The Country Music Hall of Fame "class of 2015" will be announced this coming Wednesday (3/25). The people who are being inducted probably already know to be at the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame, but here's my annual wish list.
VETERANS: If you read this blog with any regularity, you know the Wilburn Brothers are at the top of the list. Additionally, the long list of overlooked superstars from years past in country music include the Maddox Brothers and Rose (I would hope to see them inducted this year because [a] Don Maddox, the only surviving member of the 40's west coast superstar band, is 93 and not getting any younger, and [b] to celebrate the Bakersfield sound, the exhibit for which just recently closed at the Hall of Fame), Al Dexter (the man whose popularity with "Pistol Packin' Mama" in 1943 necessitated the advent of the Billboard country music charts), Elton Britt (recipient of country's first gold record, for "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" in 1942), Archie Campbell (songwriter and star of Hee Haw for decades as well as the show's principal writer), the Browns, Hank Locklin (two major crossover artists from the late 50's), Ray Stevens, Jerry Reed (two names that are instantly familiar to people who know very little about country music), and Dottie West (country's first female Grammy winner). Two long-deceased stars, Cowboy Copas and Johnny Horton, are also on the "deserving" list. Please, CMA, NO curve balls like last year's surprising induction of bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman.
MODERN: the list of people who deserve induction from the modern era is short and sweet. Alan Jackson. Randy Travis. Ricky Skaggs. That's about it. I would add the Oak Ridge Boys to the list as well. Part of me would like to see Rosanne Cash inducted just so her next Grammy Awards could be presented on-air. (Her three awards this year were presented off-camera in the "pre-televised" ceremonies.)
ROTATING CATEGORY (MUSICIAN): the musician is the category to be awarded this year in the rotating category (non-performer, songwriter, musician). Look for another member of the famed "A" team to make it. My hope would be Bob Moore, who, in addition to all those sessions he played on, had his own hit in the early 1960's with "Mexico." Moore's "A-team" partner, Buddy Harman, the most recorded drummer in history thanks to all the sessions he played on throughout his life, is another good candidate. My "left field" choice would be Buck Owens' right-hand man, "Dangerous" Don Rich, who played guitar and fiddle for the Buckaroos.
The announcement be carried live and streamed over the Hall of Fame's web site.