In The Spotlight - Wall of Fame
This 'Wall of Fame' has been created to honor and place in the spotlight some of the pioneers and founders of Country music. We hope that this will educate those that don't know who was there back when it all started, and to make sure we keep their legacy alive. If it weren't for those pioneers,
Country music wouldn't exist today. Let's show them the respect and acknowledgement they so rightly deserve.
GEORGE D. HAY
An American radio personality. He was the founder of the original Grand Ole Opry radio program on WSM-AM in Nashville, Tennessee. (Pictured: L-R Pee Wee King, George D. Hay, Ernest Tubb
UNCLE DAVE MACON
Born David Harrison Macon—also known as "The Dixie Dewdrop"—was an American old-time banjo player, singer, songwriter, and comedian.
An American country singer in the early 20th century, known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as "The Singing Brakeman", "The Blue Yodeler", and "The Father of Country Music".
Lead vocalist in Pee Wee King & His Golden West Cowboys; co-writer, 'Tennessee Waltz.' Performed on Grand Ole Opry 1937-1947. He was one of the first to be inducted into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
PEE WEE KING
Band leader of Pee Wee King & His Golden West Cowboys; co-writer, 'Tennessee Waltz. Performed on Grand Ole Opry 1937-1947.
An American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s.
Nicknamed the Texas Troubadour, was an American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music. His biggest career hit song, 'Walking the Floor Over You' (1941), marked the rise of the honkytonk style of music.
An American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century.
An American country music singer who performed for six decades. He was a so-called Nashville sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950s, and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones. He sold more than 85 million records.
An American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the "King of Country Music," Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.
Louis Marshall Jones, known professionally as Grandpa Jones, was an American banjo player and "old time" country and gospel music singer. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.
David Akeman, better known as Stringbean was an American country music banjo player and comedy musician best known for his role on the hit television show, Hee Haw, and as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Akeman and his wife were murdered by burglars at their rural Tennessee home in 1973.
An American country music and blues star from the 1920s until 1941. He was the first performer to be introduced on the Grand Ole Opry and the first African-American performer on the show. He played several instruments but is best known for his harmonica tunes. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in July 1926.
LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS
James Cecil Dickens, better known as, Little Jimmy Dickens, was an American country music singer famous for his humorous novelty songs, his small size (4'11"), and his rhinestone-studded outfits (which he is given credit for introducing into country music live performances).
He started as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1948 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. Before his death he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry.
THE CARTER FAMILY
The Carter Family is a traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s
They were the first vocal group to become country music stars. Their recordings of songs such as "Wabash Cannonball", "Can the Circle Be Unbroken", "Wildwood Flower", "Keep On the Sunny Side" and "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" made these songs country standards.
An American country musician. She is best known as a member of the historic Carter Family act in the 1920s and 1930s and also as a member of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters.
The Carter Sisters, (also known as the second version of The Carter Family) were an American singing quartet consisting of Maybelle Carter and her daughters June Carter Cash, Helen Carter, and Anita Carter. Formed during World War II, the group recorded and performed into the 1990s.
Harold Franklin Hawkins, better known as Hawkshaw Hawkins, was an American country music singer popular from the 1950s into the early 1960s known for his rich, smooth vocals and music drawn from blues, boogie and honky tonk.
At 6 ft 5 inches tall, he had an imposing stage presence, and he dressed more conservatively than some other male country singers. Hawkins died in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was married to country star Jean Shepard.
Patsy Cline (born Virginia Patterson Hensley; was an American country music singer. Part of the late 1950s/early 1960s Nashville sound, Cline successfully "crossed over" to pop music and was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. She died at the age of 30 in a multiple-fatality crash of the private plane of her manager, Randy Hughes.
Cline was known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice, and her role as a country music industry pioneer. Along with Kitty Wells, she helped pave the way for women as headline performers in the genre.
Lloyd Estel Copas "the Country Gentleman of Song", known by his stage name Cowboy Copas, was an American country music singer popular from the 1940s until his death in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
James Robert Wills was an American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader. Considered by music authorities as the co-founder of Western swing, he was universally known as the King of Western Swing (after the death of Spade Cooley who used the moniker "King Of Western Swing" from 1942 to 1969).
THE DELMORE BROTHERS
Alton Delmore (December 25, 1908 – June 8, 1964) and Rabon Delmore (December 3, 1916 – December 4, 1952), billed as The Delmore Brothers, were country music pioneers and stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s.
The Delmore Brothers, together with other brother duos such as the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers (Birch, Charlie and Bill Monroe), the McGee Brothers, and The Stanley Brothers, had a profound impact on the history of country music and American popular music.
THE LOUVIN BROTHERS
The Louvin Brothers were an American musical duo composed of brothers Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (1924–1965) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (1927–2011), better known as Ira and Charlie Louvin. The brothers are cousins to John D. Loudermilk, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.
Clyde Julian Foley, known professionally as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II.
For more than two decades, Foley was one of the biggest stars of the genre, selling more than 25 million records.
THE EVERLY BROTHERS
The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing.
Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip "Phil" Everly (January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014) were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
William Smith "Bill" Monroe was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who created the style of music known as bluegrass. Because of this he is commonly referred to as the "Father of Bluegrass".
The genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 69 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader.
MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE
The Maddox Brothers and Rose, known as America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band from the 1930s to the 1950s, consisted of four brothers, Fred, Cal, Cliff and Don Maddox, along with their sister Rose. Cliff died in 1949 and was replaced by brother Henry. The group disbanded in 1956.
Jack Henry Greene was an American country musician. Nicknamed the "Jolly Greene Giant" due to his height and deep voice, Greene was a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry.
A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Greene is best known for his 1966 hit, "There Goes My Everything".
Faron Young was an American country music singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s and one of its most successful and colorful stars. Hits including "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" and "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" marked him as a honky-tonk singer in sound and personal style; and his chart-topping singles "Hello Walls" and "It's Four in the Morning" showed his versatility as a vocalist.
Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins, known as "Mr. Guitar" and "The Country Gentleman", was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter, and record producer, who along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, among others, created the country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music's appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily known as a guitarist. He also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele.
HOMER & JETHRO
Homer and Jethro were the stage names of American country music duo Henry D. "Homer" Haynes (1920–1971) and Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns (1920–1989), popular from the 1940s through the 1960s on radio and television for their satirical versions of popular songs.
Known as the Thinking Man's Hillbillies, they received a Grammy in 1959 and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
JOE & ROSE LEE MAPHIS
Joe Maphis, born Otis W. Maphis (May 12, 1921 – June 27, 1986), was an American country music guitarist. He married singer Rose Lee Maphis in 1953.
One of the flashiest country guitarists of the 1950s and 1960s, Joe Maphis was known as The King of the Strings. He was able to play many stringed instruments with great facility. However, he specialized in dazzling guitar virtuosity.
Ellen Muriel Deason, known professionally as Kitty Wells, was an American pioneering female country music singer. She broke down a female barrier in country music with her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" which also made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star.
Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.
William Orville Frizzell, known as Lefty FrizzelL, was an American country music singer-songwriter and honky-tonk singer. A vocalist who set the style of singing "the country way" for the generations that followed.
Frizzell became one of the most successful and influential artists of country music throughout his stellar career. He gained prominence in 1950 after two major hits, and throughout the decade was a very popular country performer.
LONZO & OSCAR
Lonzo and Oscar were an American country music duo founded in 1945 originally consisting of Lloyd George (1924-1991) as "Lonzo" and Rollin "Oscar" Sullivan (1919-2012), best known for being the first to perform the 1948 song "I'm My Own Grandpa".
George departed in 1950, and Lonzo was later portrayed by Johnny Sullivan (1917-1967) from 1950 to 1967 and by David Hooten from 1967 to 1985, when the band retired (with some final shows performed by Sullivan and first Cleo C. Hogan, then Billy Henson, the latter of which eventually bought the rights to the name).