Mel Tillis, Vince Gill & Ralph Emery newest Hall of Famers

Singer-songwriter legends Mel Tillis & Vince Gill will join country media icon

Ralph Emery in the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Tillis enters the Hall of Fame in the performer category for artists that received national prominence between World War II and 1975. In addition to being a former CMA Entertainer of the Year, he’s also the writer of classics for other artists, most notably “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “Detroit City”, “I Ain’t Never”, “Burning Memories” and “Honey (Open That Door.)” Here’s hoping daughter Pam will help induct him, just like she did at the Opry this year!

Gill is the third inductee in the new performer’s category for artists that received national prominence from 1975 to the present day, following Alabama in 2005 and George Strait in 2006. At age 50, Gill might be the youngest living inductee ever, but I have to check to make sure that’s right. Gill had a few radio hits in the eighties, but finally broke through commercially in 1989, with his mega-hit “When I Call Your Name.” He’s won 18 Grammy awards and 18 CMA awards since then.

Ralph Emery is most widely known as the long-time host of TNN shows Nashville Now and On the Record, but also had an illustrious career on radio, including a stint as the announcer for the Grand Ole Opry. You can read more about all of this year’s inductees in the Hall’s official press release.

If I was a betting man, I’d have wagered that Reba McEntire would be going in this year, and I still suspect she’ll be the inductee within the next year or two. Quite frankly, she’s due, as is Emmylou Harris. Maybe next year will be the year of the woman?


  1. Johnny Cash was 48 when elected to the CMHOF in 1980

    Mel Tillis is long overdue for induction
    Vince Gill is worthy but his election is probably a bit premature

    Ralph Emery was incredibly important and influential – his all-night radio show on WSM 650 AM (back when the airwaves were less crowded) blanketed much of the country AND the show was syndicated to many other Country stations around the USA

  2. I am pretty surprised someone like Vince got in before Garth Brooks or Reba McEntire. They’ve sold more records and had more influence than Vince. I think Vince is a wonderful guy but I’d love to know the criteria used to judge these things. It’s obviously subjective and a who you know type of thing too.

    Question – Is Don Williams in the Hall of Fame? If not, shame on them.

  3. Don Williams isn’t in yet.

    I’ve got a long post gestating in my mind regarding Vince’s induction, but I probably won’t get it up until sometime tomorrow.

  4. I suspect there is still a 25 year span required of artists in the post 1975 category even if it is no longer stated as such . Garth’s career on the national stage dates to 1989 as does Clint Black. I would expect Randy Travis to go in before Garth Brooks as well

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if CMHOF voters would hold Garth’s long periods of inactivity against him.

    Some time back Kevin did an article on the Hall of Fame to which others (such as myself ) put in their two cents worth

  5. Here’s my list of what I think the CMHOF’s priorities SHOULD be for upcoming inductions (unlike my previous post, I’ve worked some bluegrass artists into the mix)

    01) Connie Smith – the best female singer ever
    02) Jean Shepard
    03) Tom T. Hall
    04) The Statler Brothers
    05) Emmylou Harris
    06) Ronnie Milsap
    07) Mac Wiseman
    08) Dallas Frazier – probably the greatest songwriter not named Merle Haggard of Harlon Howard
    09) Hank Williams Jr
    10) Tanya Tucker
    11) Reba
    12) The Oak Ridge Boys
    13) Barbara Mandrell
    14) Don Williams
    15) Wynn Stewart
    16) Jerry Reed
    17) The Osborne Brothers
    18) Robert K, Oermann
    19) Rodney Crowell
    20) Ray Stevens

    others to consider
    Jack Greene
    Jerry Clower
    Wanda Jackson
    Stonewall Jackson
    The Bellamy Brothers

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