This fall, legendary recording artists Ray Stevens and Brooks & Dunn and also producer Jerry Bradley´s legacies will be permanently sealed into the history books because they will be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
This morning at a CMA-hosted press conference held at theCountry Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, 650AM WSM radio host Bill Codyannounced Stevens as a 2019 inductee into the revered institution.
As part of the Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2019, Stevens will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category, alongside Brooks & Dunn in the "Modern Era Artist" category and Jerry Bradley in the "Non-Performer" category.
"I am seldom at a loss for words but when they told me I was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, I was thoroughly caught by surprise," explains Stevens. "What a great honor to be included in the company of the people who are already members. When I heard the news, I was speechless and all I can say is, 'It don't get no better than this!'"
"The fact that we would be in the Hall of Fame, that's just not something that you think about," Brooks said after a few comments from Dunn. "The faces on this wall I will never consider my peers ... I idolize them." Both men were clearly humbled by the honor.
The formal induction ceremony for Stevens, Brooks & Dunn, and Bradley 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.
Harold Ray Ragsdale (born January 24, 1939), known professionally as Ray Stevens, is an American country and pop singer-songwriter and comedian, known for his Grammy-winning recordings "Everything Is Beautiful" and "Misty", as well as comedic hits such as "Gitarzan" and "The Streak". He has worked as a producer, music arranger, songwriter, television host, and solo artist; been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and the Christian Music Hall of Fame; and received gold albums for his music sales.i
Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn is an American country music duo consisting of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, both vocalists and songwriters. The duo was founded in 1990 through the suggestion of Tim DuBois. Before the foundation, both members were solo recording artists. Both members charted two solo singles apiece in the 1980s, with Brooks also releasing an album for Capitol Records in 1989 and writing hit singles for other artists.
Founded in 1991, the duo signed to Arista Nashville that year. They have recorded eleven studio albums and five compilation albums for the label. They also have released 50 singles, of which 20 went to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs charts and 19 more reached Top 10. Two of these No. 1 songs, "My Maria" (a cover of the B.W. Stevenson song) and "Ain't Nothing 'bout You", were the top country songs of 1996 and 2001, respectively, according to the Billboard Year-End charts. The latter is also the duo's longest-lasting No 1 single on that chart at six weeks. Several of their songs have also reached the Billboard Hot 100, with the No. 25 peaks of "Ain't Nothing 'bout You" and "Red Dirt Road" being their highest there. Brooks & Dunn also won the Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year award every year between 1992 and 2006, except for 2000. Two of their songs won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Hard Workin' Man" in 1994 and "My Maria" in 1996. All but two of the duo's studio albums are certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America; their highest-certified is their 1991 debut album, Brand New Man, which is certified sextuple-platinum for shipments of six million copies.
The duo's material is known for containing influences of honky-tonk, mainstream country, and rock, as well as the contrast between Brooks' and Dunn's singing voices and on-stage personalities, although some of their music has also been criticized as formulaic. Their 1992 single, "Boot Scootin' Boogie", helped re-popularize line dancing in the United States, and 2001's "Only in America" was used by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama in their respective presidential campaigns. Brooks & Dunn has collaborated with several artists, including Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Mac Powell, Billy Gibbons, and Jerry Jeff Walker among others.
After announcing their retirement in August 2009, they performed their final concert on September 2, 2010 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Both Brooks and Dunn have continued to record for Arista Nashville as solo artists. Dunn released a self-titled album in 2011, which included the Top 10 country hit "Bleed Red", while Brooks released New to This Town in September 2012. The duo reunited in 2015 for a series of concerts with Reba McEntire in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Induction into The Country Music Hall of Fame is a family tradition if you’re a member of Music Row’s famed Bradley family. Jerry Bradley’s father Owen Bradley and his uncle Harold Bradley are already members and this fall Jerry Bradley will follow in their footsteps.
Jerry Bradley’s storied career in country music includes producing records for singers ranging from Eddy Arnold to Dottie West. He ran RCA Records from 1973 to 1982. Bradley was CMA Board President in 1975 and a longtime member of the board who played a key role in creating the Country Music Association’s Fan Fair. And when the Gaylord company bought Acuff-Rose Publishing in 1985, Bradley was named the head of its newly formed Opryland Music Group.
Those credentials add up to mean Bradley had a heavy hand in steering the direction of country music in the 1970s and 1980s. When he took the leadership position at RCA Records, Bradley explained that the roster was “mature” and said, “the good had been gotten.”
“It was a new generation of music,” Bradley said. “I feel like I filled a void and the music really changed.”