GARTH BROOKS, TRISHA YEARWOOD, KENNY ROGERS, DIERKS BENTLEY, VINCE GILL AMONG ALL-STAR CAST PAYING TRIBUTE TO INDUCTEES
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 26, 2015) – Groundbreaking vocal group, The Oak Ridge Boys, became one of the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a star-studded emotional Medallion Ceremony on October 25, 2015. Considered country music’s most prestigious event, the ceremony is the official induction of new Hall of Fame members.
Alongside fellow 2015 Inductees Jim Ed Brown and The Browns, and
studio session great Grady Martin, The Oak Ridge Boys were feted with
heartfelt testimonials and memorable performances of songs they made
famous. The artists paying tribute varied widely in ages, backgrounds,
and styles, which underscored the eclectic nature and crossover appeal
of the musical contributions of the artists being honored.
“These men and women distinguished themselves through virtuosity,
harmony and heart,” said Jody Williams, BMI executive and trustee on the
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Officers and Trustees.
Williams filled in for the ceremony’s usual host, museum CEO Kyle
Young, whose mother died on October 13.
“They have made music that endures through decades,” Williams
continued. “Tonight, we honor them—respectfully, formally, and
enthusiastically—as country music masters.”
The inductions focus on paying tribute to the inductees, celebrating
their stories with spoken and musical tributes and original videos that
draw on photos, interviews and performances found in materials lovingly
collected in the museum’s Frist Library and Archive. The result conveys
the special talents, personalities and unique stories of each new Hall
of Fame member and underscores why each inductee deserves the
For the musical portion of the tribute for The Oak Ridge Boys Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,
an emergency replacement for Chris and Morgane Stapleton, whose travel
plans were interrupted by flooding in Texas, performed “Leaving
Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.” The Rodney Crowell song had been a #1
hit in 1980 for the Oak Ridge Boys.
Next, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
performed a delicate, touching version of the love song “I’ll Be True
to You,” The Oak Ridge Boys’ first #1 hit, in 1978. With Brooks on
acoustic guitar as the only musical accompaniment, Yearwood sang two
verses, with her husband on harmony. Brooks took the last verse, and
Yearwood joined in for the final chorus.
In a surprise to The Oak Ridge Boys, the Martin Family Circus
bounded onstage. Featuring Duane Allen’s daughter Jamie Allen on vocals
with support from her husband, Paul Martin, and their four children,
the group delighted Allen, his vocal partners and the rest of the
audience with an animated version of “Elvira.” The children—March, 17;
Kell, 14; Texas, 10; and Tallant, 8—proved to be experienced stage
performers as they drew out the celebratory, whimsical nature of the
Kenny Rogers, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, inducted
the Oak Ridge Boys, saying, “There’s nowhere I’d rather be than right
here tonight.” Rogers and the vocal group often toured together in the
1970s. Each member of the band spoke about what the induction meant to
The audience at the private celebration was packed with Hall of Fame
members, who welcomed the new inductees into their exclusive club. Hall
of Famers in attendance were Bobby Bare, Harold Bradley, Garth
Brooks, Roy Clark, Ralph Emery, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Ray Walker
of The Jordanaires, Brenda Lee, Charlie McCoy, Randy Owen of Alabama,
Kenny Rogers, Connie Smith, and E.W. “Bud” Wendell.
The evening ended, as always, with a performance of “Will the Circle
Be Unbroken.” Museum employee and ace guitarist Ben Hall, started the
song off, performing an instrumental verse and chorus as the Hall of
Fame members gathered at the front of the stage. The Oak Ridge Boys took
turns singing the verses, with all the Hall of Famers present—and the
theater audience—joining in on the choruses.
Photo by Rick Diamond