Sign up for newsletter

Country Hall honors Cindy Walker

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 – At a donation ceremony wreathed with her songs, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum today paid tribute to 1997 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, the late songwriter Cindy Walker.

Museum Director Kyle Young announced that when Walker died on March 23, 2006, she bequeathed the writer's share of her 500-song catalog to the hall. "The largest percentage of our holdings has been donated," Young said. "We are accustomed to gifts documenting or recalling the work of country music luminaries, but this is the first time we have ever received the actual work."

Walker's bequest included files and notebooks related to the songs, sheet music, photographs and business documents. Young explained that Walker, who was once married briefly and had no children, thought of her songs as her "babies." In one of her files, Museum curators found Walker's farewell note to her songs.

"Goodbye my darling," she wrote. "You have been so good to me. You have made me rich and famous. I love you, you are the reason I am, and you are in the Hall of Fame. I will miss you. Goodbye, your girl, Cindy Walker."

"Few things have served as a more emotional reminder of our responsibilities here than Cindy Walker's note to her 'babies,'" Young said.

Museum trustee David Conrad described the Museum's plans for the Walker songs. Crediting the idea to Sony/ATV Music Publishing President-CEO Troy Tomlinson, also a member of the Museum's Board of Officers and Trustees, Conrad announced plans for a 12-song Walker demo to be directed to film and television music supervisors. With Conrad as executive producer, volunteer producers Tony Brown, Fred Foster and Vince Gill will each produce four songs for the project.

"Each producer will choose artists from different music genres, who will be invited to create new arrangements of both Cindy's immortal songs and some that are not so well known," Conrad said.

Accompanied by images of Walker at various stages of her career, Young recounted her life from her youth in Waco, Texas, to her arrival and early professional career in Hollywood, and from her return to Texas and concomitant and fruitful embrace of the Nashville music scene to her death in 2003. He screened two of her songs - Soundies, Election Day and Seven Beers with the Wrong Man. These were three-minute song-and-dancedramas that were screened between western movie double-features and played on video jukeboxes in the early 1940s. Walker helped pioneer these precursors of today's music videos.

The celebration concluded with a musical salute to Walker presented by Nashville's premier western swing unit, the Time Jumpers. The big swing band presented four songs from their standard repertoire including with Kenny Sears on vocals, You Don't Know Me" with vocals by Carolyn Martin, Miss Mollywith vocals by Ranger Doug, and I Don't Care featuring the voice of Dawn Sears. Museum President Vince Gill joined the Time Jumpers to sing "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream).

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: No lead singer? No problem for The Earls of Leicester – The Earls of Leicester have been in a bind that could have caused other bands to cancel the show. The bluegrass band's lead singer Shawn Camp has suffered from laryngitis for 11 days. What to do? Put the vocals on the cords mainly of acoustic guitarist Jeff White and to a lesser extent Dobro player supreme Jerry Douglas.... »»»
Concert Review: At Newport Folk Festival, discovery rules – One of the enduring highlights of the Newport Folk Festival is the chance of discovery. This is not a festival filled with superstars. Far from it. Yes, there are veterans, who already have made a name for themselves (Brandi Carlile would fill the bill), and there are others who don't even know themselves how they landed in Newport.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Wild! Wild! Wild! CD review - Wild! Wild! Wild!
Throughout her five-decade-plus career, Linda Gail Lewis, younger sister of Jerry Lee Lewis, has shone brightest when collaborating with other artists, whether it be her brother, Van Morrison or her daughter »»»
Shooter CD review - Shooter
Shooter Jennings is the latest to link to Dave Cobb for production on the simply titled "Shooter." As one of today's leading outlaw country voices, Jennings is adept at marrying traditional country with fierce rock n' roll.  »»»
Quarter Past Tonight CD review - Quarter Past Tonight
Chicago Farmer (aka Cody Diekhoff) has the novelist's gift of building a suspenseful story to a surprising conclusion. He's clever, insightful, and witty with his between songs banter, making the stories often every bit as good and memorable as his songs. »»»