My good friend and favorite sports blogger Charles Geier, of The Widening Geier fame, has long used statistics-based reasoning when making the case for the best in sports, whether for the current season or throughout the history of a given sport.
He recently launched an in-depth site called Sports Statistics – By the Numbers, which details the crucial importance of statistics, and of course, it got me thinking about country music.
Music statistics are difficult to use in the same way, if only because chart success is but one measure of an artist’s impact. However, with country music being such a commercial genre, it’s interesting to see how the most successful chart acts have fared among Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
Looking through Joel Whitburn’s Hot Country Songs 1944-2008 and Hot Country Albums 1964-2007, it’s immediately clear that the charts are important. All of the top ten country singles artists are in the Hall of Fame, as are eight of the top ten country albums artists.
But what about those not in the Hall of Fame who are ranked high in either measure? Should they be next in line, or should they still wait? What follows are the top ten singles artists and album artists that have yet to be inducted or announced as inductees of the Hall of Fame. Their rank overall is included after their name.
Top Country Singles Artists Not in the Hall of Fame
- Reba McEntire (Overall Rank: #11)
- Hank Williams, Jr. (#15)
- Alan Jackson (#18)
- Garth Brooks (#23)
- Ronnie Milsap (#26)
- Kenny Rogers (#27)
- Tim McGraw (#29)
- Brooks & Dunn (#33)
- Tanya Tucker (#34)
- Don Williams (#37)
Top Country Albums Artists Not in the Hall of Fame
- Hank Williams, Jr. (Overall Rank: #5)
- Kenny Rogers (#10)
- Garth Brooks (#12)
- Reba McEntire (#13)
- Alan Jackson (#18)
- Randy Travis (#19)
- Tim McGraw (#22)
- Anne Murray (#23)
- Toby Keith (#24)
- Ronnie Milsap (#27)
This year’s artist inductees to the Hall of Fame are Barbara Mandrell and Roy Clark. Mandrell ranks #55 on the singles list and #64 on the albums list. Clark comes in at #118 on the singles list and #63 on the albums list. Both artists, however, were very successful on television, so they also reveal how limiting such lists can be.