Sign up for newsletter
 

Hall of Fame inducts Husky, Sherrill

Monday, May 24, 2010 – Ferlin Husky and Billy Sherrill were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday in the Medallion Ceremony.

"Tonight, as we celebrate the remarkable careers of Ferlin Husky and Billy Sherrill, we are reminded of country music's cultural importance to our city, our nation and our world," said Kyle Young, the museum's director.

The event represents the official induction of new Hall of Fame members. Country music stars Jimmy Dean and Don Williams, who were elected into the Hall of Fame along with Husky and Sherrill, will be officially inducted at a separate Medallion Ceremony on Oct. 24.

During the ceremony, the 84-year-old Husky and 73-year-old Sherrill listened to highlights of their lives and careers as well as to surprise guests who performed their classic songs.

"Ferlin and Billy, you are surrounded here by the family, friends and collaborators who have defined so much of your lives and who have come to pay tribute to you tonight," said Steve Turner, chairman of the museum's board of officers and trustees. "We want you and your peers in the Hall of Fame to know that we too revere your accomplishments and hold you in highest esteem. Thank you for your magnificent contributions to country music and to the vitality of Music City."

Husky was emotional and witty in accepting his honor, while Sherrill was humble and brief.

Hall of Fame member Charley Pride, who inducted Husky, spoke of their enduring friendship, which started in 1969 as Pride first began to tour; Husky was among the first of Nashville's stars to befriend him. On a plane flight from Tennessee to Florida, Pride discovered how Husky occasionally let his comic alter ego, Simon Crum, emerge, even when offstage. He watched Husky argue with himself, "even though there wasn't anyone in the seat next to him," Pride joked.

Husky had to rise from his wheelchair to be helped up the stairs to accept his medallion from Pride. He struggled with his emotions as he addressed the crowd, saying, "I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with bringing me into this group, the people I've admired since I was a little child."

Those paying tribute to Husky included songwriter Dallas Frazier, who performed Freckles and Polliwog Days, a song Frazier co-wrote with A.L. "Doodle" Owens that Husky released as a single in 1974; Ronnie McDowell with the Jordanaires and 87-year-old soprano Millie Kirkham, who performed Gone, Husky's number 1 hit from 1957, which included the Jordanaires and Kirkham on the original recording; Ricky Skaggs and the Whites, who performed Husky's crossover hit Wings of a Dove, a chart topper from 1960; and Webb Wilder, who performed I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere's Else), a number 6 hit from 1955 that represented Husky's comic side.

For Sherrill's induction, Hall of Fame member and retired BMI president Frances Preston opened with a joke about the producer's well-known trait of avoiding crowds and music industry parties. "There is no more miserable person in the whole city of Nashville, Tenn., than Billy Sherrill tonight," she said, looking at her longtime friend with a smile. "He hates notoriety."

Preston underscored that Sherrill's songwriting artistry and "bold, confident innovations" as a producer were all the more remarkable considering his shyness. "He was not one to claim the limelight for himself," Preston said. "Billy, you made stars of many people, but tonight you are the star."

After Preston gently placed the Medallion around Sherrill's neck, Sherrill looked out on the crowd and paused. "You had to have a lot of help to get here, and I had it," he noted, singling out longtime CBS Records executive Clive Davis, music publisher Al Gallico, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and Muscle Shoals music pioneer Tom Stafford for helping him in his career. Stand by Your Man, a number 1 hit from 1968 recorded by Tammy Wynette and co-written (with Wynette) and produced by Sherrill; Ronnie Milsap, who performed The Most Beautiful Girl, a number 1 hit from 1973 recorded by Charlie Rich and co-written (with Norro Wilson) and produced by Sherrill; Craig Morgan, who performed Almost Persuaded, a number 1 hit in 1966 for David Houston, co-written (with Glenn Sutton) and produced by Sherrill; and Lee Ann Womack, who performed He Stopped Loving Her Today, a number 1 hit in 1980 produced by Sherrill.

]After an opening red-carpet reception, the invitation-only crowd of more than 250 celebrants heard the recorded version of Johnny Cash's 1959 hit Five Feet High and Rising to start the ceremony. As it finished, Young welcomed the crowd, saying, "In the wake of the great flood of 2010, it is especially heartwarming to have all of you here."

Live performances began with Vince Gill joining the Settles Connection choir in performing Oh Happy Day, backed by the Medallion All-Star Band, led by keyboardist and music director John Hobbs. Joining Hobbs were drummer Eddie Bayers, pedal steel player Paul Franklin, electric guitarist Steve Gibson, bassist Michael Rhodes, fiddler Deanie Richardson, background vocalists Dawn Sears and Jeff White, and acoustic guitarist Biff Watson.

Young addressed Husky's contributions to country music by touting the singer, comedian and actor as "always ahead of his time." He recalled how Husky helped establish the West Coast country music scene before moving to Nashville in the mid-1950s. There, with his hit song Gone, he played a role in creating the famed Nashville Sound, "a sound that gave rock and roll a run for its money and forever put Music City on the map," Young said.

In summarizing Sherrill's career, Young described how Sherrill revolutionized country music from the late 1960s into the 1980s with his lush productions of hits by George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Charlie Rich, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette and others. "He changed Nashville's production style, became a controversial genius and created immortal country music," Young said. He also acknowledged Sherrill's role as one of the most successful songwriters of his day.

Young, in summarizing the evening, said, "Once again, great music brings us together. This ceremony is meant to help keep us together."

Other Hall of Fame members attending the ceremony to welcome the two new members were Bill Anderson, Harold Bradley, Jim Foglesong, Vince Gill, Sonny James, George Jones, members of the Jordanaires (Louis Nunley, Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker and Curtis Young), Barbara Mandrell, Charlie McCoy, Frances Preston, Charley Pride, Earl Scruggs, Mel Tillis, Jo Walker-Meador and Bud Wendell.

More news for Ferlin Husky

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: Three years late(r), wait for Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon was worth it – The album, "Solstice," coming out this Friday from Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, took "only" three years to be released by New West. The recording sessions were an outgrowth of a few friends getting together and recording music. Those friends would be folks like Birds of Chicago and Amy Helm (on the album,... »»»
Concert Review: Guthrie brings welcome vibe of sweetness – Before launching into "This Land is Your Land," Arlo Guthrie recalled how his father taught him this song when he was just eight or nine. His father, however, wasn't just any father, but the father of protest folk music, Woody Guthrie. Then when Arlo's daughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie, took the stage midway through the first half of the... »»»
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

The Long Ryders return to action The Long Ryders have come a long way since they were initially associated with other Los Angeles relatively retro acts collected under the Paisley Underground umbrella. Even back during the mid to late '80s,... »»»
Taylor uncovers the past, offering new perspectives Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
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,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
With Stanley and Watson, sound isn't elementary Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Love and Revelation CD review - Love and Revelation
Some might say all you need to know about Over The Rhine is its primary lead vocalist, Karin Bergquist. And that's true; her angelic singing - alone throughout "Love & Revelation" - makes the album well worth your ear time. »»»
GIRL CD review - GIRL
Maren Morris, who had a huge pop hit with "The Middle," is never going to be anybody's ideal traditional country singer. Although, thankfully, there isn't anything that mind-numbingly beat-driven on her "GIRL" album,  »»»
Forever CD review - Forever
As a genre, Americana has become a massive umbrella, and yet, the actual definition remains elusive at best. Still, for those that relate to its former manifestation as "roots rock" or "country crossover," the Vandoliers come remarkably close to identifying with a definitive sound. »»»
Call Me Lucky CD review - Call Me Lucky
2018 was a transitional year for Dale Watson. For decades, Watson has been both a pillar of the Austin music scene and one of Texas's most visible and passionate musical ambassadors. Given his Lone Star State roots, »»»
American Love Song CD review - American Love Song
It seems like Ryan Bingham has only fallen up over the course of his 15-year career. A roommate's brother turned out to be a hobbyist drummer and became the foundation for Bingham's band, the Dead Horses. »»»
Good Company CD review - Good Company
It's Kalyn Fay's weary, gentle, and oft-ethereal voice that's so totally captivating on her second release, "Good Company." She's a Cherokee singer-songwriter exploring her unique relationship to her home state. She writes about its values, the people, the land and the dichotomy of its presence and the distance she needs to keep from it, given her ancestry.  »»»
Meco CD review - Meco
There's no doubt that Amy McCarley has one of the more interesting singer-songwriter backgrounds. Her third album is NASA's acronym for Main Engine Cut Off, serving here as a metaphor for McCarley leaving the world of NASA »»»
Stand Tall CD review - Stand Tall
Jason Ringenberg remains a vibrant, seminal cornerstone for modern Americana. Exploding out of Nashville in the early 1980s as front-man for the Scorchers, Ringenberg and his colleagues - full of fire and fervor »»»
Riverland CD review - Riverland
Eric Brace and Peter Cooper have a history of creating carefully crafted concept album. With guitarist Thomm Jutz again aboard, the acoustic triumvirate are on a roll. "C & O Canal" was terrific. "Riverland" may be even a little better. »»»
Stages CD review - Stages
Although Cassadee Pope's "Stage" album includes a few too many pop-country songs for comfort, it closes with a true winner. The ballad "I've Been Good," which turns a customary greeting response on its head, is a true show-stopper. »»»