The 2014 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees were announced this morning (4/22) in ceremonies held in the rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
As I predicted, the late Hank Cochran was enshrined in the Songwriter category in his first year of eligibility following his death from pancreatic cancer in 2010. His widow, Suzi, accepted, saying, "I never dreamt it would be me and not Hank standing here. I'm so proud of Hank, and so thrilled for our family."
The Modern Era inductee is Ronnie Milsap, one of country's stalwarts of the mid-70's to mid-80's. He had 35 #1 hits over the course of his career, and his video of "Lost in the 50's Tonight" became the first video by a country artist to be played on the rock video channel MTV.
The biggest surprise of the day came in the Veterans Era induction. Mac Wiseman, a legend in bluegrass music (and one of the first seven inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, enshrined in 1993) but with practically no straight country career (he had only nine singles on the country charts), was inducted. In addition to a long career in music that goes back to a stint in Molly O'Day's Cumberland Mountain Folks, Wiseman was the first secretary of the Country Music Association, the governing body that elects the individuals to the Hall of Fame, as well as an executive for the Dot Records label in the 50's and early 60's.
|2014 inductee Mac Wiseman|
performing at MerleFest in 1995.
c.2014 K.F. Raizor
I'm especially thrilled for Wiseman, who will be 89 next month. He is a true gentleman, an incredible entertainer (all he has to do is sit on a stool and sing and you are in the palm of his hand), and his voice (his nickname is "The Voice With a Heart," and for a reason) is unique, distinct, and warm (you never forget a song once you hear Mac sing it!).
Congratulations to the new inductees.