Showing posts with label country music hall of fame 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label country music hall of fame 2021. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

2021 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees ~ Part Three


Watch this:

And this:

No, Don Rich wasn't inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in the Non-Performer, Songwriter, and Recording and/or Touring Musician category (again). That anti-Bakersfield bias lives strong within the mysterious HOF voters. But is there any other sideman more famous than Don Rich? (answer: no) But of course, Don Rich died in 1974, so those mysterious voters no doubt assume that everyone's forgotten him.

So, we have a tie this year: Pete Drake and Eddie Bayers. Funny how the HOF can sometimes induct more than just a single artist.

Before Lloyd Green came along, Pete Drake was the most famous studio steel guitar player in country music. He played on hits such as Rose Garden, Behind Closed Doors, and Stand By Your Man, among innumerable other tracks, hits and non-hits. His fingers must have gotten awfully sore. 

Drake passed away in 1988, which means Jerry Lee Lewis only has about thirty-three years (at age one hundred and eighteen) until, he, too, gets honored.

I almost didn't include Pete Drake's more creepy side, but any summation of his career would be incomplete without his infamous "talk box". Of course I was a kid when I first heard this on the radio, and it was the stuff of nightmares. Nice little novelty, though, I guess. 

Regardless, Pete Drake deserves his due.

Eddie Bayers, on the other hand, has no creepy proclivities that I'm aware of. Eddie has played on tracks by artists ranging from Tanya Tucker to Reba to Garth to George Strait. He also was a member of the Notorious Cherry Bombs, and played on tracks such as this:

On the plus side, at least Eddie is still alive to enjoy the honor.

Studio musicians, like Hargus (Pig) Robbins (2012) and Lloyd Green (not yet!) absolutely deserve any accolade bestowed upon them. So many of the tracks we love and cherish wouldn't be the tracks we love and cherish without these musicians' contributions. 

Still mad about Don Rich, though.

2021 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees ~ Part Two


In order to be eligible for the Country Music Hall Of Fame's veteran's category, an artist must have reached national prominence at least forty years prior.

That list of performers thus include artists such as Tanya Tucker, Lynn Anderson, JERRY LEE LEWIS, among others.

So, what did the mysterious HOF members do? They inducted R&B star Ray Charles.

Ray Charles recorded one ostensibly country album in 1962, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (first clue that someone is not country: call it country and western).

I was seven years old in 1962 and I do remember hearing a couple of the tracks from the album on the radio:

Even at seven I knew this wasn't country. The second track is how country would sound if Andy Williams tried to sing country (Andy would, no doubt, add the "and western" to his track label). The first track is fine as an R&B version of Don Gibson's country song.

So eighty-five-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis, who devoted years and years to actual country music, can smile down from heaven when he is finally inducted into the hall of fame. Maybe Faron Young who, too, only got inducted after he died, can join him in his celebration.

Ray Charles was a great artist. He just wasn't a country artist. So why was he inducted into the HOF, bypassing actual deserving country stars? 

The Hall Of Fame needs to widen its induction process. Why only one artist in each of the three categories per year? Come on. If they're going to be politically correct, fine, I guess. But how about three in each category? Even then they wouldn't be able to keep up.

Yes, Jerry Lee Lewis deserved this. He absolutely deserved this. 

I've pretty much washed my hands of this "organization".

2021 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees - Part 1



I admit, I was a year off. That's not bad, though. I had no hope nor expectation that Marty Stuart would be inducted in the Modern Era category in 2020. I simply felt it was The Judds' time.

I readily admit I completely missed The Judds' rise. I'd abandoned country music for about a decade, which was completely country music's fault; not mine. And nineteen eighties pop was really, really good; I don't care who wants to argue the point -- while country music was putrid. Sure, I missed country's renaissance, but how was I to know country that would suddenly heal itself? I'd chalked it up as a lost cause, after too many Sylvia and Billy Crash Craddock singles. 

I sure didn't know about this:

Or this:

Or this:

In fact, I missed the best of The Judds. I did keep up with them via People Magazine, though. Constant drama is a catalyst for bad, and The Judds were nothing if not drama. I scrolled through the articles about Wynonna's marriages and Naomi's and Wynonna's squabbles. They became tabloid fodder and diminished the talent that they were. But living in the spotlight probably changes a person; makes them keen to their public image. 

By the time I learned to appreciate The Judds they were almost over. Their hit-making days didn't last long, basically from 1984 to 1991, but they did score fourteen number ones in only eight years.

A few of their better recordings:

To be eligible for the modern era category, at least twenty but not more than forty years, must have passed since the artist reached national prominence. What this means is that The Judds beat out the obviously most deserving candidate, Dwight Yoakam. The Country Music Hall Of Fame and Nashville in general has long had a bias against Bakersfield artists (Merle Haggard simply could not be ignored), so it will be interesting to witness the HOF twists themselves into knots in the future to NOT induct Dwight.

I rarely agree with the Hall Of Fame choices, but I don't begrudge The Judds. They simply could no longer be ignored by whoever the mysterious HOF voters are. I will say, however, that three superior recordings do not necessarily elevate an artist to hall of fame status. But no one can deny that they left their imprint on country music.