Announces New Members Of The Country Music Hall Of Fame
By Scott Stem: CMA Close
Up News Service
Country Music Association has announced that groundbreaking
musical group Alabama, legendary
singer/musician/television host Glen Campbell and pioneering
Grand Ole Opry star DeFord Bailey will become the newest members
of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame. Formal induction for
the artists will take place during "The 39th Annual CMA
Awards," which will be broadcast live on the CBS Television
Network, Tuesday, Nov. 15 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) from Madison
Square Garden in New York City.
will be inducted in the "Career Achieved National
Prominence Prior to World War II" 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. Campbell will be inducted
in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Between World
War II and 1975" category and Alabama will be the first
artist inducted in the new "Career Achieved National
Prominence Between 1975 and the Present" category created
earlier this year.
inductees are chosen by CMA's Hall of Fame panel of electors,
consisting of more than 300 anonymous voters appointed by the
CMA Board of Directors. Alabama, Bailey and Campbell and will
increase the Hall of Fame membership from 92 to 95.
Country Music artist's highest aspiration is to be inducted into
the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Ed Benson, CMA
Executive Director. "The late DeFord Bailey was a star of
the Grand Ole Opry during the Great Depression, lifting
America's spirits with his harmonica. Glen Campbell brought
Country Music to millions of fans in the late '60s and '70s with
his numerous classic crossover hits as well as his successful
television variety series. Alabama brought a new energy and a
broader audience to Country Music in the '80s, becoming the most
successful band in our format's history. CMA is proud to induct
all three artists into the Country Music Hall of Fame where they
will join an elite group of performers and industry veterans who
have significantly shaped Country Music over the last
in Fort Payne, Ala., cousins Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm
guitar), Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, harmony vocals) and Jeff
Cook (lead guitar, keyboards, fiddle, harmony vocals) teamed in
the late '60s to form several bands including Young Country and
Wildcountry. The trio, along with a number of different
drummers, honed their skills in nightclubs across the Southeast.
Changing their name to Alabama in 1977 and adding drummer Mark
Herndon in 1979, the band solidified their lineup and soon
signed with RCA Records, where they have remained throughout
their amazing career.
met immediate success with radio and the fans. Their first RCA
album, My Home's in Alabama, was released in May 1980,
featured the hit title cut, "Tennessee River" and
"Why Lady Why," and was certified Double Platinum by
the RIAA for more than 2 million units sold. Their sophomore
album, Feels So Right, was certified Quadruple Platinum
for more than 4 million units sold and contained the hits
"Old Flame," "Love in the First Degree" and
the title cut. Mountain Music, the band's third album,
was certified Quintuple Platinum for more than 5 million units
sold and produced the hits "Take Me Down," "Close
Enough To Perfect" and the title cut. The band continued to
release successful albums and singles throughout the '80s and
'90s, producing 42 No. 1 singles. Additional hits include
"Roll On," "If You're Gonna Play in Texas,"
"The Closer You Get," "Dixieland Delight,"
"Lady Down on Love," "Song of the South,"
"Forever's as Far as I'll Go," "I'm in a
Hurry," "Angels Among Us," "In
Pictures" and many more.
Alabama was more than just a collection of great musicians. The
four members of Alabama co-produced every album, showcasing
their skills both in front of the microphone and behind the
mixing board. Owen wrote several of the classic Alabama songs,
including "Tennessee River," "Feels So
Right," "Mountain Music" and "Lady Down on
Love." Owen and Gentry co-wrote several hit songs,
including "My Home's in Alabama," "Dancin',
Shaggin' on the Boulevard" and others featured on Alabama
created a new standard on tour, utilizing state-of-the-art
production similar to what the top rock and pop acts of the day
were using. Their music and high-energy stage shows brought
Country Music to new, young audiences who enjoyed Lynyrd Skynyrd
and Yes as much as Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton.
success paved the way for many other top Country Music groups
including Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Rascal Flatts and
Restless Heart. With more than 65 million albums sold, Alabama
is the best selling Country Music group of all time. They are
among the Top 5 best-selling Country Music acts of all time and
among the 20 best-selling recording acts of all time in the
United States. The band has sold more albums in the United
States than Boston, Chicago, Eric Clapton, The Doors, Bob Dylan,
Foreigner and Journey, among others. Alabama has received nine
CMA Awards including the first three consecutive wins as
Entertainer of the Year (1982-1984); Album of the Year in 1983
for The Closer You Get; Vocal Group of the Year
(1981-1983); and Instrumental Group of the Year (1981 and 1982).
Throughout their career, they have received more than 150
industry awards and were named "Country Group of the
Century" by the RIAA in 1999.
retired from the road after a sold-out 2003-2004 Farewell Tour.
A career-spanning 25th Anniversary Box Set will be released in
in Delight, Ark. in 1936, Glen Campbell received his first
guitar when he was 4-years-old. While studying the recordings of
jazz guitarists Barney Kessel and Django Reinhardt, Campbell
learned to sing at church. At 14, he began performing in Country
Music bands across Arkansas, New Mexico and Texas; at 18, his
band, the Western Wranglers, toured the South; and at 22, he
moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician.
the early '60s, Campbell played guitar on records for The
Association, Bobby Darin, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, The Mamas
and the Papas, The Monkees, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Frank
Sinatra and many others. He released a couple of pop singles on
the Crest and Capitol Records labels with limited success. He
also sang and played guitar on "Kentucky Means
Paradise" by the Green River Boys, which became a Top 20
Country hit in 1962. In 1965, Campbell became a touring member
of the Beach Boys for several months after Brian Wilson retired
from the road.
Records, the label home of the Beach Boys, soon offered Campbell
his own recording contract, and in 1967, he hit No. 18 on the
Country charts with "Burning Bridges." Although
promoted as a Country artist, Campbell quickly became a popular
crossover artist. "Gentle on My Mind" hit the Top 40
of both the Country and pop charts; and "By the Time I Get
to Phoenix" reached No. 2 on the Country chart and No. 26
on the pop chart. His successful singles continued with "I
Wanna Live" and "Dreams of the Everyday
Television made Campbell a household name in 1968 when "The
Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour" debuted on the air. For four
years, Campbell hosted his successful television series,
introducing musical talents such as John Hartford and Jerry Reed
to the nation. During this time, Campbell remained a dominant
force on the radio with "Wichita Lineman,"
"Galveston," "Try a Little Kindness" and
other songs. He recorded duets with Bobbie Gentry, resulting in
two hit remakes of the Everly Brothers classics "Let It Be
Me" and "All I Have to Do is Dream." In
1969, he made his film debut in the John Wayne classic
"True Grit." And in 1972, he hosted "The Sixth
Annual CMA Awards," which was broadcast on CBS.
1975, Campbell topped both the Country and pop charts with the
song that would become his signature tune, "Rhinestone
Cowboy." He continued to have Top 10 success on the Country
charts with singles including "Country Boy (You Got Your
Feet in L.A.)" and "Don't Pull Your Love/Then You Can
Tell Him Good-bye" before returning to the No. 1 spot on
both the Country and pop charts with "Southern Nights"
the '80s, Campbell remained a presence on Country radio with
songs "Faithless Love," "A Lady Like You,"
"The Hand That Rocks The Cradle," "I Have
You," "She's Gone, Gone, Gone" and many more.
Moving into the '90s, Campbell recorded inspirational music and
performed regularly at his Goodtime Theater in Branson, Mo. He
published his autobiography, Rhinestone Cowboy, in
more than four decades, Campbell celebrated more than 75 songs
on the Country charts; 35 of which crossed over to the pop
charts. He received two CMA Awards in 1968, for Entertainer and
Male Vocalist of the Year. He has received one Double
Platinum, five Platinum and 12 Gold album certifications from
the RIAA. He also received Gold single certifications for
"Wichita Lineman," "Galveston,"
"Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Southern Nights."
Bailey was born in Smith County, Tenn. in 1899. Bailey suffered
from infantile paralysis, which left him with a deformed back
and only allowed him to grow to the height of 4 feet 10 inches.
Bailey's father and uncle were noted musicians who played what
they referred to as "black hillbilly music." They
taught young Bailey to play banjo, fiddle, guitar and, what
would become his signature instrument, harmonica.
began playing harmonica professionally around Smith County at
age 14, and moved to Nashville in 1925. Around this time he met
Dr. Humphrey Bate, a respected physician and harmonica player
who introduced Bailey to George D. Hay. Hay, who was known as
"The Solemn Old Judge," was both announcer and booking
agent for the WSM Barn Dance. Bate's support was instrumental in
Bailey being accepted as the first African American artist to
join the national radio show. In 1927, the WSM Barn Dance was
renamed the Grand Ole Opry with Bailey becoming one of the radio
show's first solo stars. He performed on 49 of the 52 Opry
programs during its first year under the new name, more than any
recorded albums in the late '20s on labels including Brunswick,
Columbia and Victor. His recordings are critically viewed as the
first decently recorded examples of harmonica playing. His
best-known songs were "John Henry," "Fox
Chase," "Muscle Shoals Blues" and his signature
tune "Pan American Blues." His success helped create
opportunities for other harmonica players to record and perform
across the country. In addition to recording and performing on
the Opry, Bailey often worked road shows with other Opry acts
during the '30s, including opening for Roy Acuff and as a
package tour with Uncle Dave Macon.
left the music industry in 1941. He returned to the Grand Ole
Opry stage in 1974 to inaugurate the First Annual Old Timers
Show. In 1982, he passed away at 83. Bailey's pioneering efforts
have been an inspiration to many, including fellow Country Music
Hall of Fame member Charley Pride.
Rodgers and Hank Williams were among the first to be chosen for
the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. Since then, a virtual
"who's who" of Country Music's finest have been
inducted. They include Roy Acuff (1962), Eddy Arnold (1966),
Gene Autry (1969), Patsy Cline (1973), Minnie Pearl (1975),
Johnny Cash (1980), Merle Haggard (1994), Brenda Lee (1997),
Elvis Presley (1988), Dolly Parton (1999) and Kris Kristofferson
complete list of Country Music Hall of Fame members is available
2004 CMA Close Up News Service