Emotional Hall of Fame Inductee Ceremony

Emotional Hall of Fame Inductee Ceremony

As in any place where there is a gathering of
musicians, songwriters and people who make a living off of offering
their hearts and emotions for anyone to take part of, there is certain
to be laughter, joy, gratitude and tears.  So it was
when Fred Foster, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis were announced as
the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame at a press
conference in the Hall of Fame Rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame
and Museum in Nashville.
The class acts of the 2016 Class were presented by
none other than Ms. Brenda Lee, who along with the preceding speakers,
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CEO Kyle Young and CMA’s CEO
Sarah Trahern, were stating that this year’s
members-to-be are artists and music industry legends have had and have
respect for the genre’s history while at the same time they’ve forged
their own paths.  
Although the inductees may not have collaborated
with one another, they have it in common that they all originally come
from North Carolina.  The inductee in the Non-Performer category, Fred
Foster, who was born on a farm in Rutherford
County, N.C., was instrumental in starting the careers of Dolly Parton
(released her first album producing the hits “Dumb Blonde” and
“Something Fishy”), Roy Orbison and Kris Kristofferson.  In Foster’s
speech, he gratefully said “I’ve always been a big dreamer,
but this is too big.”  Brenda Lee revised his statement with “Today is
not a dream, it is called validation.”  Next to be validated for his
work at the announcement ceremony was Charlie Daniels, an artist
originating from Wilmington, N.C., who despite being
honored in the Veteran’s Era category, is in full swing with no plans
to retire.  He is neither slowing down: still touring with 100 concert
dates per year in his prime years of being 79 years young.  His first
utterance as he eased in behind the microphone
was “I am flabbergasted.”  The “Devil Went Down To Georgia” true
Southern country rocker started out in his own bluegrass band
transitioning to his unique rowdy country style through rock ‘n’ roll
and R & B even having a song of his recorded by Elvis.  Charlie
was touched by the moment in the revered Hall of Fame’s Rotunda saying
his thank you’s with a slight tremble in his voice.  Touching is also an
understatement describing the introduction and acceptance speech held
for former North Carolina Marshvillian Randy
Travis.  Ms. Lee could not hold her tears back and neither could many
of the attendees when she spoke about Travis’s remarkable journey
through his life and his recent miraculous recovery after a lengthy
hospitalization due to a heart condition and on top
of that suffering a stroke.  As miraculous as Randy Travis’s recovery
is, is also his career.  His wife Mary Davis-Travis was his voice during
the ceremony and conveyed stories that Travis had told her.  One of
when he and his brother Ricky started out performing,
but Ricky chose not to sing.  That was the starting point for the Randy
Travis we know and have come to love.  “Forever And Ever” and “1982”,
“Digging Up Bones”, “On The Other Hand” and “Three Wooden Crosses” – his
legacy and Fred Foster’s and Charlie Daniels’s
are now going to be remembered forever along with the living and
breathing soul of country music already well represented with plaques in
the Rotunda.
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International Magazine
Foot note: The inductees will become official members of the Country Music Hall of Fame in a Medallion Ceremony later this year.

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