In Memoriam: Ralph Emery (1933-2022)

Legendary media personality and Country Music Hall of Famer Ralph Emery has passed away at the age of 88.

The Tennessean reports:

Walter Ralph Emery, Country Music Hall of Famer and host of the TNN primetime talk show “Nashville Now,” died Saturday at the age of 88.

Emery “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his family Saturday morning at Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, his family wrote in a statement.

“Ralph had a deep love for his family, his friends and his fans,” Emery’s family said.

The broadcast star was known nationwide for his informal, relaxed hosting style and candid interviews with country music stars. He is widely credited with extending country music’s reach throughout the nation during his 50-year career.

“Ralph and I go way back,” Loretta Lynn said in a tweet Saturday. “He was a Nashville original and you cannot underestimate the role he played in the growth and success of country music. He made you feel at ease and interviewed everyone just like an old friend.”

Those of us who fell in love with country music in the nineties will remember his work on Nashville Now, which provided a springboard for the careers of second generation country daughters Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis.   Even better was his On the Record series, where his laidback, conversational interview style allowed the interviewees to tell memorable stories without interruption.

To see him at his best, check out the interview below with Lorrie Morgan.

Our best wishes to his family, friends, and fans.

2 Comments

  1. I worked the graveyard shift for much of the 1970s and Ralph’s syndicated radio show was my constant companion for much of that time. Ralph generally had a single guest who would appear for the entire week. His all-night show could often be picked up on WSM-650 AM. During the 1980s I travelled and booked my hotels according to whether their cable system carried TNN – when possible and when home I was a regular watcher of NASHVILLE NOW. When I travelled to Nashville during the early 1980s, I would watch his early morning show on WSMV-TV – that’s where I first saw the “Soap Sisters” (a/k/a The Judds).

    I really miss TNN – given the current abysmal state of the genre, I doubt such programs and such a network could exist today

    RIP

  2. This is very sad news. I grew up watching Ralph Emery and Crook & Chase on TNN. His On The Record… series is definitely worth checking out on YouTube.

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