The People Speak Out
The Country Music Association created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, to recognize both creatives and key music business players, and in the 50-plus years since, the CMA has voted in country greats yearly. As of 2009, the Hall of Fame inducts artists in three categories: One Modern Era (eligible for induction 20 years after reaching national prominence) and one Veterans Era (eligible for induction 45 years after first achieving national prominence) artist are selected each year, while the categories of Non-Performer, Songwriter and Recording and / or Touring Musician rotate. While plenty of country music greats have earned their places in the Hall of Fame, there are still some superstars, pioneers and legends who, surprisingly, are eligible but haven’t made it yet . . .
'Redd Stewart, a pioneer, trailblazer and legend in his own time. Setting the stage for so much music to follow. It is impossible to gauge the impact of one man on all music, but Redd's definitive sound and musical styling has set him high on the influential list with the likes of Presley and the Beatles. Defining songs and artists of any generation are just that, generational and don't come along often. An inclusion in the Country Music Hall of Fame is not only an honor, but in the case of Redd Stewart, a necessity to insure the icons and true talent in music are shown off to the world they changed.' Below are what others had to say about Redd Stewart being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
'I think the Country music songwriters of the '40s and '50s, like Redd Stewart, lit a fuse that helped Country music explode in the following decades. Those songs were fabulous and were a powerful influence in the development of Country music.
'Tennessee Waltz' became a 'mega-hit' when Patti Page recorded it. You couldn't turn on the radio or go to a dance on Saturday night without hearing this son. It's impossible to measure the long-term positive effect of Redd's songs on Country music, but it was major and Redd belongs in the Country Music Hall of Fame.'
(Jim Flynn/Lewiston, ME)
'It set me a back to realize Redd Stewart is not already in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Can't think of anyone else who would deserve it more. Over 37 years in the business, but I never had the pleasure of meeting Redd. You would think the entire state of Tennessee would be asking for his induction into the Hall of Fame . . . just for his beautiful 'Tennessee Waltz' alone.'
(The Mountain Man/Sank Lake, MI)
'Shame on the people who decide who goes in the Hall of Fame. How can anyone overlook Redd Stewart and his lasting contribution to the world of music? No one has not been touched by Redd's music. From the start Redd has been a crossover leader. 'Bonaparte's Retreat,' 'Slow Poke,' 'Soldiers Last Letter,' and 'Tennessee Waltz' all reached different segments of people, at the same time bringing people that had never listened to Country, to realize we had music everyone could enjoy.'
(Leon Smith/Bristow, OK)
'The CMA needs to honor those who paved the way for today's successes. Much is made about increasing the audience, but the early history of the music shows that it was popular far and wide due to those pioneers who got the new thing called 'radio' off the ground.
Perhaps they've slipped out of mind - but all one has to do is play their music to know they'll be remembered. And more than a few such as Redd Stewart, Jerry Byrd, Elton Britt, John Lair, Doc Williams, among others are worthy of the Hall of Fame honors. These are the people that helped create the bond between Country music and its' fans, and helped put Nashville on the map.'
(Dave Sichak/San Jose, CA)
'Redd Stewart definitely deserves the honor of being in the Country Music Hall of Fame. His music is known worldwide. The 'Tennessee Waltz' will continue to be one of Country music's all-time classics.'
'Redd was a true Country music pioneers, and should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I would not be surprised to see him elected to the Rock Hall of Fame, as well. The 'Tennessee Waltz' was recorded by a number of 'pop' legends, and the Rock Hall of Fame here in Cleveland has already recognized many Country music legends as influences.
I was lucky enough to have been able to play some of Redd's 70s stuff on Hickory when I first got into radio. He never strayed from the true Country sounds, and his music will live on. Redd's music stands the test of time.'
'The 'Tennessee Waltz' alone must be given much of the credit for Country music's commercial surge and the future integration of America's popular music forms. How can this man not be in the Hall of Fame? He devoted almost six decades of his life to the Country music industry. He touched people world-wide, and is entitled to the highest honor of Country music.'