in her career, including her years in the Stone Poneys, her debut solo album in 1969, Hand Sown…Home Grown, 1970’s Silk Purse that included cover songs of “Lovesick Blues” and “Mental Revenge,” and her 1972 self-titled album where she recorded “Crazy Arms” and “I Fall To Pieces.” Even when she achieved her breakout pop rock success, Linda Ronstadt was always honest about the genre and approach of her music, and then returned to country in the groundbreaking “Trio” project with Hall of Famers Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
Other Veterans Era-eligible artists may deserve an induction more than Ronstadt at the moment due to the crowded backlog. But with the wild way the Veterans Era is picked, don’t be surprised if she ends up as an inductee in the coming years, and has been rumored to have made it on the final ballot recently.
Eddie Rabbitt: Aside from maybe Gary Stewart, the case could be made that Eddie Rabbitt is the most wrongfully overlooked star in country music history. Gary only had one #1 song in his career though. Eddie Rabbitt had 20 of them, and 34 total Top 10 hits, most of which he wrote himself. And all 34 of Rabbitt’s Top 10 hits came in a row, one after another, between 1976’s “Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind)” and 1990 “Runnin’ With The Wind.” Eddie Rabbitt’s career wasn’t just accomplished, it was downright Hall of Fame worthy. But you never hear Eddie Rabbitt’s name brought up in the context of the Hall of Fame. Actually, you barely ever hear his name at all, in part because he passed away at the relatively young age of 56. But Eddie Rabbitt definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame discussion.
Gram Parsons: Gram’s inclusion in Hall of Fame consideration 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 Parsons. But it wasn’t meant to be, and it may be many years before it is, especially with the current backlog in the Veterans Era. But his name is always in the field for this accolade, and looking at the influence Gram had turning on millions of rock and roll fans to the importance and coolness of country music, it always should be.
Other Potential Veterans Era Inductees:
- Vern Gosdin (sign the petition) “The Voice” has to be considered a strong candidate in the long term, but the log jam in front of him may have to break before he’s given serious consideration.
- Johnny Horton – One of the most recognizable country artists from the 50s and early 60s, since he died in 1960 in an accident, he never had the opportunity to fulfill the promise of his career. But many believe what Johnny Horton contributed before he passed was Hall of Fame worthy, similar to Keith Whitley and Patsy Cline.
- Lynn Anderson: Lynn Anderson and Dottie West were the two ladies that lead the field for female veteran inductees for many years. Now that Dottie is in, it moves Lynn one step closer. It’s only the strong backlog in front of Lynn that makes it seem difficult for her to get the nod in 2023. But with the continued movement to be inclusive to women, Lynn and other women will benefit from elevated consideration.
- Rosanne Cash- Folks sometimes forget just how big Rosanne Cash got in the 80’s with ten #1 hits, and a huge influence on the genre at the time. She’s not just Johnny Cash’s daughter, or an Americana icon. Rosanne Cash could be a legitimate Hall of Famer in her own right.
- Mickey Gilley – With 42 Top 40 singles and the role he played during the Urban Cowboy era, Mickey should be considered a contender.
- Gene Watson – With five #1’s across country and Gospel and 76 total charted singles, Gene Watson was an understated superstar, and the fact that he continues to remain active in trying to keep both is own legacy and the legacy of country music alive makes him a name worth considering.
- Crystal Gayle – Loretta Lynn’s sister and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” singer has fans and allies in the industry, and expect her name to be bandied about for the Hall of Fame in the coming years.
- Jimmy Martin – You probably have to put Ralph Stanley and the Stanley Brothers in before Jimmy Martin gets considered. His personal antics might also hold him back as well. But the “King of Bluegrass” should be put in eventually.
- Tompall Glaser & The Glaser Brothers: Perhaps a long shot, or at least until the Veteran’s Era backlog is cleared, brothers-in-Outlaw-country-arms Bobby Bare and “Cowboy” Jack Clement were inducted over the last decade, so many the proprietor of Hillbilly Central will get his due in the coming years.
- John Hartford – The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum 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 you come to the John Hartford display, he is the first in the timeline to have a display, but no Hall of Fame induction date. He may not be a flashy name, but he’s a name who should be considered.
- The Wilburn Brothers
- The Bellamy Brothers
- Johnny Rodriguez
- June Carter Cash
- John Denver
- Jack Greene
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Slim Whitman
- Wanda Jackson
- Wynn Stewart – (Petition)
- Jimmy C. Newman
- Sammi Smith
- Jeannie Seely
Potential Songwriter Inductees
Though some fans would love to see this award go to songwriting performers who loom large in their world like Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, or Billy Joe Shaver, it often goes to more behind-the-scenes folks who nonetheless contributed greatly to country music. This is the reason dedicated songwriters have their own category. However, this tend to lock songwriter/performers out of the process. Hopefully in the coming years, some of these more well-known songwriters can find favor from the Hall of Fame.
• Last Songwriter Inducted: Dean Dillon (2020)
• Saving Country Music’s Prediction: Max D. Barnes, Bob McDill
• Saving Country Music’s Final Ballot: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver
– – – – – – – – –
Townes Van Zandt: There is no more revered and mythical name in songwriting than Townes Van Zandt. His life was like a song itself—so touching yet so fleeting. No other songwriter has made people feel as much emotion as Townes Van Zandt. The question is will the Hall of Fame committee consider Van Zandt more of a performer than a pure songwriter?
Rodney Crowell – A big success as a performer in the late 80s with five consecutive #1 singles, the performing legacy of Rodney Crowell still probably isn’t solid enough to go in as a Modern or Veterans era candidate, even if his career has been Hall of Fame worthy. That is why his name as been rumored to be considered in the songwriting category since he wrote so many great hits for others.
Guy Clark – Even though to many, Guy Clark will always be an original performer, his catalog of works recorded by superstars like George Strait, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Jerry Jeff Walker, and so many more means that as even as a pure songwriter, he deserves his shot at Hall of Fame recognition.
Billy Joe Shaver – An absolute legend in the Outlaw realm for writing all but one song on the Waylon Jennings album Honky Tonk Heroes, Billy Joe Shaver is a classic case of a performer/songwriter that should be in the Hall of Fame, and will never go in as a performer exclusively.
John D. Loudermilk – A cousin to The Louvin Brothers that had great commercial success as a songwriter in the 60’s and 70’s, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976, and certainly deserves consideration for this distinction.
Shel Silverstein – That’s right, he didn’t just write the children’s books A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. He also wrote “A Boy Named Sue” and other strong country offerings, making Shel one of the quintessential behind-the-scenes songwriting stars.
Larry Cordle – The writer of “Against The Grain,” “Highway 40 Blues,” and hits for George Strait, Kathy Mattea, and Trisha Yearwood. But Larry Cordle really made his biggest mark when he penned “Murder on Music Row” with Larry Shell. The song went on to be the 2001 CMA Song of the Year.
Paul Overstreet – Writer of “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “When You Say Nothing At All” with Don Schlitz, and performer/writer of “Daddy’s Come Around.” Discounted slightly because he’s also the writer of “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and other unfortunate hits, but still a significant songwriter in country history.
Max D. Barnes – Writer of “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “Drinkin’ & Dreamin” (Waylon), “Look At Us” (Vince Gill), and many more. He won a total of 42 songwriter awards during his decorated career.
Curly Putman– Wrote songs for Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare, Charley Pride, Tom Jones, and many more. Best known as the writer of “Green Green Grass of Home.”
Sonny Throckmorton – Wrote more than 1,000 songs that were recorded by performing artists, including songs for Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Conlee, and others. Sonny was named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association in 1978, 1979, and 1980.
Jimmy Webb – Songwriter for “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “MacArthur Park,” and many more, including many non-country songs for artists such as Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, and R.E.M. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990.
Kostas – Greek-born songwriter for Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, Travis Tritt, The Dixie Chicks, Marty Stuart, and many more.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:14 am
With the backlog the HOF has, it would make sense some years to induct multiple acts in each category. My prediction – whenever Tim & Faith are inducted, they’ll lobby to be inducted together. Probably to coincide with some new music, tour, or residency for one or both.
This isn’t meant as a dig. I’m a fan of both artists and think they both eventually deserve to be inducted. Just a thought.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:44 am
Not to be a rules thumper, but since you can only have one inductee in one category each year (unless of a tie), Tim and Faith couldn’t go in with each other sine they would both probably go in the Modern era.
January 26, 2023 @ 12:22 pm
Jeannie Seeley should be already there and so should Gene Watson!
January 26, 2023 @ 7:11 pm
I know. Just a hypothetical if they decide to go with multiple inductees to clear out the backlog.
Rob Hastings 🇨🇦
January 29, 2023 @ 5:49 am
I would love to see Johnny Horton FINALLY get in as well as Gene Watson , Vern Gosdin.
January 26, 2023 @ 6:08 pm
Gotta be Eddie Rabbit.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:26 pm
How’s the law blog going, Bob?
January 26, 2023 @ 8:41 pm
February 2, 2023 @ 8:53 am
I am fine with the backlog of artists to be inducted. This gives me many more years of respecting the Hall of Fame before we have to start inducting any artists from the 2000’s on. Bro Country artists will be the downfall in my opinion. Thank god the HOF is keeping their mission and not straying. I mean they could have wandered out of their lane and lost focus like the Rock and Roll HOF is doing, which is despicable.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:17 am
Skeeter Davis should be inducted, she was a real legend and had many top 10 hits.
I can’t believe fucking Kenny Chesney is gonna be inducted before her.
January 26, 2023 @ 9:19 pm
Earl Thomas Conley should be inducted for his songwriting prowess, and his vocal abilities,
January 27, 2023 @ 2:08 pm
Skeeter Davis did so much for country music in the 60’s and was one of the first to appear on stages with the big pop stars. She was and remains internationally popular as well. I fear few stars who peaked before 1970 will ever get in though because this current industry crowd has no clue who they are.
Matt "Mayday" Saracen
January 26, 2023 @ 10:27 am
I would love to see either Tim McGraw, Dwight Yoakam, or Martina McBride get it for the Modern Era (or even Trisha Yearwood). Dwight definitely deserves it and it’s a wonder why he hasn’t been inducted yet. With the current exhibit there, “Western Edge,” it does feel like a good year to induct a California artist into the membership, and I think that could play in his favor come voting time.
Somewhere along the line, I’d like to see Mary Chapin Carpenter given consideration, as well.
For the Veteran Era, Linda Ronstadt seems like a great choice, though I’d also love to see Gram Parsons in. I’ve been a lifelong fan of John Denver, though to label him as a country artist is a bit of a misnomer and I think there would be quite the uproar if he got in before many others who dedicated their entire careers to country – though I will legit fight anyone who doesn’t agree “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of the greatest country songs of all time, even though that song alone doesn’t warrant induction.
For songwriter, I want to see either Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt get in. It’s a sin that these two aren’t in already.
Matt "Mayday" Saracen
January 26, 2023 @ 10:28 am
I would also say that, in the coming years, Tracy Lawrence should also be given consideration.
January 26, 2023 @ 1:41 pm
Clark and maybe Van Zandt, too are in that area between songwriter and performing artist. I’m a big Guy Clark fan, but its from his own public performances of his songs and his many albums.
As far as straight songrwiters–successors to Harlan Howard–the two most glaring who definitely should be in the H-o-F are “Good Old Boy” Bob McDill (mentioned above) and “14 Carat” Dallas Frazier (for some reasonnot mentioned above.)
January 27, 2023 @ 8:19 am
Seeing Townes and Guy listed together reminds me of seeing Townes open for Guy at the Bottom Line in NY in the mid-90s. Great show, of course.
Fat Freddy's Cat
January 26, 2023 @ 1:57 pm
I’m with you on John Denver. “Back Home Again” is one of my favorite country songs. On a winter evening it just feels right to get out my guitar and sing it.
Another favorite of mine is one he did for the second Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album, “So It Goes”.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:11 pm
Can hardly see how anyone who would be happy for Linda and Gram to get in would think John Denver is not country enough. He was a far bigger country star than either of them and an CMA Entertainer of the year. And as Robert Oerrman and other music historians have noted despite Nashville not totally accepting him as one of their own his music was far more traditionally country than half the stuff heard on the radio at the time.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:51 am
Some great names mentioned. I hope John Anderson succeeds this year. Yoakam, Black, Yearwood, Loveless all deserving. Maybe a little soon for the likes of Chesney and Krauss.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:54 am
Gene Watson’s still touring, recording, and collaborating. I hope this’ll be his year.
January 26, 2023 @ 2:22 pm
Gene Watson, such a great artist and he has never stopped playing and promoting real country music. He is still touring and playing to crowds of country music lovers. His latest album is great. And such a voice.
January 26, 2023 @ 4:46 pm
I agree he turns 80 this year or next and has been a staunch supporter of traditional country his whole career. I hope he gets inducted before it’s too late
January 26, 2023 @ 6:58 pm
Dwight Yoakam deserves to be in the hall of Fame love his music
January 26, 2023 @ 10:57 am
Dwight Yoakam and Alison Krauss are the obvious picks.
Johnny Paycheck’s induction is overdo. If they try to inject morality into this to justify excluding him they might as well come out and say it’s all politics. – Even though his personal issues are the hardest for me to ignore.
Only recently heard about Jimmy Webb. Look up his video on Youtube with Glenn Campbell singing “If these walls could speak.” Wow
It’s a shame that Linda Ronstadt and Gram Parson’s haven’t been inducted since they were a huge influence outside influence on country music.
January 27, 2023 @ 11:03 am
Jimmy Webb is an iconic songwriter He wrote one of my favorite songs “Wichita Lineman” and also “Galveston”…
February 8, 2023 @ 10:03 pm
January 27, 2023 @ 7:49 pm
You make it like Paycheck was a superstar of country music. He wasn’t. He had one #1 hit (“T-T-J-A-S-I,” of course), three other top-5’s, and a total of ten top-10’s in his career. “T-T-J-A-S-I” and his Greatest Hits album are his only gold albums. He didn’t win any CMA or ACM awards apart from a lifetime achievement award. He was not known as a major touring act, and apart from the phenomenon of “T-T-J-A-S-I,” he didn’t have a presence in the wider culture and in media like TV or movies.
The voters don’t need to “justify” excluding Paycheck from the H-o-F. They simply aren’t voting for him.
January 26, 2023 @ 11:12 am
Hate to be “that guy,” but it’s Curly Putman, not Putnam. You can look it up. I thought it was Putnam for years till I looked a little closer.
January 26, 2023 @ 1:52 pm
@Howard–Don’t aplogized for that. That’s not an “Eddy Arnold/ Charley Pride” spelling correction. It’s a different name. I’m not that familiar with him, but I thought his name was Putnam. I just learned something. Thanks.
January 26, 2023 @ 11:48 am
Shocked at some of the people who are not in and then to think they will have to follow Kenny Chesney, time for some rule changes.
January 27, 2023 @ 1:22 pm
What sort of rule changes, would you like to see, other than allowing a bunch more people to get in?
Chesney has been scoring #1 albums and singles and headlining major tours for a quarter-century. There’s no conceivable rule under which he doesn’t get into the H-o-F in the next few years.
January 26, 2023 @ 11:49 am
Thanks for reminding us how many great talents are NOT in the HOF. I am hoping to see Tanya Tucker receive the call this year. For modern acts, it seems Shania or Kenny Chesney would be the best choice. As a fan of Linda Ronstadt and John Denver, I would love to see them too. But the biggest shocker is Jimmy Webb hasn’t already been inducted. Most writers would kill to write just one of his career songs.
January 26, 2023 @ 12:13 pm
Yoakam, Tucker, McDill
January 26, 2023 @ 1:00 pm
Jeannie Seely, the lady has logged more Grand Ole Opry appearances than any other member.
January 26, 2023 @ 1:48 pm
Seely’s good for what she is, an Opry star. Big difference between an Opry star and a country star. Look at her discography, Seely never charted a Billboard #1 hit. Artists like Tammy Wynette and her contemporaries seldom played the Opry because they were headlining major venues throughout the country. Opry folks who didn’t have national drawing power could always count on a spot in a package show at the Opry House. I like Seely but, she just wasn’t a country star. She was (is) an Opry star.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:20 am
Seely is also a prolific song writer. She was a huge headlining act with Jack Greene. She also won a Grammy. If you look at an artists overall career, and longevity, She earned her spot years ago.
January 27, 2023 @ 10:31 am
Jeannie Seely was never a huge headlining act anywhere but the Opry. Even with Jack Greene they were usually in shows with multi acts. She never had a #1 record even with Jack Greene (I just looked). She’s been around a long time but was never a household name in country music like Tammy, Loretta, Lynn Anderson, Dolly, or even Dottie West. These were the big female names of their era.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:17 pm
Jeannie Seely WAS a country star just not a superstar. She won the Grammy, had maybe a dozen top 40 hits no match for the biggest women of her era but that can be said for a lot of men who have gone in. It would be absurd for her to go in though in before really big stars like Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker, Skeeter Davis, Donna Fargo, but still I can see her getting in if she has a very long life like Bill Carlisle or Mac Wiseman especially with her Opry status being very high profile.
January 27, 2023 @ 5:39 pm
Your point is well taken Tom. I think most would agree the Opry status doesn’t mean much to casual country music listeners. Jeannie Seely, Skeeter Davis, Jan Howard, Jean Sheppard (all ladies of the Opry) were never big country stars. As someone else wrote, they were all staples of the Opry. No female Opry staple, except Jean Sheppard, has been inducted into the CMHF. I think she deserved the honor but those who vote obviously didn’t agree. It wasn’t until Jean made such a stink, spent years bitching about not being a member, and was near the end of her life, that she was finally inducted. Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson, Dolly, Tanya Tucker, and to a lesser degree and shorter time, Donna Fargo were big stars and people knew their names. Nothing said is to take away each individual’s contributions. The biggest to the not-so-big each made a contribution worthy of recognition but an induction into the CMHF is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an artist. Therefore, the criteria should be stiff. If not, and every artist who had a Top 40 hit and maybe even won one award gets in, then the honor doesn’t really mean much.
January 28, 2023 @ 7:31 am
Absolute rock solid comment. A Hall of FAME indeed. It implies noteworthy, as in big contributions to the music, something really special. I don’t think everyone in the HOF belongs there, and conversely there are quite a few who ought to be inducted. But this idea that every person who ever recorded country music NEEDS to be inducted, is asinine. Participation trophies for all??!! That would devalue everything that was/is great.
January 26, 2023 @ 1:14 pm
Really quite an amazing list as so many deserve the nod. Funny you look at the potential baseball HOFers and beyond some steroid folks, there isn’t the high quality trying to get in as there is inthe Country Music HOF.
I think Dwight and Alison stand out as so worthy-either one has done so much!
I yearly write here and lobby for the Maddox Brothers and Rose (especially since I watched the Ken Burns documentary and realized how influential they were in so many areas)-unique music, creating an early rock and roll sound, the dress, Rose being one of the first female stars. Sadly, they miss every year and now none of them are alive to enjoy it. They don’t have a song that you can say is there apex (“Philadelphia Lawyer”) but sad they are not getting recognized considering their amazing legacy. You wonder if the voters even know who they were.
January 26, 2023 @ 2:00 pm
There’s so many deserving candidates that haven’t gotten in yet due to the backlog that I don’t really have preferences anymore about who gets in (though it really is time for Tanya Tucker). Just glad Jerry Lee got in before he died, even if he couldn’t make the actual ceremony.
January 26, 2023 @ 2:12 pm
Lynn Anderson is not already inducted??? Hard to believe.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:20 pm
Anyone who was around in the early 1970’s knows Lynn Anderson was just as big as Loretta and Tammy and way bigger at the time than Dolly or Barbara Mandrell. She had two albums in 1971 that spent almost half the year at number one in Billboard between them! Was very glad to hear Trisha Yearwood acknowledge this in that PBS program a couple years ago on female country stars.
January 28, 2023 @ 12:58 pm
I was just listening to a Lynn Anderson record the other night, picked it up with some other stuff but had not listened to it yet, but damn is she awesome! I didn’t realize that her career started within a year of her mother’s, had always assumed her music was more 70’s country pop, but the one I had was straight up Bakersfield goodness!
January 26, 2023 @ 3:27 pm
The Stanley Brothers.
January 26, 2023 @ 3:33 pm
I wish there was a stronger likelihood of Patty Loveless getting in this year. After that CMA performance with Stapleton, she reminded everyone what real country sounds like. She’s been so consistent throughout her career, and “When Fallen Angels Fly” is an all-time great.
For veterans, I’d be thrilled with either Tanya or John Anderson. Either would be deserving.
For songwriter, I’d be more inclined to vote for Barnes.
January 26, 2023 @ 4:52 pm
Please please please put Jeannie Seely, Jack Green and June Carter Cash in all three so deserve to be there. Thank you!
January 26, 2023 @ 5:03 pm
Never heard of some of these names, but I’ve known of Lynn Anderson since I was a kid. She was always on TV. Would have assumed she was inducted long ago.
January 26, 2023 @ 5:42 pm
Rumored left over canidates from last year were:
Modern- Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Alison Krauss
Veteran- Tanya Tucker, The Gatlins, Crystal Gayle, Lynn Anderson
I believe you could safely say it will one (or more if a tie) from those names.
Tradtionalists want Loveless of course, but with 100+ records sales, Twain will have to go in soon and lets face it she’s all over the media right now.
As far as the songwriter, Bob McDill donated ALL of his archives and personal hand written songs pads to the Hall of Fame in recent years. That pretty much sealed the deal in my opionion. And let’s face it, he’s worthy.
My predictions – Tanya Tucker, Shania Twain and Bob McDill.
January 26, 2023 @ 6:47 pm
Just glad Whitley finally got in so we can move on to others for heaven’s sake. This is a worthy list with the exceptions of Ronstadt, Twain (gag a maggot), and Parsons.
January 28, 2023 @ 1:01 pm
Lol you think Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney are HOF worthy?
January 26, 2023 @ 6:47 pm
Earl Thomas Conley had a LOT of #1 hits.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:13 pm
Earl Thomas Conley has been overlooked for a number of years and should have been inducted into the CMHOF while he was alive. ETC had a big influence on country music and is so deserving of this honor; between 1980 and 2003, he recorded ten studio albums, including seven for RCA Records. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, ETC also charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, of which eighteen reached Number One. His eighteen Billboard Number One country singles during the 1980s were the third most by any artist in any genre during that decade, after Alabama and Ronnie Milsap. Additionally, in 1986, ETC was credited with breaking down country music barriers in his duet with pop/R&B singer Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters. Their single, “Too Many Times”, the title track to his 1986 album, reached No. 2 on the Country chart. With the song, ETC also became the only country artist to appear on the syndicated music program Soul Train.
There is an active petition for several years now, to have ETC voted into the CMHOF. Let’s get ETC in the HOF where he belongs.
Additionally, there are many, many deserving country artist that should have already been inducted into the CMHOF. Nashville needs to catch-up.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:44 pm
And, let’s not for that Earl Thomas Conley was a singer/songwriter. He got into country music by writing songs for other country music artist, and wrote his first #1 hit in 1981 with Fire And Smoke.
January 26, 2023 @ 7:02 pm
Tim McGraw should be in country music hall of Fame his music is awesome love his singing he is number 1 keep up the great work Tim 😘
January 26, 2023 @ 7:35 pm
Had to just come and make sure there was no Gram Parsons or Townes slander in the comments like there was last time it was the songwriters turn. Glad to see there is none
January 27, 2023 @ 7:30 am
Hey Lil’ DL
Gram Parsons slander? Certainly not here. He was a talented and passionate musician who in a few short years left an impressive body of work. I’m a fan of that work. Yet, I tend to debate the most rabid fans on the subject of The HOF. It comes down to this: He was an establishment OUTSIDER. No hits on the Country airwaves. No Country awards. Bombed on the Opry. ( he played Hickory Wind, an original, and the powers that be didn’t want to hear that, after all he was a hippie upstart in their estimation) Right or wrong, that was the take on him at the time. Had he lived, I believe he would have been in the Outlaw movement along with the other ” longhairs” like Willie, Waylon, Michael Murphy, Ray Benson and on and on. What could’ve been indeed.
The best arguments anyone has are that they see him as an influencer. To wit, he did discover, nurture, and influence Emmylou Harris. Marty Stuart and Steve Earle consider him an influence. Anyone else in Country music that was directly influenced by him? I understand that in the Americana alternate universe realm, he’s a superstar. (Wilco, Son Volt, BR549, all count him as an influence) But we are talking specifically about the COUNTRY Music Hall of Fame. Trigger mentioned the Chet Flippo article, and I re-read it, and Flippo basically says what I just said in so many words. Talented, what might have been, etc. Like many ” music critics” Flippo mentioned how Gram turned The Stones onto Country. While that’s interesting, I don’t see how that specifically justifys admittance into the COUNTRY HOF.
Just an observation, I think a percentage of the most zealous Parsons devotees who clamor for his Hall of Fame induction, are essentially non-traditional music fans. ( rock fans, deadhead, counter- culturalists , more than say folks that grew up going to their state fairs to see Larry Gatlin and Alabama and Conway Twitty. Totally DIFFERENT crowd altogether. ) That’s my reasoning. Aside from emotional arguments from empassioned fans, is there another logical reason that would put him in ahead of the many notable hit makers who remain out? Watcha think?
January 27, 2023 @ 1:16 pm
Oh, no no. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. I’m not necessarily advocating strongly for them to be in the Hall either. But three years ago, there were many comments here about how both he and Van Zandt “never wrote any good songs” and were being downplayed as figures that were overrated due to “hipster” types. That’s the slander I was referring to.
Luke the Drifter
January 27, 2023 @ 5:11 pm
You’re not wrong about anything you said but it really comes down to whether the Hall is about country music defined as an industry or country music defined as an art form. For all that Gram is called a founder of country-rock there isn’t a lot of explicitly rock influence in his solo music, other than a hippie sensibility to some lyrics. His music was mostly straight-ahead country, drowning in pedal steel and fiddle, and largely touching on classic country themes like broken hearts and nostalgia for home. And for every song he wrote he recorded one by Merle Haggard or Harlan Howard or a Dallas Frazier. I think influencing subsequent artists is actually one of the hallmarks of an HOF career to me, and the fact that he became a founding father of an entire subgenre should work in his favor. (Incidentally I wonder if people were still saying “alt-country” as often as “Americana” if it would be as easy to write the post-Parsons bands off as something other the way you did. I see your point about the different crowd though, although I straddle both.)
January 27, 2023 @ 8:03 pm
The HOF definitely favors the industry insiders. Thats because the industry set up the Hall of Fame. Thats not necessarily a slam, it just is what it is.Like you, I straddle the two differing camps as well. I do notice that musicians tend to be pretty open minded musically and a lot of mainstream pickers liked Parsons. Not too long ago I saw pedal steel legend Steve Hinson wearing a Flying Burrito Brothers shirt. Made me smile. This is a guy who played in George Jones band after Sonny Curtis was gone, and he played with Stapleton in more recent times. These days, Id say more Nashville guys than not admire Gram Parsons to some degree. Perhaps he may one day get in, though Id be shocked if its soon.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:10 pm
And still no mention of Johnny Rodriguez. What a crock of sh#$. He’s been performing longer that the majority of this list. How can you be saving Country Music when you won’t honor one of the best.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:34 pm
Johnny Rodriguez was mentioned. For some reason, the entire “other potential nominees” portion of this article was accidentally deleted when a correction was made. It was just fixed, and Johnny is mentioned there.
I also posted an entire dedicated article on Johnny Rodriguez last week, including talking about his Hall of Fame consideration:
Folks need to also understand that Saving Country Music does not pick Hall of Fame inductees. This is simply an educated assessment of the potential nominees for a given year. With the extreme backlog for nominees, not everyone is going to be considered a top contender this year. The hope is to lobby for more artists to get in each year, so some of these wrongs can be righted.
Jackie Sue Cameron
January 26, 2023 @ 9:09 pm
Earl Thomas Conley is long past due to be in the CMA Hall of Fame….Please give this talented singer recognition & vote him in the hall of fame
January 26, 2023 @ 8:14 pm
Dwight Yoakum should definitely be in. Nobody else sounds like him. He is a rare gem. And it doesn’t matter that he lives in Bakersfield. He is still country music’s finest thru and thru. Kostas should be in also as he’s penned a lot of wonderful no 1 hits. One of the greatest songwriters alive.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:17 pm
Earl Thomas Conley has been overlooked for a number of years and should have been inducted into the CMHOF while he was alive. ETC had a big influence on country music and is so deserving of this honor; between 1980 and 2003, he recorded ten studio albums, including seven for RCA Records. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, ETC also charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, of which 18 reached Number One. His eighteen Billboard Number One country singles during the 1980s were the third most by any artist in any genre during that decade, after Alabama and Ronnie Milsap. Additionally, in 1986, ETC was credited with breaking down country music barriers in his duet with pop/R&B singer Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters. Their single, “Too Many Times”, the title track to his 1986 album, reached No. 2 on the Country chart. With the song, ETC also became the only country artist to appear on the syndicated music program Soul Train.
There is an active petition for several years now, to have ETC voted into the CMHOF. Let’s get ETC in the HOF where he belongs.
Additionally, there are many, many deserving country artist that should have already been inducted into the CMHOF. Nashville needs to catch-up.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:36 pm
Earl Thomas Conley was mentioned above in the article, along with a link to the petition. While making a correction, for some reason that entire portion of the article got deleted. It’s just been re-populated. Thanks for the additional information.
January 26, 2023 @ 8:28 pm
The CMHF has no credibility with me, it’s a sham. Hank Williams Jr. has sold over 75 million records (Dwight 25 million) and he should have been elected 20-30 years ago. When they finally put him in it was in the veteran category and not in the modern era, what a joke. Also, Hank Jr. is 5 time entertainer of the year and in the songwriters hall of fame. Billy Joe Shaver should have enshrined also, but he did not write and sing pop country crap so I doubt they’ll ever put him in the CMHF. At least Billy Joe is in the Texas CMHofF which has more credibility with me
January 28, 2023 @ 6:53 pm
Hank, Jr. deserved induction 10-12 years ago, not 20-30.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:19 pm
Earl Thomas Conley should be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Very few artists have their songs played 40 years after they were number 1 hits. His voice remains as one of the all time favorites and no other artist has his distinct voice and tone. Even today Holding Her and Loving You is a fan favorite among the younger generation. Blake Shelton has called ETC the all time greatest voice ever
January 26, 2023 @ 10:21 pm
Earl Thomas Conley should be in the Hall of Fame. He was a great singer and song writer. He should have been inducted while he was still alive.
January 26, 2023 @ 10:55 pm
I may be biased – but I am really hoping Jimmy Capps will be inducted fairly soon under the musician category.
January 27, 2023 @ 12:34 am
Would love to see Johnny Paycheck in there , hopefully the time will come soon
January 27, 2023 @ 1:53 am
I think it’s Tanya’s year! She’s my favorite female artist. Tanya has one of the best and most distinguishable voices in country. John Anderson’s is equally if not more distinguishable. He’s among my favorites too. I’d love to see either of them, Vern Gosdin or Earl Thomas Conley. All very deserving. Clint Black would be a good pick in the modern era before he gets into the veterans category and has a harder time getting in. I’m saying Bob McDill for the songwriter category. Also correction on the part about Lorrie. It says Keith would need to be inducted first. He’s in! That just needs to be updated 🙂
January 27, 2023 @ 2:31 am
It amazes me and disappoints in equal measure that George Hamilton 1V is never mentioned when names are being bandied about for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
George 1V did more for the promotion of country music in Great Britain and Europe and even further afield than any other and that’s why he was known as “The International Ambassador of Country Music.” He was a much loved member of the Opry for over 50 years. Above all he was a gentleman who cared for his fans and who was happy to share his love of country music with all.
January 27, 2023 @ 3:56 am
I kind of hope Leroy van Dyke will be in the hall, preferably while he is still alive. He will be 94 this October.
His song ” Walk on by” was a worldwide hit and he is still a strong advocate for classic country music.
He may be too forgotten though.
January 27, 2023 @ 4:52 am
No mention of Stonewall. It’s been over a year now.
January 28, 2023 @ 5:20 pm
Stonewall Jackson sued the Opry for age discrimination several years ago and managed to get recognition for the older members who were not even allowed to appear on the televised part of the Opry at that time. Do you really think that he has a chance of being recognized? Should be in the HOF but I wouldn’t count on ever seeing that.
January 29, 2023 @ 9:14 am
Since he’s dead, I can see them doing it someday. They sure as heck weren’t going to do it while he was alive.
January 27, 2023 @ 5:43 am
“There is no more revered and mythical name in songwriting than Townes Van Zandt.”
That’s all I know.
My favorites mentioned are Townes, Guy, Billy Joe, and The Stanley Brothers. John Hartford also struck me as someone who should definitely be in.
January 27, 2023 @ 6:06 am
I was today years old when I learned that Crystal Gayle is Loretta Lynn’s sister 🤯. Excellent article, Trigger.
January 27, 2023 @ 9:00 am
my only opry weekend ever had, on the Saturday evening show, a segment where Loretta, Crystal, and their other sister, Peggy Sue Wright, sang together. Don’t know how rare that was, but it was cool.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:09 am
I believe The Wilburn Brothers should be in the Country Musing Hall of Fame. They did a lot for country music, helped a lot of artist. Even had a publishing company Wil-Helm. They started singing and preforming country music as young children with their family band.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:21 pm
Vocal wise, I think the Wilburns were the best male duet country music ever had.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:17 am
Clint Black definitely deserves it. And despite what you say, Shania doesn’t.
January 27, 2023 @ 8:07 am
I would never vote Shania Twain into the Country Music Hall of Fame, or at least not until about another 25 names or so ticked off. If I ran the Hall of Fame, I would put in about 15 people this year, about 7 or 8 next year, and then start over fresh after that. This isn’t just my opinion though, this is an honest evaluation of the field, with arguments as to why certain artists should or shouldn’t be considered or inducted. Shania Twain will be in the Hall of Fame. All indications are that she is strongly being considered, and this year. I may hate it, and you may hate it, but that is the reality. So what I try to do is make a stronger case for others, and hope for a good outcome.
Country When Country Wasn't Cool
January 28, 2023 @ 3:11 pm
Shania is a definite lock at some point. I’m less concerned about her being inducted than I am that she is ELIGiBLE to be inducted. Talk about feeling old…it feels like yesterday she was new on the scene with “What Made You Say That.” Love her style of music or not, she’s deserving of the honor in the same way that Garth Brooks was. They both took country music to new audiences in ways that no one else has…or could.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:29 am
Get Coe in before he dies.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:34 am
That Veterans Era backlog is embarrassing. Imagine calling yourself the Country Music Hall of Fame and not having The Stanley Brothers in it.
January 27, 2023 @ 7:34 am
I can’t believe Vern Gosdin is not in the HOF “The Voice”
For songwriter either Max D. Barnes or Bob McDill
Mikey Likes It
January 27, 2023 @ 7:43 am
Reading these comments from people assuming LYNN ANDERSON is already inducted .. it’s a normal assumption. Hell, even the CEO of the CMHF said, Lynn was largely responsible for taking country music out of the sticks to mainstream America. She charted over 50 Billboard hits, won every award, and held the record for the biggest-selling record in country music for 27 years straight, “Rose Garden.” It took Shania Twain to break Lynn’s record. It’s inexcusable that she’s not yet been inducted.
January 27, 2023 @ 10:17 am
Couldn’t agree more. Lynn Anderson should have been inducted long before some of these artists recently inducted and before Tanya Tucker or Crystal Gayle. She blazed the trail for them.
Bearly B & his Big Bluegrassish Country Band with the Pikardee & Lappith Duo (featuring the Courtesy Clap Handclappers, the Social Distance Dancers & the All-Girl Vocal Quartette)
January 27, 2023 @ 8:26 am
I’d like to see the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band get into the Hall of Fame. But I’ve been wondering, since there have been so many different members in the group in their nearly 60 year history, how does that work? Would all the individual members of the group each be considered Hall of Famers even if they weren’t in the group for very long? Jeff Hanna and Jimmie Fadden are the only 2 in the band who have been there the whole duration.
January 27, 2023 @ 8:51 am
I’m a fan of NGBD as well. I agree that they belong in the Hall of Fame as well. The Circle records broke down many stereotypes, and that is no small feat. Another point people overlook, is how popular they were in mainstream country in the 80s. Long Hard Road, High Horse, Stand a Little Rain, Dance Little Jean , Shot Full of Love, Fishin’ in the Dark and on. Not to forget their version of Mr Bojangles was a crossover monster of a song. And I think their legacy has withstood the test of time.
As to your question, John McCuen was on their debut album ” The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band” as a member, playing banjo on Dismal Swamp. He’s been on their biggest records through the years and clearly he belongs there with Jeff Hanna, Jim Ibbotson and Jimmie Fadden. IMO you can’t leave out Bob Carpenter either, he’s played decades with them. Les Thompson and others including Jackson Browne are more debatable. Brown never appeared on their studio albums, he was only a brief member in their jug band Era.
January 27, 2023 @ 8:49 am
Clint Black should be the modern era choice.
He has the best numbers.
The day Shania Twain gets in, burn the joint down.
January 27, 2023 @ 8:49 am
Pretty sure Lorrie Morgan’s husband is in the HOF
February 1, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
One of her husbands is, as is her father.
January 27, 2023 @ 9:09 am
Not even a metion of Coe proves this is a political popularity contest..One of the most important figures in the “Outlaw Movement, an incredibly under rated songwriter, and one of the very best county music voices of all time! Yeah he was rough around the edges but his greatness should at least get him mentioned. Oh yeah, who wrote Paycheck’s only number 1??
January 27, 2023 @ 10:49 am
No one sings country music better than Gene Watson. Should have been in there long time ago. He has long paid his dues,but I’m sure the hall will go with the younger generation. How sad.
January 27, 2023 @ 11:29 am
John Anderson is not an Opry member.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:21 pm
January 27, 2023 @ 1:09 pm
I hope it is Patty Loveless’s year! Her albums are masterpieces, and her voice is pure country! At the CMAs this year, she not only moved, but reminded the entire arena of her amazing vocal talent with her plangent, haunting performance of, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
January 27, 2023 @ 1:34 pm
I am amazed that Patty Loveless in not already in the hall of fame. Because I am in England I do not understand what criteria is used to determine who is in and who is out, but Patty would get my vote every time
January 27, 2023 @ 2:04 pm
My dream is to see Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary Stewart, DAC and Johnny Paycheck all be in but unlikely to happen.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:04 pm
Veteran – Lynn Anderson. Beyond overdue. 60 hits in Billboard, only maybe a half dozen other women had that many. Most shameful especially considering Lynn was one of the few big country stars to bother serving on CMA boards. I think Tanya or Crystal will go in before her though because they are both still around and HOF wants the press living artists can bring.
Modern – Dwight Yoakam though Steve Wariner really should go into pronto given he’s the only one of the Opry guys from his era (Vince, Ricky, Marty) not in.
Songwriter – Bob McDill. Too many of the possibilities mentioned wrote few if any hits. Good to great songwriters yes but there are not going to put any hitless singers in unless someone powerful pushes for it.
March 27, 2023 @ 10:45 am
Les, LYNN ANDERSON LONG LONG overdue. I do not think she was appreciated enough
January 27, 2023 @ 2:30 pm
Patty Loveless, Jeannie Seely, Gene Watson need to be in HOF.
January 27, 2023 @ 4:07 pm
The Carter sisters June Carter Cash, Anita, Helen should be in the there.
Luke the Drifter
January 27, 2023 @ 5:26 pm
It is genuinely shocking how many of the aforementioned names are not in the Hall. I understand wanting to make it an honor but jeez, there are so many artists, writers and pickers missing that country music history can’t be told without. The fact that they only induct a songwriter and a musician every three years is a joke. I think Dwight Yoakam is priority #1 for me but Alison Krauss and Clint Black need in soon as well. Can’t believe Jimmy Martin and Ralph Stanley/Stanley Brothers aren’t inducted; I know bluegrass has its own Hall but I feel like the CMHOF should be proud enough of bluegrass’ country roots to honor the legends of the form (I would include John Hartford, Tony Rice and New Grass Revival as well). I would also love to see more outlaw, country-rock, progressive country and Texas artists- they didn’t sell records like Shania but Townes, Guy, Shaver, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen, etc. certainly advanced country music as an art form and even if you think they veered too far into folk or sometimes rock they didn’t wander off as far as someone like Kenny Rogers did.
January 27, 2023 @ 5:28 pm
Steve Wariner all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
January 27, 2023 @ 5:45 pm
Lots of good artists are mentioned here but Patty Loveless should have been in the Hall of Fame Years ago.
January 27, 2023 @ 6:11 pm
Kenny Chesney deserves to be in like or not. 32 country #1s, 34 million+ albums sold in the United States, six Grammy nominations, 12 CMA Awards, 11 ACM Awards; plus he’s released plenty of high quality songs, “How Forever Feels”, “Don’t Blink”, “There Goes My Life”, “The Good Stuff” to name but a few.
January 27, 2023 @ 10:22 pm
My apologies for the rambling comment, I just like to share as many facts as possible. They don’t call me “Encyclopedia Haggerty” for nothing.
January 27, 2023 @ 6:28 pm
I am surprised there is not more discussion about Toby Keith, and possibly wanting to get him in there before something happens with his stomach cancer.
And no mention of Anne Murray again? With all of her hits and album sales? I know she is kind of forgotten now and outside of the entire industry (by choice), but she still deserves at least a bit of talk.
January 27, 2023 @ 6:31 pm
How the heck Patty Loveless isn’t already in the CMHOF I’ll never understand! She gave a MASTERCLASS at this years CMA’s and schooled everyone in that audience about what country music should sound like and how it should make you feel. There’s just no one like Patty. She said in an interview once that if just one of her songs touched someone’s life deeply, that was success for her. She never sold out for radio hits or chart topping songs. She has always been humble and gracious with her career. She’s always stayed true to her talent and that performance is proof of how revered she is by her fans and peers. Here’s hoping Patty is on her way to being recognized for her outstanding contribution and legacy to country music!
January 27, 2023 @ 7:26 pm
I’ve been thinking Jeannie Seely…like forever. She’s like the Queen of the Grand Ole Opry…and truly deserves to be in the hall of fame. I also think Wanda Jackson deserves to be in the hall. I mean these artists are getting older…at least let them get the distinction they deserve. I really love / loved Sammi Smith….she should have been put in the hall before she passed from bad sickness of the lungs. Definitely to Linda Ronstadt. And good LORD I thought Vern Gosdin was already in…I’m signing that petition. And again I thought Rose Maddox & Bros and Ralph Stanley was in already. What is the hall thinking about I don’t get it. I say VETERANS FIRST!!!!!!! Don’t let them be forgotten!!!!!
January 27, 2023 @ 8:09 pm
I’m going to add to the (rotating) songwriter category. Kye Fleming! The woman practically wrote the 80’s. Writing some of the most iconic songs in country music. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” “Smoky Mountain Rain” (a Tennessee state song!) “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” “Nobody” “Give Me Wings” are a very very few of the songs she’s written. She was an honoree at CMHOF in 2012. She was NSAI songwriter of the year 3 years from 1981-1983. She’s been honored by ACM, the CMA, BMI, the Dove awards, the Grammys and countless others. In addition to country music she has written with songs Janis Ian and written for Bette Midler, Tina Turner and Amy Grant. She’s had her music featured in the shows Murder She Wrote, Sonny & Cher and The Barbara Mandrell Show. She owns a publishing company. She managed Eden’s Edge an up-and-coming country act. If anybody deserves it. She does!
January 27, 2023 @ 8:17 pm
@Trig–Where do you come up with ” A whopping twenty-two #1 singles” for Clint Black? He had thirteen #1’s on Billboard, per Wikipedia. If you count #2 singles as #1’s, then that would make it 18. Do you count songs that went to #1 in Canada? That still doesn’t get there.
Twenty-two sounds like a number that came from his publicist, or just a plain error.
Mind you, I’d like to see Clint get into the H-o-F. He was bigger than Garth when they came out , and his first two albums were landmarks in terms of quality of writing, production and performance, and commercial success.
January 28, 2023 @ 12:18 am
I honestly don’t know how I came to that number. It was assembled a few years ago. Perhaps Cashbox #1’s or something else were involved there, but it certainly didn’t come from a publicist, but I also certainly didn’t pull it out of my ass. I have corrected the entry.
January 28, 2023 @ 3:09 pm
I’ve said before that I’m highly impressed by the volume of material that you write for this site and I’m sure that I would make a lot more errors if I were writing full content, rather than just sharp-shooting points here and there.
And I’d never say that you pulled that number from where the sun don’t shine. That’s not my style. I don’t throw in vulgarity just flippantly or as a matter of course, for emphasis. I might use it if I’m arguing about something that I consider to be of major significance or moral importance. The number of #1 hits that Clint Black placed on the country singles chart is definitely not one of those things.
January 28, 2023 @ 4:41 pm
No worries Luckyoldsun, I’m a curious as you are where those numbers came from. Because the Hall of Fame’s inductions are painfully slow, the same names get recycled each year, and so I recycle a lot of the same names and info. Should have double checked it.
January 27, 2023 @ 8:39 pm
The Stanley Brothers has paid there dues .Carter Stanley the best Singer and Song writer there ever was . Ralph the very Best Singer. Banjo player . Song writer. You can’t get better harmony..Traveled all over the USA and Foreign Countries. No Reason there not all ready in CMHOF . That is a shame. Let’s make 2023 the Year .
Country When Country Wasn't Cool
January 28, 2023 @ 11:12 am
I wholeheartedly second this nomination. Though you can’t mention Kye Fleming without Dennis Morgan, who cowrote so many country hits together, including most of those above. I have to call out one my favorites: ” All Roads Lead To You.” I don’t know if the HOF considers songwriting duos, but they both deserve to be inducted. Even after they stopped writing together, the hits kept coming. Morgan even cowrote ” I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” for George Michael and Aretha Franklin.
And we can’t mention these two without mentioning Tom Collins as a producer. Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Sylvia, and (early) Steve Wariner owe their careers to him. You couldn’t turn on the radio in the 70s and 80s without hearing a Tom Collins record. He must be inducted soon as well.
January 28, 2023 @ 1:02 pm
The CMHF is a joke and has no credibility. All do you is elect pop country singers who can’t write their own songs, ala Tim McGraw n Faith Hill. Also they elect Kieth Whitley yet they won’t enshrine Guy Clark, Towns Van Zant and Billy Joe Shaver. They had long lasting careers and did more for country music than Whitley ever did, makes no sense
January 28, 2023 @ 8:16 pm
I’m a longtime country fan, and I can’t name very many songs written by any of these guys (and I even MET Guy Clark once).
Your songs have to be heard AND remembered for them to have an impact.
January 30, 2023 @ 9:30 am
You sound like you’re long time pop country fan, true country fan would know who Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver is. Billy Joe wrote some of the greatest songs in country music. same with Guy Clark
February 8, 2023 @ 3:52 pm
I’m a true country music fan, but I’m more into the old traditional music of Hank, Lefty, Webb, the Louvins, Jimmie Rodgers, the Original Carter Family, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, the Sons of the Pioneers, etc. — music from the ’30s through the ’50s.
I know who Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, and Jerry Jeff Walker are. I like a few (but just a few) of their songs. I’m just not into the Outlaw Country sub-genre.
January 29, 2023 @ 1:35 pm
There’s absolutely no shame in not writing your own songs if you’re a great interpreter and/or are showcasing the work of great songwriters. Interpretation seems to be a dying artform, including in country.
January 30, 2023 @ 9:34 am
You call them great interpreters, I call them overpriced cover singers. They may be good singers but they are not artists.
February 1, 2023 @ 6:41 pm
Pop-Country singers like Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers? Those folks?
February 2, 2023 @ 9:26 am
Kenny Rogers, Elvis for sure. They’ll probably enshrine more p[op country singers like Mr. and Mrs. Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and all that bro country crap
January 28, 2023 @ 3:16 pm
I believe Trisha Yearwood would be the best candidate cause she inspires lots of women and others to reach out there to for the dreams and encourages them all the way. She cares for he fans.
January 28, 2023 @ 4:43 pm
Earl Thomas Conley should definitely be in the Country Music Hall of Fame!!!
January 28, 2023 @ 8:07 pm
Veterans’ category: Tanya Tucker
Modern Era: Clint Black
Songwriter: Jimmy Webb
I wish the HOF would create a separate category to rotate with the Songwriter, Musician (Studio/Touring), and Non-Performer categories — the Pioneer category for pre-1960 artists. And I think the first five nominees should be:
The Stanley Bros. (Carter Stanley & Ralph Stanley)
January 28, 2023 @ 9:49 pm
You’ve got a good–or maybe bad–sense of humor if you think the H-o-F should or is about to bestow any honor–posthumous or not–on Spade Cooley.
January 29, 2023 @ 12:53 am
I thought it was a wind up when he mentioned Spade Cooley
January 29, 2023 @ 2:14 pm
I don’t think Spade Cooley should be inducted. If I had a vote, I wouldn’t vote for him.
However, due to his popularity as a Western Swing bandleader/fiddler (he was a serious rival to Bob Wills), he does deserve a nomination.
And I think it would be safe to nominate him without worrying about him actually being inducted — because most, if not all, voters would feel the same as me
Radio Free Kansas
January 29, 2023 @ 12:29 am
After reading the article and the comments I can’t believe I have to make a case and remind everyone that NOBODY in the HOF or listed here has done what Rodney Crowell has done. He needs to be in the Modern category, too, as he is much more than just a songwriter. Many great singers, but none of them have produced multiple #1 singles and albums for other artists. Several top producers in the hall but none have written multiple top 10 and #1 hits by others. And many great songwriters in the HOF but none of them had 5 #1 singles from the same album as a singer. Rodney was the first to do that in any genre. Frankly, Rodney Crowell should have been in the Hall of Fame before Garth Brooks and I’ll stand on the bar at Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater and tell him so!
Also, no mention of Janie Fricke anywhere? Do I have to make the case for her,too?
January 29, 2023 @ 4:41 pm
Agree on Rodney Crowell. Hes the real deal. Singer, Songwriter, performer, collaborator, an innovator, a hit-maker for himself and others, and to boot, one of the Heartworn Highways gang along with Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. And hes never stopped making new interesting music. Yes he absolutely belongs.
Janie Fricke I think is getting lost in the past. You don’t find a lot of love for the early 80s Country these days. It was a pop sounding period of time for sure, lots of keyboards in the mix and processed sounding guitar. I remember that era well and I have some nostalgia for Fricke but I think her music hasn’t aged as well as others have. Shes a fine singer though, and had a string of big hits. I always liked that duet she did with Charlie Rich.
January 29, 2023 @ 6:54 am
Modern Era: Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood
Veteran Era: Tanya Tucker, Maddox Bros & Rose, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
Songwriter: Bob McDill, Kostas, Guy Clark
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 29, 2023 @ 2:19 pm
The Country Music Hall of Fame utilizes the word ‘Country’ as an industry title only, and should in no way be considered affiliated with the descriptive word ‘country’, which is synonymous with ‘rural’, and is used to describe a state of being.
Country music was created by and for country people. The industry known as ‘Country’, took what country people created, and exploited it. The industry now celebrates that exploitation in their Country Music Hall of Fame.
January 30, 2023 @ 10:02 am
King of Crackershire
I get that you are no fan of said CMHOF. Noting your statement that Country music was created by and for country people; it has perhaps produced the intended effect of making me pause to consider your supposition. Taking your statement quite literally, I suppose I can agree that prior to Ralph Peers field recordings and AP Carters trips into the hills and hollers to seek out original songs for the purpose of recording them, that country music was indeed confined to the rural people and geography of the Appalachian regions of America. (For the most part) However, I see the work that Carter and Peer did, as in fact, the early commercialization of Country music. Both men did it for financial gain. It has occurred to me that without the commercial aspect, we would have never had The Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, or for that matter, everything that followed. In fact, most of the American song catalog as we know it, wouldn’t exist. The commercialization of music for financial profit is necessary and healthy. Does it always lead to greatness? No. But, monetizing great music pays the creator and rewards the artists and musicians for their efforts. How is this a bad thing?
Do you honestly believe there was ever a chance that country music could be kept exclusively for rural, agrarian people? Music gets played, its heard by others and summarily copied. That’s the organic nature of things. Music travels with its creators and imitators. Consider the Okie migration to California. And look at the Appalachian migration to Detroit for jobs, traveling up Route 23 North. Rural people moved for jobs and took that music to other places.
Consider also, the simple fact that the music was so GOOD, there was no way it could stay contained to rural areas. And at the end of the day, does anyone really own music? Musicians and composers all steal from each other. Yes, I know about copyright, but the truth is, it’s i.possible to stop the spread of music.
So, I guess I’m in agreement with you on the beginnings, but we diverge in opinion after that.
Is the HOF a perfect representation of Country music? Maybe not, but it still gets a lot right.
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 30, 2023 @ 4:43 pm
I’m sorry, I should’ve been more clear. It wasn’t wrong to commercialize country music. But because either there were no gatekeepers, or no good ones, greedy, urban people were permitted to infiltrate Country Music, and shape it into whatever they believed would make the most money. Instead of being content with making money off country music, they chose to make money off whatever they wanted, and Country became simply a title instead of a description.
The idea that folks who spent their lives destroying rural music, have been made and continue to be made equal to those who created it, via a HOF induction, should disgust anyone who still cares.
January 30, 2023 @ 4:26 pm
I am biased as a fan of Tim McGraw and would love to see him as part of the HOF. I know she isn’t a huge superstar but I think Jeannie Seely would be someone who definitely deserves to be in there.
January 30, 2023 @ 7:35 pm
One of the people I’ve always thought deserves the honor of being in the HoF is Stonewall Jackson. He was an Opry member for years.
Another bigger idea is to create a special board to consider those somehow passed over yet very deserving. The National Football League I believe had a special “Catch Up’ YEAR TO DO THAT VERY THING
January 31, 2023 @ 1:25 pm
I’m going to be brutally honest. Lynn Anderson needs to be in the HOF. It’s absolutely ridiculous that a woman who was one of the brightest country stars of the 60-70s and 80’s hasn’t already been inducted. She has more number one country hits, top 10 hits and top 40 hits than many women already inducted. She’s had numerous gold and platinum albums, was a trailblazer for so many women in country music who followed, and here it is over 50 years since her beginning, and she is still not in the HOF. SHAME ON YOU!!! I am beginning to think that there is a group of people who are shunning her on purpose. I am also beginning to doubt if poor Lynn will ever get a nod. To say I’m disgusted is an understatement. Please look at everything she has done over career and the Billboard and Cashbox charts. I humbly ask that the HOF please fix this oversight before electing any other woman. The HOF also needs to al lest start electing 6-8 members a year instead of only 3. This would help with the enormous backlog. At this rate, I can’t help but think that artists will be left unelected in the dustbin of history
January 31, 2023 @ 1:27 pm
Catch-up years, special board with new ways to induct people outside of normal channels–all bad ideas and all diminish the Hall and the artists so inducted.
They did that once. You look at the list have two or three inductees per year and then all of a sudden in 2001, you have nine–including big names like Don Gibson, Webb Pierce, Waylon, Bill Anderson, along with Homer and Jethro, etc. Very unfair to Waylon and Bill Anderson, who were still alive.
The best remedy for the backlog is simply to increase the number of inductees allowed per year. Not for one catch-up year, but for every year. Make it up to two veterans and up to two from the modern era, rather than one each. And a songwriter and a musician each year. Over time, that would clear the backlog and you would not have the situation of some artists getting in en masse, under a discount.
February 1, 2023 @ 7:11 am
Well Stonewall Jackson, I guess you will never get in the Hall of Fame. What a shame. And Wilburn Bros. either. Don’t understand it. Clint Black over Stonewall, really!
February 1, 2023 @ 12:44 pm
Earl Thomas Conley should be IN. He was a country music pioneer with his appearance on Soul Train, a prolific talented songwriter who had a string of #1 songs like no other as well as several #1 songs recorded by greats like Conway Twitty. Earl was ahead of his time and an influence on many current country stars including Michael Ray, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean. Whether everyone heard Earl in the 70s, 80s, and 90s or not, we are certainly hearing his music today through the influence he had on modern real country. Earl may be gone from this Earth, but his musical legacy lives on stronger than ever. Thanks to the new generation who have discovered him like I did as a young man in the early 1980s looking for the meaning of life and finding a lot of answers and comfort in the mysteries and misfortunes that Earl hit head-on with his powerful lyrics and constant emotion in his one of a kind voice.
February 1, 2023 @ 3:15 pm
I love the music of Ray Benson and he has been touring all over and spreading the word for’ half a hundred years’. He is never mentioned – does he not qualify for some obscure rules reason.
February 1, 2023 @ 3:29 pm
Over looked would be a great Texan Johnny Rodriguez who belongs on this list.
February 1, 2023 @ 6:45 pm
Raising a hand for soul here: John Anderson and Gram Parsons.
February 2, 2023 @ 1:10 am
Until Johnny Horton is inducted I can’t take it seriously.
February 6, 2023 @ 2:39 pm
I have always thought it was a crime that Vern Gosdin, Gene Watson, Stanley Brothers and David Allan Coe is not in there. I would have elected them over Ray Stevens and Jerry Lee Lewis (already hall members) – not to say that neither man deserved that, but Ray Stevens over any of those four?
And here is a name I don’t think has been said in all the comments….John Conlee….I think he and Watson are the two with the best pure country voices alive today.
February 6, 2023 @ 5:28 pm
Spade Cooley….ROFLMMFAO 🤣😂🤣😂
That’s some killer stuff you’re smoking; how about sharing with us? 😁
Johnny Horton was mentioned; time and more importantly, politics are against him. He was a star of the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport LA and was never part of the Nashville scene or the Opry; as much as he deserves to get in (and he should have years ago), I don’t see it happening anytime soon if ever (hope I’m wrong).
One gut above me suggested they induct two veterans, two modern era artists, plus one songwriter AND one musician each year (I’ll add that the could also induct one industry person each year (Buddy Killeen, Tony Brown, Jimmy Bowen, ect. come to mind)
February 8, 2023 @ 1:08 pm
I would still argue for Vern Gosdin, Gene Watson, and David Allan Coe over Horton, especially since Horton is dead – Why chose him over those three (who richly deserve it) and can enjoy it while alive.
Even if it was down to the Stanley Brothers and Horton, I would have a difficult time choosing
February 12, 2023 @ 9:27 pm
its about time country music recognize their female artists – i don’t mean olivia newton-john – its time for hall of fame clean up their act and inductee tanya tucker, crystal gayle, lynn anderson and skeeter davis – its time to shake up the all boys club
February 21, 2023 @ 7:53 am
Eddie Rabbitt belongs in the H.O.F. (.)
March 9, 2023 @ 11:34 am
So many to be considered…
March 11, 2023 @ 9:10 am
Dave Dudley? Why not being the father of truck-driving music!
March 13, 2023 @ 7:32 pm
David Houston name should be in the hall of fame. A cross artist and recording with two hall of famer members, Tammy Wynette and Bardara Mandrell.
March 15, 2023 @ 2:45 pm
“The Carter Sisters & Mother Maybelle” are long overdue for induction. That would make Maybelle Carter the only female to be twice inducted. Roy Rogers is the only male.
March 27, 2023 @ 10:41 am
LYNN ANDERSON. Its ridiculous she is not already in