Ten Acts Who Belong in the Country Hall of Fame: There Are More
By Four Walls
May 6, 2016 7:05pm CST
Over the past week and a half I've been chronicling ten singers, bands, authors, executives, and songwriters that I feel are long overdue for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Before I get to the top of the list, though, I hasten to point out that it's not just these ten who are missing. There are definitely others. Elton Britt: the man who earned the first gold record in country music history, for 1942's rally-round-the-troops song "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," had a career that began before that massive hit and continued to shortly before his death in 1972. Al Dexter: I've referenced the Billboard country charts. Many others have referenced them as well. However, the reason Billboard even started a "country music singles chart" was because of the massive popularity of Al Dexter's 1943 smash "Pistol Packin' Mama." When the Billboard "hillbilly and western" charts debuted on January 8, 1944, the first #1 song was...."Pistol Packin' Mama." Johnny Horton: Horton's career was a long "overnight success" story, but when he hit, he hit big and quickly. His 1959 song "The Battle of New Orleans[/b] won a Grammy award and was a runaway country and pop hit. (If you're into trivia, the song's parody, "The Battle of Kookamonga" by Homer & Jethro, also won a Grammy that year, the only time a country comedy song has ever won a Grammy award.) His career was tragically cut short in November 1960 when he was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver. Moon Mullican: one of the most influential piano players and musicians of the 1940s (which, if you've noticed, is a recurring theme here: too many times the popular acts of the 30s and 40s aren't remembered today, so they aren't considered by a young Hall of Fame voting group), his hits included "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" and "Sweeter Than the Flowers." His devotees included Jerry Lee Lewis. The Stanley Brothers: back before bluegrass and country had what I'd call an amicable separation there were three major bluegrass acts: Daddy (Bill Monroe), Lester & Earl (Flatt & Scruggs), and Carter & Ralph, the Stanley Brothers. They popularized the song "Man of Constant Sorrow," which became the central song in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou (and Ralph Stanley was also featured on the soundtrack with the haunting "O Death"). Carter died in 1966; Ralph is 89 (he'll be 90 by the time the next Hall of Fame class is announced). Put 'em in while he's alive to accept. Rodney Crowell: if they aren't going to induct Dallas Frazier next year in the songwriter category, then a good substitute would be Johnny Cash's former son-in-law Rodney Crowell. Yes, he's had his own Grammy-winning career as a singer, but the songs he's written -- "Ain't Livin' Long Like This" (Waylon Jennings), "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" (Oak Ridge Boys), "Song for the Life" (Alan Jackson), and even "Shame on the Moon" (which was a rock hit for Bob Seger) -- are classics. Rosanne Cash: and speaking of Rodney, how about his ex-wife (and Johnny's daughter)? Her career began with the jaw-dropping "Seven Year Ache" in 1981 and continues today, through multiple Grammys and classic albums such as King's Record Shop. Next up: country music's most overlooked act by the Hall of Fame selection committee. Should-be Hall of Famer Moon Mullican's big hit "I'll Sail My Ship Alone:"
Moon Mullican - I'll Say My Ship Alone (Grand Ole Opry) °°
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