Today (April 10), the Country Music Hall of Fame announced the newest set of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees as “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Bobby Bare and Kenny Rogers during a press conference in the Hall’s Rotunda. Induction ceremonies, which will increase membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame from 118 to 121 members, will take place in the Hall’s new CMA Theater later this year.
“Cowboy” Jack Clement has been named in the non-performer category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980,” and “Songwriter” categories. Clement’s daughter, Alison Clement, offered gratitude during today’s announcement while the “Cowboy” preceded from his seat in the front row.
In 1953, Clement made his first record. He studied at Memphis State University, where he earned his lifelong nickname “Cowboy.” He built his first recording studio in 1956, and has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and numerous others. Clement wrote “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and produced Johnny Cash‘s iconic “Ring of Fire.” Clement also opened Jack Clement Recording Studios, the first 16-track studio in Nashville and has written songs for Bobby Bare, George Jones, Elvis Presley, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. Clement has also produced for Townes Van Zant, Hank Williams, Jr. and U2.
Bobby Bare was named in the Veterans Era category. “This is a validation of a dream that a 17-year-old boy had back in the hills of Ohio,” said Bare before recognizing various individuals responsible for his career successes. “This is as big as it gets. This is truly an honor. Now I’ll be famous forever.”
Chet Atkins signed him to RCA in 1962. He had hits with “Shame on Me,” “Detroit City” “Five Hundred Miles Away From Home” and “Streets of Baltimore.” In 1964, Bare embarked on one of the first successful European country music tours. While at RCA, Bare recorded two duet projects with Skeeter Davis and had a Top 5 hit with “The Game of Triangles,” featuring Liz Anderson and Norma Jean.
Kenny Rogers was named as the Modern Era artist inductee.
A tearful Rogers thanked his wife and his twin sons. “I’m so glad this happened if it is going to happen so I can share it with my boys,” said Rogers. “I think it’s important for them to know I worked hard.” Rogers also talked about the importance of a positive attitude, passing on wisdom learned from his parents. “My dad said, ‘Son, you have to aim high to gain low.’ My mom said, ‘Always be happy where you are. Don’t be content to be there but be happy where you are.’ Some of my greatest memories were at the lowest points. I thank you all for making this high point available to me.” He also congratulated companion inductees, Bare and Clement.
Rogers released three No. 1 multi-million selling albums between 1978 and 1980, Love or Something Like It, The Gambler, and Kenny. He enjoyed five consecutive chart-topping songs, “Love or Something Like It,” “The Gambler,” “She Believes In Me,” “You Decorated My Life” and “Coward of the County.” In the late ’70s, Rogers and Dottie West recorded a series of duets, including “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight,” “What Are We Doin’ in Love,” “All I Ever Need Is You” and “Til I Can Make It On My Own.” Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Rogers also earned success as an actor, appearing in the movie Six Pack, as well as the made-for-TV movie The Gambler (and four The Gambler follow-up TV movies), Coward of the County and Christmas in America.
In 1998, Rogers formed his own label and released “The Greatest,” followed by “Buy Me a Rose” (featuring Alison Krauss), which topped the charts in 2000, making Rogers (then age 61), the oldest solo artist to have a No. 1 record on the Country charts. Last year Rogers topped the New York Times list with his autobiography, Luck of Something like It–A Memoir.
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]
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