Membership into the Country Music Hall of Fame is just about the highest honor in the country music world. Whether you’re a performer, songwriter, broadcaster, musician, or executive, you can earn a permanent spot as a HoF member.
How to get inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
The CMHoF began in 1961, founded by the Country Music Association. And, boy, did they make the right choices in the beginning or what?
That being said,here they are: the first five members of the Hall of Fame:
Hank Williams – inducted 1961
Williams is a legend of sorts. He was known as an introvert yet put himself in the spotlight by seting the bar high for country music songwriting. He’s essentially the model country artist. His work says “you must be this tall to ride this ride” to other country artists.
Fred Rose – inducted 1961
Born Knowles Fred Rose, this man played a very important role in the Nashville music scene in the 40s and 50s. He was not just a songwriter and musician, he was a music publisher, producer, and talent scout.
As a youngin’, he helped provide income with his piano playing and singing but earning tips at a local saloon. Who’d have thought that that kid would become the Fred Rose.
Jimmie Rodgers – inducted 1961
James Charles Rodgers, also commonly known as the Singing Brakeman, America’s Blue Yodeler, and The Father of Country Music, was the very first performer honored with Hall of Fame membership. It’s been said that he was “the man who started it all.” Inducting Rodgers was a no-brainer.
Roy Acuff – inducted 1962
Acuff made his break into stardom in the early 40s and was the leading personality in the Grand Ole Opry until he died in 1992. He bridged the era between your rural stringband and the more modern amplified band.
He also started the famous and influential Acuff-Rose Publications with songwriter Fred Rose. He truly had a great impact on country music and deserves his HoF spot.
Tex Ritter – inducted 1964
Tex Ritter, the singing cowboy of Hollywood, was born Woodward Maurice Ritter and fell deep in love with western music. During his time at college while earning a law degree, he had his own radio program on KPRC in Houston where he sang cowboy songs.