We recently had the opportunity to attend the Tanya Tucker “Strong Enough To Bend” Exhibition Preview at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum where Tanya gave a special glimpse of her professional and personal life. She was able to share the opening of her exhibit with both of her daughters and friends from around the world. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Country Music Hall of Fame
Our Special Preview Of The Tanya Tucker “Strong Enough To Bend” Exhibit At The Country Music Hall Of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will explore the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, opening November 14, 2014, and running through May 2015. Continue Reading →
For 10 years now, the CMA Songwriters Series has been bringing the magic of a Bluebird Cafe writers round to venues around the country. The night before the CMA Awards, the series comes to Nashville. Last night, at the beautiful CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum the line up for this 10th anniversary edition was spectacular, and then in true Music City fashion, a surprise guest took it up another notch. Continue Reading →
We recently had the opportunity to cover the Red Carpet premiere of Nicholas Sparks’ new movie “The Best Of Me” right here in Nashville at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Continue Reading →
IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association), the leading trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals, concluded its 44th annual conference yesterday evening with a star-studded awards ceremony honoring those behind the scenes (full list of winners below). The ceremony also included a performance by The Doobie Brothers and the IEBA Hall of Fame induction of the iconic American bandand their longtime manager Bruce Cohn, veteran manager and agent Jim Halsey, and iconic event producers Bob and Peggy Kaltenbach of Klein’s Entertainment. Continue Reading →
In a press conference last week at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, plans were disclosed for a celebration of country music superstar Alan Jackson’s 25th year in the music industry. Museum Director Kyle Young revealed arrangements for an upcoming exhibit highlighting Jackson’s career and named him the museum’s 2014 Artist-in-Residence. This marks the first time a museum residency has coincided with a major exhibit on an artist’s career. In addition, UMG Nashville CEO Mike Dungan promised new music from Jackson, and Creative Artist Agency’s John Huie announced an upcoming 25-city tour.
The exhibit, an expertly curated deep-dive into Jackson’s career, opens August 29, 2014. It will interweave the professional and the personal, including awards, instruments, costumes and mementos—many that fans will recognize from his concerts and music videos. A water ski from the “Chattahoochee” music video, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the cover of the seminal album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘bout Love) and never-before-seen treasures from Jackson’s private “man cave” will be on display.
On October 8 and 22, Jackson will take the stage of the museum’s CMA Theater to present a pair of unique, intimate performances. Previous artists-in-residence include Guy Clark, Vince Gill, Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson and others. Details about Jackson’s residency shows will be revealed soon.
This year’s ALL 4 THE HALL marked the 5th consecutive year of this very special event to raise money for the Country Music Hall of Fame. Taking place at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, the event was co-hosted by Keith Urban and Vince Gill. Continue Reading →
CRYSTAL GAYLE: ‘WHEN I DREAM’ SPOTLIGHT EXHIBIT OPENS MAY 2 AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will debut a spotlight exhibit devoted to iconic crossover star Crystal Gayle on May 2, 2014. Crystal Gayle: When I Dream will feature fashion, awards, letters, family photos and more from her groundbreaking career. The exhibition will run through November 3, 2014.
On Saturday, May 3, Gayle will participate in a special program,Concert and Conversation: Crystal Gayle. The 2:30 p.m.presentation, held in the museum’s Ford Theater, is included with museum admission and free to museum members. Hosted by Curatorial Director Mick Buck, the interview and performance will allow Gayle to discuss her life and career and perform songs from her extensive repertoire. Seating for the program is limited, and program passes are required for admittance. The program will be streamed live on the museum’s website. For complete admission and streaming information, visithttp://countrymusichalloffame.org/calendar/.
Crystal Gayle: When I Dream recounts Gayle’s unique rise to stardom. She began as a young dreamer emboldened, but nearly pigeon-holed, by the pioneering success of her older sister Loretta Lynn. Determined to make her own mark, Gayle grew into a superb vocalist whose signature glamour and pop-infused hits charmed the entire country.
The youngest of eight children, Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb on January 9, 1951, in Paintsville, Kentucky. Not long thereafter, as the coal mines closed, her family left Appalachia to find work and moved to Wabash, Indiana, northeast of Indianapolis. As a child watching her older sister’s success, Gayle harbored her own musical aspirations. While still in high school, Gayle performed regionally and sampled life on the road with Lynn, joining her onstage for a couple of songs. Before graduating, Gayle signed her first contract with Decca Records, Lynn’s recording home, and was asked to change her name because one of her musical heroes, Brenda Lee, was a mainstay on the label. Her adopted stage name, “Crystal,” was suggested by Lynn as the two drove by a Krystal hamburger franchise.
In 1974, Gayle, now signed to United Artists Records, began to work with producer Allen Reynolds, a great song man whose musical instincts and mentoring perfectly complemented Gayle’s developing vision and smooth alto. Later that year she scored her first Top Ten hit with “Wrong Road Again.” Her first #1, “I’ll Get Over You,” followed two years later, along with another chart-topper, “You Never Miss A Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye).” In 1977, she became a household name when “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” perched atop the country charts for four weeks and climbed the pop charts in America and around the world.
Gayle enjoyed fifteen additional Billboard #1 hits between 1978 and 1987, including “Talking in Your Sleep” and “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye.” In 1978, her album We Must Believe in Magic was certified platinum, making her country music’s first female artist to sell one million units. She also had success singing duets, including chart-topping hits with Eddie Rabbitt (“You and I”) and Gary Morris (“Makin’ Up for Lost Time”). Gayle won back-to-back female vocalist honors from the Academy of Country Music in 1976 and 1977 and from the Country Music Association in 1977 and 1978. Later, she moved to different record labels, scoring hits at Columbia, Elektra and Warner Bros.
For the last twenty years, Gayle has gained acclaim for compelling specialty recordings, including albums of gospel and children’s music, a tribute to Hoagy Carmichael, a collection of pop standards, and concert recordings—all featuring her effortlessly smooth vocals.
Among the artifacts on display in Crystal Gayle: When I Dreamare:
- Hand-stitched valentine Gayle made in the third grade for her mother, Clara
- Gayle’s custom white microphone, with her name engraved in gold
- Red parlor guitar, custom built for Gayle by luthier Danny Ferrington in 1980
- Photos of teenaged Gayle and her sisters Loretta Lynn and Peggy Sue that hung on their mother’s living room wall
- LP cover for the soundtrack album to the 1982 film One from the Heart, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, featuring Gayle and Tom Waits. The album featured Gayle performing solo or as a duet partner with Waits, who wrote the songs.
- Flight suit and boots worn by Gayle on her F-16 flight in 1984
- 1977 Grammy for Best Female Country Performance, for “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”
- 1976 ACM Female Vocalist of the Year trophy
- Marble and crystal Indiana Living Legend award, presented to Gayle in 2005
- Mattel’s Crystal “Eagle” Gayle Air Force Barbie doll, which commemorated both her 1984 flight aboard an F-16 fighter and the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Spotlight exhibits supplement themes or aspects of the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music. These short-term, informal displays either provide a closer look at a particular person, group or aspect of country music, or spotlight recently donated items or special anniversaries. Rotated often, spotlight exhibits also offer a glimpse into the museum’s unique collection, which includes recorded discs; historical photographs; films and videotapes; thousands of posters, books, songbooks, periodicals and sheet music; personal artifacts such as performers’ instruments, costumes and accessories; and more.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.
CMA ANNOUNCES HANK COCHRAN, RONNIE MILSAP, AND MAC WISEMAN AS NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME
The Country Music Association announced today that Hank Cochran, Ronnie Milsap, and Mac Wiseman will become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame.
Milsap will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category, while Wiseman will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Cochran will be inducted in the “Songwriter” category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” and “Non-Performer” categories. Cochran, Milsap, and Wiseman will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 121 to 124 members.
“Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the highest honor achievable for a Country Music artist, songwriter, or industry leader and this year’s inductees are all highly deserving,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Hank’s songs have been recorded by everyone from Burl Ives to Etta James, George Strait to Ella Fitzgerald. Mac is a revered figure in the world of bluegrass and a founding Board member of the Country Music Association. And Ronnie is an incredibly gifted pianist and performer who is also one of the most successful and versatile crossover artists in our genre.”
“When you start listening to the radio as a kid, you want to hear your songs on there, because songs are bits of people’s lives, including your own,” said Milsap. “Then you dream that your songs and your music will mean enough to the people that, one day, they’ll put you in the Hall of Fame. Not for you, exactly, but for all the songwriters and musicians and especially the fans who tell you their life is in your songs. To me, that’s what the Hall of Fame is all about: how many people’s lives were held in your music. So many people I admire and have heard my story in their songs are already in the Hall, and I love the idea that maybe my music meant – to others – what those artists have meant to me.”
“Being a founding member of CMA, I have always been proud of my role in helping make Country Music popular,” said Wiseman. “Being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the icing on the cake and certainly a highlight of my career.”
Induction ceremonies for Cochran (who passed away in 2010), Milsap, and Wiseman will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.
CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music’s highest honor.
“All these distinguished Southerners overcame serious hardship before finding the opportunity to hone their talents to professional levels and make the inspired Country Music that has led to this moment,” said Kyle Young, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Their indelible mark has earned them Country Music’s highest honor, membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
Hank Cochran – Garland Perry “Hank” Cochran was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Isola, Miss. After his parents’ divorce when Cochran was nine, he moved to Memphis to live with his father. But post-Depression life proved to be difficult and Cochran’s father ended up placing him in St. Peter’s Orphan home. After Cochran’s third attempt at running away from the orphanage, his father took him back to Mississippi to be raised by his grandparents.
At the age of 10, Cochran was playing guitar and singing at church. At 12, he and his uncle Otis hitchhiked from Mississippi to Hobbs, N.M. to work in the oilfields. But work as a roughneck was not only physically demanding, but dangerous. So after spending two years in the oilfields, Cochran headed to Los Angeles. Once there he got a job at a Sears & Roebuck. The company insisted he return to school since he was not yet 16.
While in Los Angeles, Cochran entered various amateur talent contests in the area with much success, giving him the idea to form a group to play at clubs and local events. His search for a guitar player led him to Eddie Cochran (no relation) who shared his passion for music. The teens formed a rock ‘n’ roll duo called The Cochran Brothers, which had minor success.
After the duo disbanded, Cochran made the move to Nashville in January of 1960 and began working as a songwriter for Pamper Music. That year he penned “Make the World Go Away,” which was recorded by both Ray Price and Eddie Arnold.
In addition to writing songs for Pamper Music, he also helped the company sign other songwriters, as well as acquire songs and get them recorded. Among those he signed to the publishing company’s roster was Willie Nelson, whom Cochran discovered singing at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
In April of 1961 Patsy Cline released Cochran’s “I Fall to Pieces” (co-written with Harlan Howard), which afforded Cochran the opportunity to give up his extra jobs and become a full time songwriter. Soon after, Cochran was playing guitar with Justin Tubb on the Grand Ole Opry, touring with Price, and scoring his first hit as a recording artist with the Top 20 single “Sally Was a Good Old Girl.” He also earned three BMI Awards for songs he had written on his own, and became a co-owner (along with Price) of Pamper Music.
In 1974 Cochran was unanimously voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1996, Cochran topped the Americana chart as a recording artist with Desperate Men: The Legend and the Outlaw. In 2002 he released another album, Livin’ For a Song: A Songwriters Autobiography.
Cochran’s songs have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Chet Atkins, Junior Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Bing Crosby, Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Tom Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Elvis Presley, Reba, Linda Ronstadt, George Strait, and Lee Ann Womack. He has penned some of music’s classic tunes including “She’s Got You,” “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” “The Chair,” “Is It Raining At Your House,” “Miami, My Amy,” “Ocean Front Property,” and “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me.”
His catalog has generated more than 36 million performances, which, if played back-to-back, would amount to more than 200 years of continuous airplay.
Cochran passed away on July 15, 2010 surrounded by friends, family, and music – Jamey Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus, and producer/songwriter Buddy Cannon were passing a guitar around in Cochran’s bedroom, singing songs and telling tales.
Veterans Era Artist
Mac Wiseman – Malcolm B. “Mac” Wiseman was born May 23, 1925, in Crimora, Va. At six-months old, Wiseman contracted polio, which he felt was a blessing. Because of his illness, he was kept inside and was not subjected to the field work that most children of the rural Shenandoah Valley were expected to do. His father would set the phonograph up by the wood stove and Wiseman would listen to old records over and over. His mother would write the lyrics from songs she heard on the radio into composition books for young Mac.
In 1943, Wiseman applied for a job at the Merck and Co. chemical plant, but because of the polio damage to his leg, he was turned down. That was when he made the decision to pursue his music.
Wiseman attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia with help from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which would later become the March of Dimes. There Wiseman excelled in a radio course and accepted a job offer from WSVA in Harrisonburg, Va., where he read the news and farm reports and spun pop and Country records.
In 1946, Wiseman joined Molly O’Day’s band, where he developed a love of classic Country.
In 1948, Wiseman made his first foray into what would become known as bluegrass music. He joined Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs as a member of the Foggy Mountain Boys, singing high harmonies and booking the band’s first concert dates. And in 1949, he joined Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys where he played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time. He also recorded the classics “Traveling This Lonesome Road” and “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” with Monroe. He left the band in 1949 to set out on his own.
Wiseman soon attracted the attention of the independent label Dot Records and was offered a recording contract. In 1951, Dot released Wiseman’s first single, “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered,” which became a career-making song and earned him the nickname the “voice with a heart.” Wiseman went on to record other classics including “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Jimmy Brown, the Newsboy,” “Ballad of Davy Crockett,” and “Shackles and Chains.”
Wiseman became a record executive in 1957 when he was tapped to head the Country Division of Dot Records. And in 1958, Wiseman was instrumental in the founding of the Country Music Association, becoming the organization’s first Secretary/Treasurer, demonstrating the respect he had earned as both an artist and a record executive.
During the 1960s Wiseman was a staple on the folk festival circuit and on college campuses. But he also played Carnegie Hall in 1962 on a bill headlined by Johnny Cash, which garnered him rave reviews inThe New York Times.
From 1966 to 1971, Wiseman was Program Producer and Talent Director for the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. During his tenure he stabilized the cast of performers and gave bluegrass prominence.
Most recently, Wiseman has released his music on his own Wise Records including a six-disc boxed set entitled The Mac Wiseman Story, featuring songs he recorded in the 1970s and a DVD collection calledMac Wiseman – An American Treasure. In 2007, he recorded a duet album with John Prine, Standard Songs for Average People, which was released by Oh Boy Records. He has also just completed an album with Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, and The Isaacs that will be released in 2014 and is also being interviewed for inclusion in the upcoming Ken Burns PBS documentary on Country Music. Wiseman will also be the first inductee into the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music Hall of Fame later this month.
Modern Era Artist
Ronnie Milsap – Ronnie Lee Milsap was born Jan. 16, 1943, in Robbinsville, N.C. A congenital disorder left him almost blind, and he was raised by his grandmother in the Smoky Mountains until the age of five, when he was sent to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, N.C.
Showing an interest in music early on, at the age of seven his teachers recognized that he had considerable musical talent. He began studying classical music and learned several instruments, eventually mastering the piano.
His youthful passion for rock music led him to form a band with some high school classmates called The Apparitions. Briefly attending Young Harris College on a full scholarship, Milsap left before graduating to pursue a career in music.
In the early 1960s, Milsap played his first professional gigs as a member of J.J. Cale’s band. In 1965, he released “Total Disaster,” his first single as a solo artist, which achieved some local success in the Atlanta area.
In 1965, Milsap signed with New York-based Scepter Records where he scored an R&B Top 5 with the Ashford and Simpson-penned “Never Had It So Good.” While at Scepter, Milsap shared concert stages with James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles, who encouraged the young man to apply himself to music.
In 1969, Milsap moved to Memphis to become a session musician. Working with the legendary Chips Moman, he played keyboards on Elvis Presley’s “Kentucky Rain” and can be heard singing background on “Don’t Cry Daddy.” When not doing session work, Milsap and his ensemble served as the house band at the local music hotspot T.J.’s Club.
In 1970, Milsap found success on the pop charts with “Loving You Is a Natural Thing.” He recorded and released his eponymous debut album – produced by Dan Penn – in 1971.
In 1972, Milsap was performing at the Whiskey A-Go-Go where Charley Pride happened to be in the audience. Impressed with his soulful singing style, Pride encouraged Milsap to focus on Country Music. Moving to Nashville later that year, he began working with Pride’s manager, Jack D. Johnson. A year later, he signed with RCA Records and later that same year released his first Country single, the Top 10 “I Hate You.”
In 1974, Milsap scored two No. 1s: “Pure Love” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” which won his first Grammy. Another No. 1 followed the next year with “Daydreams About Night Things.”
In 1976, Milsap solidly established himself as one of Country Music’s biggest stars. A string of seven No. 1 hits in a row, including “(I’m a) Stand By My Woman Man,” “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life,” and “It Was Almost Like a Song,” which was the most successful single of the 1970s. “Song”was the singer’s first crossover hit, peaking No. 7 on the adult contemporary chart and paving the way for Milsap to be named Billboard’s Artist of the Year (in any genre) in 1976.
This string of hits also kicked off a remarkable run in American pop music. With songs “(There’s) No Getting Over Me,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World,” “Any Day Now,” “Stranger In My House,” “Lost in the Fifties Tonight,” “She Keeps the Home Fires Burning,” “Snap Your Fingers,” and “Where Do the Nights Go,” Milsap did not leave the Top 10 for 16 years.
Milsap also received myriad awards and accolades during this period. He won four CMA Album of the Year Awards (1975, 1977, 1978, and 1986), three CMA Male Vocalist of the Year trophies (1974, 1976, and 1977), and the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year Award (1977). In addition, he won five Grammys for Best Male Country Vocal performance (1974, 1976, 1981, 1985, and 1986) and one Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1988 for the Kenny Rogers duet “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine.”
In 1993, Milsap left RCA and signed with Liberty Records and released the album True Believer. In 2000, he released the two-CD set, 40 No. 1 Hits.
In 2004, Milsap recorded Just For a Thrill, a collection of American popular/jazz standards, which was nominated for a Grammy. Returning to Country in 2006 at his original home of RCA Records, he released My Life. It was followed in 2009 with Then Sings My Soul, a two-CD set collection of hymns and gospel songs.
On March 18 of this year, Milsap released Summer #17, his 31st album, which he describes as an homage to the music that inspired him. Hailed byUSA Today, The Tennessean and NPR: National Public Radio, the set pays tribute to the influences that shaped Milsap’s singular brand of soul-steeped Country.
With 40 No. 1 hits and more than 35 million albums sold, Milsap remains one of Country’ Music’s most successful and beloved crossover artists. At 71, he continues to tour the country, playing his music for multiple generations of music lovers.
About CMA: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,000 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a three-hour special; and “CMA Country Christmas,” featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics for broadcast during the holiday season. All of CMA’s television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.
On Tuesday, January 28th, CMA held its 5th Annual Keep The Music Playing All-Stars Concert at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Continue Reading →
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