100 Greatest Men: The Complete List One of the earliest members of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ernest Tubb’s legacy stretches back to the 1940’s, when he became one of country music’s earliest national stars. Hailing from Texas, Tubb was the son of a sharecropper who passed the time listening to Jimmie Rodgers records, which inspired him to take up singing and yodeling. By age nineteen, he was singing on the radio in San Antonio, while digging ditches for the federal government to pay the bills. He wrote Rodgers’s widow, hoping for an autograph, and it started a friendship that motivated her to help Tubb land a recording contract.
Known affectionately as the Thin Man from the West Plains, Porter Wagoner was a steadfast champion for the traditions of country music, even as he used forward-looking methods of delivering it to the masses.
One of the great crooners of the post-war era, Red Foley helped build a crucial bridge between the country music of the mountains and the Nashville Sound of the sixties.